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GP Week : Issue 173
25 GPWEEK.com // 25 GPWEEK.com // PARTNERS: Mercedes AMG Petronas had a hugely disappointing Indian Grand Prix weekend, with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher both failing to score points on the Buddh International Circuit. There were some positive noises coming from the Mercedes garages following two productive practice sessions on Friday, but the team was incapable of challenging for the points- paying positions due to a combination of bad luck and a general lack of pace during Sunday’s grand prix. With Mercedes’ 2012 challenger renowned for being hard on its tyres and many teams choosing to run one-stop strategies in the race, Rosberg opted not to set a time in the final part of qualifying – he started tenth as a result, but was free to select a fresh set of tyres for the start of the grand prix. However, the 27-year old was on the back foot throughout the race due to a relative lack of pace and was powerless to defend to those behind him, ending up just outside of the points in 11th. Rosberg has now failed to score on six occasions, retiring twice in Japan and Korea, and has indicated that he is already focused on ensuring the Brackley-based Mercedes outfit has a more competitive 2013 season. “Finishing just outside of the points is always tough, and it was a hard afternoon for us out there,” said Rosberg. “It's a difficult time for us but we are learning for next year so that's one positive thing.” Seven-time world champion, Schumacher, was prevented from impacting on the top ten places when he sustained a right-rear puncture after running over the front wing of Jean- Eric Vergne’s Toro Rosso as the field converged on Turn 1. The German, who will retire from the sport for a second time at the end of the year, fell to the tail end of the field as he trundled slowly back to the pits to take on a new set of tyres, finally retirinf with a gearbox issue five laps from the end. Schumacher has retired on no fewer than eight occasions this season and rued being caught up in an incident at the first corner. “That was a pretty unsatisfactory race today,” said Schumacher. “It was effectively over just after the start; I lost so much time getting back to the pits with the puncture that any hope of scoring points was gone.” MERCEDES DOWN AND OUT IN INDIA F1 >>> INDIA