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The Mercedes AMG Petronas team will not be a happy camp after a dismal showing at the Hungaroring today. Nico Rosberg scored a solitary point with an uneventful race to 10th, while Michael Schumacher severely underwhelming with a retirement from 18th place.
Ross Brawn gave a fair assessment of where his team stood, sharing, "Nico did a good job today, and 10th place is about where the car was, if not a little better. He drove very well to make the tyres last which is a positive sign, and a good strategy saw him pick up places. Michael had a much more eventful race. He started from the pit lane, incurred a penalty and then had a puncture so it wasn't exactly an ideal start to the afternoon. During that period, we lost all telemetry on his car, and subsequently had various problems during the race which we weren't entirely sure what they were, therefore we decided to retire the car. We are clearly not as competitive as we want to be and, whilst we got everything out of the car today, we need to find more performance and lap time."
Nico Rosberg had a good start gaining two places from 13th. He trailed the Force India of Nico Hulkenberg for the first third of the race, jumping him in the pits. The rest of the race was pretty lonely for Rosberg as the car was unable to make a dent on the cars leading him.
Rosberg echoed the team's sentiments: "We've had a difficult weekend here in Budapest, and just haven't been quick enough. In the race today, I had a good start and was able to gain three positions by the end, so I got the most out of it. Being happy with one point is not an ideal situation though. We need to find out why we are off the pace at the moment. I hope that we can do better in Spa after the break and we will push hard to make the improvements necessary."
Michael Schumacher's race was handicapped before it began, with the 7-time champion turning off his engine on the grid due to a fault light on his steering display. This prompted a false start as the field the Mercedes was wheeled away to start from the pitlane as the rest of the cars circled around for a second warm-up lap. Any hopes of consolidation were shattered on the very next lap as Schumacher pitted for medium rubber, earning a drive-through penalty in the process for speeding in the pit lane. The German spent the rest of the afternoon picking off the three new teams and was running 18th when the team elected to retire.
Schumacher shared: "Today was obviously one of those races that you will not look back at for very long. Our engine temperatures were very high before the start, and when the yellow lights came on, I switched the engine off. After I had started from the pit lane, I picked up a penalty and then a puncture. So all in all, the beginning of the race was not very pleasant for us. Everything you do not need came together. We did not have full telemetry before the start and during the period of overheating, and this is why we finally decided to retire so as not risk any damage which might make us suffer in the next race. Now we can now check the car properly before the break and prior to Spa. This weekend is not one to remember, but then there are weekends like this which you can only accept. I am sure we will be looking much better in the next races to come."
The pace of the Mercedes will be cause for concern as the team heads into the summer break.
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