The 2012 Chinese Grand Prix weekend will be one that Nico Rosberg remembers for many years to come. His first pole position and maiden race win all achieved in one weekend, not a bad weekend’s work for the German.
The 26 year-old put in a stunning performance at the Shanghai International Circuit to secure not only his first win in Formula One but also Mercedes first win since 1955. All in all it was a great weekend for the Brackley-based team and who knows Rosberg’s victory in China could be the first of many for the team this season.
Since entering Formula One in 2010, Mercedes have faced enormous pressure from inside and outside the paddock. However winning in Shanghai will have been a relief for everyone at the team. Now Mercedes have achieved their first win, it is vital the team build on their excellent weekend in China. No doubt the team will have momentum heading to Bahrain for the next Grand Prix.
Three races and three different winners. It doesn’t get any better than that and if you said to any Formula One follower at the beginning of the season that after three races there would be three different race winners, I’m sure they will have taken it.
Lets be honest 2011 was a season where Sebastian Vettel blitzed the field. But the two-times World Champion has not had it all his own way this year and neutrals will be loving this.
Monkey Off The Back
It might have taken 111 attempts to win a race but Nico Rosberg can now say he is a Grand Prix winner. It took Jenson Button over 100 Grand Prix’s to win his first race and look where he is now. Now that Rosberg has won his first race, perhaps we will now start to see the best of Nico in a competitive car.
Prior to the weekend in China, Mercedes had only scored a solitary point from the opening two races. However there were encouraging signs from what we saw of the F1 W03 especially as Michael Schumacher was able to qualify in the Top 4 in Australia and Malaysia. Lets not forget Mercedes also locked out the front row at the Chinese Grand Prix.
Schumacher has not been able to convert his strong qualifying performances into strong points finishes so far. But you could argue Schumacher has not been at fault for both of his retirements this year. Personally for me it was only a matter of time before Mercedes scored big points in 2012 and that proved to be the case at China.
I am so happy for Nico Rosberg and I would like to congratulate him on his first ever win in Formula One. His victory in China was thoroughly deserved and it will be interesting to see how Mercedes perform in Bahrain.The conditions in Bahrain will be totally different to the conditions in China and the warmer temperatures in Bahrain should suit McLaren and Red Bull more. But you never know Mercedes could spring another surprise.
So we now know Formula One will be going to Bahrain. Is it the right decision? The FIA seem to think going to Bahrain is safe.
Mercedes will go to Bahrain in buoyant mood after their heroics in Shanghai. But just because they have won a Grand Prix does not mean they can rest on their laurels. Formula One is a development race and everyone at Mercedes will need to develop the car so Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg can challenge the McLaren’s and Red Bull’s on a regular basis.
Rosberg will go to Bahrain in a more positive mood out of the two Mercedes drivers. Schumacher on the other hand will want to score some points to get his season back on track before F1 heads to Spain in May. The results will come for Michael and I’m sure the seven-times World Champion will be extra determined to put one over his team-mate this time round.
Is 2012 the year Mercedes can finally challenge for race wins and regular podium finishes? I think so and based on what we have seen in the first three weekends of the season, I would be quietly optimistic if I was in the Mercedes camp. I agree Mercedes did not have great races in Australia and Malaysia but there were positives the team could take from qualifying.
It will be interesting to see the race pace of both Mercedes cars in Bahrain and in warmer conditions. The team have had issues with their tyres this season and Bahrain will give us another indication on whether Mercedes have learnt their lesson about looking after their tyres.