It was a breakthrough for Mercedes and Nico Rosberg, but the Chinese grand prix was a “difficult day” for Michael Schumacher. That is the admission of Shanghai winner Rosberg, whose first race win after more than 100 attempts also delivered German marque Mercedes’ first works victory for more than half a century.
“I felt he was very happy for me,” Rosberg told Auto Bild Motorsport, when asked what seven time world champion Schumacher’s reaction was.
Since returning to F1 more than two years ago, 43-year-old Schumacher – although stepping up his pace in 2012 – is yet to finish a single grand prix on the podium. Nonetheless, he offered his congratulations “very, very warmly” after China, Rosberg revealed.
“At the same time I know that it was, of course, a difficult day (for him),” he admitted.
Norbert Haug, the team’s motor sport director, recently sounded inclined to keep Rosberg and Schumacher together beyond 2012, despite the fact the older and more famous German’s contract is ending. He insisted there is “nothing negative” about their relationship.
As for ongoing rumours that Schumacher still enjoys number one status, Haug called that idea “absolute nonsense”.
“Do you know what Nico said to me, before Michael came? He said ‘If you can get Michael (on the team), then try everything for it’.”
Rosberg has not changed his tune.
“There was never a situation in which Michael got anything before I did,” he confirmed.