Schumacher fails to shine in rain

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Schumacher starts six places behind Rosberg in Malaysia
Schumacher starts six places behind Rosberg in Malaysia

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.
Michael Schumacher

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?

Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 Malaysian Grand Prix

122 comments on “Schumacher fails to shine in rain”

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  1. Oh ye of little faith…

  2. And, may I add, Michael is now like a pianist in comeback after long absence – now what if they (musicians)had a rule – welcome back, but you get a piano every two weeks for 2-3 days, 2-3 hours…

  3. James Alias
    3rd April 2010, 21:15

    I think Schumacher is quite fast, at this moment faster than Rosberg already.

    It just doesn’t show in the final results yet, down to one nagging annoyance after the other. Bahrain was the only race where conditions remained constant for both drivers, the other two races till now just had TOO MANY variables that affected the final outcome.

    Think about this, – four months ago Schumacher raced in some kart race in Las Vegas and finished 7th. The drivers who finished 1st till 6th were,

    Bas Lammers
    Norman Nato
    Jeremy Iglesias
    Arnuad Kozlinski
    Marco Ardigo
    Tony Lavanant

    My challenge is, put any of these drivers in an F1 car right now. I would love to see how they perform!

    I don’t believe that Schumacher has anything to lose in this comeback. In fact, it just goes on to highlight how immensely superb he was when he was in his prime, that even now after having switched off for so many years he’s still ONLY one-tenth slower than Rosberg, probably in ‘human’ sense which probably means just a little less urge to throw the car around like a mad man through a corner compared to before.

    But doesn’t mean that he can’t do it, sure he can and will do (in due time). I just don’t believe that he’s gonna do it just for the sheer excitement of the fans, nor just in order to make the front page headline and awe the world. He’s smarter than that, just taking his sweet own time. Slow, steady and mature.

    And it makes sense, whatever he’s doing. Imagine this, he had the banker lap from Q2 which really saved his life as in still hung him on to P10. So why wouldn’t he be enthusiastic to do another banker early for Q3? He did push hard on lap one, in fact he was so fast that he caught up Kubica and got stuck behind him. In the end his lap one lap-time only mirrored that of Kubica.

    He hasn’t even made even one single driver-error type mistake on track ever since his return. Alonso, Massa, Button, Rosberg have all spun or gone off track in miserable conditions but this old guy is keeping still it clean. One might argue that the old guy isn’t pushing hard enough, true. But wouldn’t you normally expect an old guy to make so much more mistakes when performing at this level in this young man’s sport?

    1. Yeah, only kart races really show who’s fastest in F1 …

  4. Keith, you are a sensible man, so what according to you would be a successful season for Schumacher? Considering, he is old, no driving for 3 years, and the current band of drivers are some of the best competition Schumacher ever had.

    1. Didn’t Keith predict Schumacher to become WDC this year?

      1. I did! Not looking so good is it?

        The 2010 season in 20 questions

        I expect last year’s constructors’ champions will have the best car again this year, and the man who’s won more titles than anyone else will win another.

        You know, it would be so easy to go back and edit that…

        …I won’t, though!

    2. The first thing I’d expect him to do is beat his team mate.

      And I certainly didn’t expect him to have a problem doing that in the sort of conditions where he’s traditional excellent. Look at the weather in the last race he won, for example.

      1. so, you expect him to besat his team mate? fair enough, so do i. But when? FP1 of Bahrain, after being out for three years??. Some people were, but i think that is totally unrealistic. Is qualifying of race three realistic? Probably not either to be fair. Niki said it would take while, and i tend to agree with that. I think we should expect him to be up to speed by the half way, 75% mark of the season.

  5. poor schumacher. its good that hes back i reckon, but i dont think hes gonna set the world alight, its not good or bad, but i dont think its what he would want…

    i dont think it will tarnish his reputation either, its good for everyone. i doubt hell beat rosberg, and i dont think its in mercedes interests for anything to dent rosbergs confidence either.

    so looks like they have a high profile german driver who will help them enormously with car development and also teach rosberg a thing or two…

    i never really liked schumacher or his approach though at times he did some azmazing things in a F1 car. i think the biggest thing now thats gonna show him up is that hes not the undisputed number 1 for the first time in his career.

    if i were him i wouldnt want to be in the role hes found himself, nothing about his character would make me think he would want it either, but hes there gonna be interesting to see how he deals with being beat all the time…

  6. What made this site fantastic was the pure journalism. There were no favourites, no hype. The page was full of images, insight, history and facts.

    I’m not the only one that’s pointed this out; but people came to this sight because there was no page 3 articles and pulp trash headline grabbing.

    I’ll come back after a few races and see if the sight has put the original author back on. The one that just loved racing.

  7. Been following F1 since the days of Jackie Stewart and Jochen Rindt. MS has stood out as not being the fastest driver of any generation (think Senna was) but was the most complete one in terms of team motivation, speed in any condition, ability to develop the machines and race craft. He showed that F1 is a team effort and was the first F1 driver to acknowledge the team after every race.
    His come back will take time (who can predict how many races), but he will get there. RB is one of the shrewdest cookies in the business and would not have risked inviting a “has been” back. RB knows MS the best and we will see how the team develops.

  8. James Alias
    4th April 2010, 22:01

    another matter some (no many) people seem to overlook, that how much effort schumacher has to put in just in order to be back in F1, physically.

    this is at the end of the monaco gp in 1992, nigel mansell is 39 in this video and can barely stand, has to be carried to the podium. imagine the fitness schumacher has and needs in order to compete at this level at the age of 41.

  9. Robert Smith
    5th April 2010, 1:41

    I like reserve any comment on the GREATEST AND RICHEST DRIVER IN THE WORLD Michael Schumacher!

  10. Schumacher has being out-qualified and out-run by his team-mate, fair and square and not even the rain has brought him the results he is looking for since the beginning of the season. Maybe he’ll catch up in the comming races, but for the moment my feeling is that he’s being beat up by his no-so-great team-mate.

  11. I think Schumi is doing a pretty good job and has cut the gap to Rosberg
    with each race. Remember 2007 and how long it took Alonso to get used to the new tyres McLaren used, but by mid-season he was up to speed.
    Schu is getting used to the whole package. I think by Europe we’ll see a return to his true form..

  12. What Anthony said. Schumacher have been cutting off 0.2s of Rosberg’s advantage each training session. He was just unlucky in the last two races.

  13. I expected Schumacher to be quick in rain. It’s true that the Merecedes lack pace then Ferrari & Red Bull on a dry track but if Nico can pull the car up there what’s wrong for Schumacher.

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