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Belgian GP: Michael Schumacher backs Mercedes' strategy

Michael Schumacher reckoned his late second pitstop in the Belgian Grand Prix would have paid off if his Mercedes had not developed a gearbox problem

The German driver, celebrating his 300th grand prix, finished in seventh position after pitting for a new set of tyres having been passed by Kimi Raikkonen's Lotus.

Schumacher had originally looked set to complete the race on one stop before having to pit again with nine laps to go. He believes he would have then charged back had he not lost sixth gear - but that the pitstop gamble was still worthwhile as he was likely to tumble backwards had he stayed on his worn Pirellis.

"We tried our luck, it actually looked pretty reasonable at the start," said Schumacher.

"We were fighting in the early laps [of the second stint] with [Daniel] Ricciardo and some other guys, and I needed to push my tyres, and that decided the fact that we had to come in again.

"We could have finished on that set, but I'm pretty sure we would have finished in the same position.

"I think it was a good decision to come in and change tyres and fight again in the last laps for further positions.

"But then I had to stop thinking about that with seven laps to go because I lost seventh gear and I was just lucky to finish the race."

Nico Rosberg also had to pit late in the race, on a tough weekend for the Mercedes team. He could only finish 11th, having started 23rd following a gearbox-change penalty and a poor qualifying session.

"It has been a disappointing weekend for us, without the gearbox problem and the penalty I could have probably scored some decent points this weekend," said Rosberg.

"We were running with a one-stop strategy because I needed to take the risk and move up but it didn't work and we had to come in again quite late on."

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