The third race weekend of Michael Schumacher’s F1 comeback doesn’t seem to be going much better than the first two.
That was despite a wet qualifying session giving the man they called ‘Regenmeister’ an opportunity to demonstrate the skills that won him many wet F1 races.
Team mate Nico Rosberg out-qualified him by more than a second on the same track, on the same tyres, at the same time.
Schumacher was also out-qualified by both Williams drivers and Robert Kubica’s Renault – all cars that don’t belong in front of a Mercedes W01.
Schumacher’s trials in the Mercedes had previously been put down to his lack of time testing the car, and needing to get up-to-speed with the new specification Bridgestone rubber.
But I can’t have been alone in thinking that, shown a wet piece of track, Schumacher would return to his old form. Instead, he was even further behind Rosberg than usual.
He started the session well. Mercedes, like McLaren and Ferrari, sent their cars out later on the wet track in Q1. But both their drivers succeeded in setting a fast enough time on their sole runs to make it safety into Q2.
Schumacher’s first lap was a 1’52.239, almost matching Jenson Button’s which he set at the same time. It was also three-tenths of a second faster than Rosberg’s effort.
But in Q3 Rosberg turned the tables. Each driver had time for three laps in the shortened session and Rosberg’s best lap was 1.044s faster than his illustrious team mate’s. Afterwards Schumacher said he’d taken too much out of his tyres on his first run in Q3:
On my last run in Q3, I wanted to secure a lap time and then go for the second lap but after I finished my first quick lap, the tyres were already gone so I could not go for it anymore.
The times show Rosberg took care of his tyres on his first run:
At the head of the field was Mark Webber, who a gamble to run intermediate tyres and successded – exactly the sort of tactic we came to expect from Schumacher in his day. Immediately behind Webber on the grid are a roster of four German drivers – none of them Michael Schumacher.
It’s another result for him to grin and bear. At what point do we start asking how many of them he’s willing to put up with?
2010 Malaysian Grand Prix
- 2010 Malaysian Grand Prix – the complete F1 Fanatic review
- Malaysian GP team mate comparisons
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: McLaren
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Mercedes
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Red Bull
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Ferrari
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Williams
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Renault
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Force India
- Malaysian GP team-by-team: Toro Rosso