Schumacher thinks McLaren look strong

Michael Schumacher is pleased with the progress Mercedes have made in the Barcelona test but thinks McLaren stood out as one of the strongest cars on the final day:

[McLaren] looked very strong today, absolutely. But it depends who is going to bring what to Bahrain.
Michael Schumacher

At one point Schumacher ran in close company with Lewis Hamilton and he took the opportunity to find out how well 2010 F1 cars can overtake:

It was fun. It was interesting to see, with overtaking, what is possible and what is not possible. Obviously we had a different stagger to our runs and at one point I felt there was no point because I was harming my own situation so I let him do what he wanted to do and then I continued with what I wanted to do.
Michael Schumacher

Mercedes are bringing an upgrade for the first race of the season at Bahrain and Schumacher is cautious about predicting how competitive they will be:

We’re generally positive. It’s hard for everybody in the winter months because you produce, you develop, you test, it’s long nights for the mechanics. It’s hard work and I’m thankful everyone is pushing like hell. It’s the same here and same in the factory and now we get to breathe a little bit – just a little because preparation for Bahrain is short.

We feel confident, our performance has come up and slowly things are coming together.

We have some improvements coming for Bahrain but is it so much compared to what the others may do? It’s difficult to read.
Michael Schumacher

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25 comments on Schumacher thinks McLaren look strong

  1. quick stuff keith nice 1

  2. Scribe said on 28th February 2010, 17:08

    Ah, that is interesting. You have to wonder how much it was Schuey, possibly the best deffensive drive ever, holding him up, how much Hamilton, one the the best overtakers, was trying to get by and what these two made of each other on track. Two of the decades biggest superstars and they’ve never properly raced!

    It’s so good that we’re getting all the good drivers into the right cars this year, we’ll get to see what there all really made of.

  3. All in all one thing is very very clear. No one has a clue how they stand in the overall scheme of things. Everybody is fingers crossed. Neither they are able to say that they are slow nor they are able to say they are very quick.

    Last year by this time one thing was clear Brawn was fast and Mclaren was slow with some problem ( though some Mclaren Fans predicted they were sand bagging).

    This year we are back to square one. Everybody is as clueless as Feb 1 before the testing started.

    Looks like over the first 5 or 6 races teams would improvise to reach the ideal setup especially as the caravan moves to European Leg.

    Very very interesting. This is one rule change that has left everybody wondering. F1 2010 would be really one worth remembering.

    • HounslowBusGarage said on 28th February 2010, 22:20

      Prime comment. Ahoy Keith, this is one for COTD.

    • maciek said on 28th February 2010, 22:49

      “No one has a clue how they stand in the overall scheme of things”

      That’s overstating it, I think, though certainly the top four are hard to measure. The second tier will be Renault, Williams, Force India, and Sauber (in no particular order) though as usual they might have some pleasantly surprising results, and at least one of them will move closer to the top tier as the season advances.

      All that notwithstanding – I certainly agree that the coming season looks to be one of the most interesting in memory.

  4. Very good to hear the maestro sounding off in this way. He is seriously engaged if playing with Hamilton already. I have had this rather nagging doubt at the back of my mind that, just maybe, Michael might lack the heart to see this through – not that he wouldn’t complete the season, but more that he might just do the tours this year as a farewell to the sport if he thought he couldn’t win. Doesn’t sound like the case.

    Also like the way he is deflecting the pressure onto McLaren. Smart boy that Mickey the Shoe… ;)

    • Well, I think if the MGP is under performing by mid season, ie not getting podiums, Micheal may blame the ol’ neck and call it a day midseason.

      • Todfod said on 28th February 2010, 19:53

        Looks like Schumi is gearing up his excuses for the coming season. Im pretty sure the Mercedes is as quick as the McLaren, Red Bull and Ferraris. This time around Schumi doesnt have a car that is way quicker than any other on the field (a situation he isn’t used to), nor does he have a teammate like faithful Rubens.
        Looking forward to Schumi getting lapped by Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel.

        • “Looking forward to Schumi getting lapped by Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel.”

          Never going to happen. He’s as fast as anyone out there – even at his age! But overall speed isn’t that important this season. You’ll need to be an ‘all-rounder’. You won’t be able to drive every lap as though it were a qualifying lap.

        • maciek said on 28th February 2010, 22:53

          Ah, yet more proof that we all read what we want to into what’s written.

          • Schumacher does know what it is to drive a much lesser car. Those where his best year imo! just look at 1996 (or 93)

        • DASMAN said on 28th February 2010, 23:54

          You obviously never watched F1 pre 2000 then? ’96 & ’97 Ferraris were pigs which came within a hairs breadth of winning the championship in Schumi’s hands.

  5. MSC is behind Rosberg in the all-time results in Barcelona …… Maybe that is why he wants to deflect from that fact. The old shoe! ;-)

  6. Its nice to see him openly speak about the situation. Its not the generic “the team is improving, I am very satisfied” dribble that most drivers give us.

    • Scribe said on 28th February 2010, 22:42

      It’s funny that, Rosberg is giving that exact speil.

      I think it’s partly because they know their the best (who have been whatever) and partly because they know they can be honnest with each other that some of the clearest pictures you get in the paddock are from Ross and Schuey

  7. Somehow, I get confused by this: Schumacher says McLaren is looking strong while McLaren drivers Hamilton and Button say that there is still more to get out of the car and that they aren’t as fast as they should or could be…

    • Scribe said on 28th February 2010, 23:22

      protip: read sandbagging.

      Big up your rivals while playing down or hiding your own chances so you can can suprise them when it counts.

  8. Patrickl said on 28th February 2010, 23:43

    I saw that Hamilton and Schumacher were both doing a race simulation today. If you add up all the times, Hamilton was about 60 seconds faster over the full simulation (of about 60 laps). I can imagine how Schumacher must have been impressed by that.

  9. wasiF1 said on 1st March 2010, 1:24

    Hamilton VS Schumacher will be awesome to watch on raceday. Both are ruthless driver.

    • VXR said on 1st March 2010, 1:38

      Yes, that will be two less drivers for the others to worry about on lap 2.

      • You mean each will take off another driver? :)

        Don’t think Schumacher and Hamilton had/have much crashes though. Their decisive way of overtaking tends to prevent problems rather than cause them.

  10. RytO said on 1st March 2010, 15:40

    Race Simulation Comparison

    Alonso – Day 2
    Lewis – Day 4
    Schumacher – Day 4
    Vettel – Day 2

    Alonso, Lewis and Schumacher on 2 pit stop strategy. Vettel on 1 pitstop strategy. Lewis’s laptimes around lap 44 increase because he is stuck behind schumacher on track.

  11. Chaz said on 3rd March 2010, 16:59

    Good news for McLaren…

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