Schumacher: An unfortunate end

Sunday 18-March-2012 09:35

Michael Schumacher's Australian GP came to a disappointing end 10 laps into the race when a gearbox problem forced him to retire while in third place.

Starting fourth on the grid, much was expected from Schumacher and his W03. However, it was not to be.

Holding off Sebastian Vettel, the seven-time World Champ seemed to run into trouble, veering onto the grass before limping back to the pits where he retired in pit lane.

Explaining his retirement, the German said: "It was an unfortunate end to my race when I lost drive going into Turn One.

"I was trying different gears and occasionally the drive came back, but in the end, I had to go onto the grass to avoid the risk of the car being forced into a spin.

"It was especially unfortunate as we have not had this problem during the winter tests and were very reliable.

"This is why I am not concerned, as I know things like this happen in racing, and our reliability is not in question."

He added: "I believe I could have had a good race this afternoon, and I can still take some positives out of the weekend as we have seen our car was confirming our feelings, and is definitely a clear step forward.

"We can now build on that and start improving further."

Schumacher's woes, though, were not the only ones to befall the Mercedes team on Sunday.

His team-mate Nico Rosberg had been running as high as fourth place before dropping down the order while a clash with Sergio Perez caused a puncture and dropped him outside the points.

"I had a perfect start today and was able to gain three positions, however unfortunately we weren't able to maintain that pace, and the race did not turn out as we had hoped.

"The end was particularly unfortunate with Perez when we touched on the straight, causing a puncture which took away a points scoring finish.

"We have a lot of work to do to understand what went wrong, and how we can use the full potential which our car definitely shows.

"I'm still positive as Malaysia is a completely different track so I'm looking ahead to next weekend now."

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