• Hungarian Grand Prix

Gearbox problem ends difficult day for Schumacher

ESPNF1 Staff
July 31, 2011 « Renault plays down Heidfeld fire | »
Michael Schumacher retired on lap 27 with gearbox trouble © Getty Images
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A gearbox problem was to blame for Michael Schumacher's retirement from the Hungarian Grand Prix, but he does not think he could have finished higher than eighth if he'd made it to the chequered flag.

Schumacher's race came to an end on lap 27 after he parked his car following a battle with Felipe Massa for position. He said a gearbox problem cut his race short, but admitted his race had already been hindered by a late swap from intermediates to slicks.

"An unfortunate end to my race today when we suffered a gearbox problem which forced my retirement," he said. "As far as we know, this had nothing to do with the spin I had when fighting with Felipe which was mainly caused by avoiding contact. At the start, we gambled a little with low tyre pressures as we were expecting the track to dry quite quickly, but that turned out to be very slippery to drive.

"I came in for dry tyres one lap too late, but we can only handle one car at a time obviously. From then onwards, the race developed normally, but I would not have been able to make a very big step forward from the position I was in when I retired."

His team-mate Nico Rosberg secured two points for Mercedes in ninth, but was one of the drivers to switch back to intermediate tyres towards the end of the race which cost him dear.

"I had a decent start today and gained three positions which was encouraging," he said. "In the middle of the race, the prime tyres no longer had any grip in the increasingly damp conditions so we took the decision to put on intermediates. Unfortunately the rain shower proved not to be very strong and we had to switch to slicks which cost me a few positions.

"I pushed very hard to catch [Sebastien] Buemi and [Paul] Di Resta, and managed to close the gap, but it was impossible to overtake them in the last corners. So I collected just two points, but still more than last year. Now I'm looking forward to the next two races after the break. Spa and Monza are high-speed tracks where the Mercedes-Benz engine power in our car should be a benefit."

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