The Brackley-based Mercedes Petronas AMG team scored a double points finish in round 13 of the FIA F1 World Championship at Monza in Italy.
The points came courtesy of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg, who drove their Mercedes cars to sixth and seventh positions in a race won by Lewis Hamilton.
After the disappointment of a poor performance at Spa-Francorchamps in the previous round, hopes were high for a stronger showing around the famous high-speed Monza track – host to the final European race of the 2012 season.
Monza is track well-liked by Schumacher and the former seven-time world champion drove well to score a sixth place finish.
Afterwards, he said: “ Sixth was really the best I could hope for today. The car was strong but I didn’t have the pace of the cars ahead.
“I am pleased to have scored points for the team and we are looking ahead to the next race.
Rosberg added: “Seventh was OK for me today but obviously I would have liked to have finished higher.
“Monza is a very fast track and you have to be right on top of your game to be successful here. This weekend we simply weren’t fast enough but we have been reliable.
“We hope for better results in Singapore.”
Silverstone’s Sahara Force India team scooped points courtesy of Paul di Resta.
The young Scot finished eighth in his VJM05 car, after qualifying a career best fourth for the race. He was hit with a five place penalty for a replacement gearbox, and was forced to start from ninth on the grid. After a superb showing at Spa, Nico Hulkenberg was out of luck in qualifying, his car grinding to a halt in the first qualifying session and leaving him 24th and last on the grid.
Toro Rosso’s drivers, Jean-Eric Vergne and Daniel Ricciardo, also had mixed races.
Vergne was an early retirement after suspension failure sent his STR7-Ferrari spinning off the track, while Ricciardo crossed the line 12th.
The winner of the race, Hamilton, was under the spotlight all weekend following the rumours last week that he might be heading the way of Brackley’s Mercedes team next year.
But he put all the gossip out of his mind and swept to his 12th Grand Prix success from Sergio Perez and Fernando Alonso. JB
Standings (after Rd.13): 1. Fernando Alonso (Ferrari) 179; 2. Lewis Hamilton (McLaren) 142; 3. Kimi Raikkonen (Lotus) 141; 4. Sebastian Vettel (Red Bull) 140; 5. Mark Webber (Red Bull) 132; 6. Jenson Button (McLaren) 101.
Next race: Singapore, September 23.