Michael Schumacher may have gone some way to stem the tide of criticism that has been heaped on him since his decidedly lacklustre showing at the Chinese Grand Prix, by finishing a fine fourth in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.
The German made a clean start and used his first pit stop to leapfrog Jenson Button, with a bold move around the outside of the defending champion at the first corner as the McLaren driver was exiting pit lane.
The rest of his race was spent very much in defensive mode, keeping the quicker MP4-25 out of reach down the front straight to prevent himself being passed by Button.
"It was quite an entertaining race right from the start, even if we knew from the beginning that there would not be a chance for us to compete for a podium place if everything went as usual," Schumacher told reporters after the race. "Still, it was exciting for me to manage to keep the position that I gained but then I am obviously not too happy, as today we could only defend.
"It was an interesting fight with Jenson but all I could do was try to not give him a possibility to overtake. In the end the gap to the front is just too big to be really happy after this race. For Monaco, we hope that the characteristics of the track will suit our car better."
By contrast, team-mate Nico Rosberg will want to head for the Spanish border as quickly as possible after a wretched weekend in which he was summarily out-paced by his more experienced team-mate for the first time this season.
Nico made a poor start from 8th position, and finished a distant 13th by the flag-fall. It was the first time he’s finished outside the points this season, dropping him from second to fifth in the Drivers’ Championship standings as a result.
"We have a good upgrade on the car here, which should be improving our performance, but it just hasn’t worked out for me,” he said after the race.
[Original image via GP Update]