Rosberg leads Schumacher home again (Chinese GP team-by-team: Mercedes)

Schumacher couldn't keep Vettel behind for long

Schumacher couldn't keep Vettel behind for long

Michael Schumacher continues to struggle on his F1 return after finishing 52 seconds behind his team mate – despite the benefit of a mid-race safety car period.

Nico Rosberg, meanwhile, goes from strength to strength and is now second in the world championship.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 9 4
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’35.646 (+0.723) 1’34.923
Race position 10 3
Average race lap 1’55.427 (+0.933) 1’54.494
Laps 56/56 56/56
Pit stops 4 2
Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Mercedes

Chinese Grand Prix lap times: Mercedes

Michael Schumacher

Out-qualified by a Renault and almost three-quarters of a second slower than Rosberg.

Schumacher started ninth and, having made the mistake of putting on intermediates tyres on lap two, was one of the first to change back to slicks on lap four.

This got him up to fifth place but, lapping over a second slower than his team mate, who was leading, he fell prey to Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel. He put up a firm defence against Hamilton, who took three laps to find a way past, but Vettel slipped by more quickly.

After the second safety car period Schumacher became stuck behind Adrian Sutil and Felipe Massa. An early stop for more intermediate tyres jumped him ahead of them, though he lost a place to Webber at the same time.

As his tyres wore out towards the end of the race Schumacher was passed by Massa and ran wide at the final turn. He claimed the final point for tenth place, but at the rate Sutil was catching him he might well have lost that too if the race had gone on another lap.

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

Nico Rosberg

Got the maximum out of his car in qualifying and the race and might even have won had he not spun away the lead.

He qualified fourth ahead of both McLarens and inherited the lead by not reacting to the early sprinkling of rain by making a hasty switch to intermediate tyres.

He had just stretched his lead over Jenson Button to its highest – 4.5 seconds – when he skidded off at turn 11 on worn tyres:

When it started raining again, I suffered quite badly from tyre degradation on the intermediates and Jenson was able to get past. We didn’t seem to quite have the pace on inters but third place is great and we’ve made a step in the right direction this weekend.
Nico Rosberg

Had it not been for the second safety car period Rosberg would have been a comfortable second. But third place still gave him enough points to take second in the championship, 40 points ahead of his team mate.

Compare Nico Rosberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

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40 comments on Rosberg leads Schumacher home again (Chinese GP team-by-team: Mercedes)

  1. Vishy said on 20th April 2010, 17:05

    Two reasons why shumi is struggling

    1. He is lacking confidence. I don’t think he is pushing the car to the limit. Sometimes a shunt can actually wake you up and get you over that fear.
    2. His driving style does not suit the tyre’s. If you look at the last stint how his tyre’s degraded way more compared to Nico’s. That shows either his setup was horrible or he is too hard on his tyres.

    Sutil had a great comment about how he has to unlearn and relearn tyre management. Schumi will get it just how long will he take to learn is the question. I really feel sorry for him, but hats off to him for trying.

    His defensive skills are as good as they were, it was fun to watch the tussle between Hamilton and Schumi. However I felt Hami was giving him way too much respect.

  2. Palle said on 20th April 2010, 22:13

    Rosberg has always been a great talent. He only needed better euipment.
    But I think Mercedes will do well by listening to Michaels input and wishes. He has always had a good ability to contribute with the evolution of the car, better than Rosberg I believe. And his ability to hold of Hamilton the way he did, indicates that he will come back in the fight when the car has been modified to his preference.

  3. Mark in Florida said on 21st April 2010, 3:07

    Yes, Rosberg has gotten the better of Michael.As a fan am I disapointed? Not really, I`ve taken a realistic attitude towards it all.Firstly the cars handle quite differently now than they did in his pre retirement days.The cars now seem to push or understeer more because of the greater difference in tire size.If anyone has ever seen Michaels car data from the Ferrari days it clearly shows how Michael was able to drive so much faster than anyone else.The car tended to oversteer at the limit. Michael was able to make micro steering corrections throughout the whole curve without losing control.Midway through the season will tell where Michael`s ability`s are.It`s a very competitive field now and it will be an uphill climb to come to grips with a very different type of car.F1 has short memories look at Jenson for years commetators made fun of his driving abilities…Their not laughing now.What will they say when Michael starts to win again? A driver is just one good car from greatness.

  4. Rugel said on 21st April 2010, 4:13

    Mark, I totally agree with you.

  5. manatcna said on 22nd April 2010, 0:58

    Sack MS and give “quick nick” a shot.

    I seem to remember everyone & his dog wanting Heidfeld to get the second Mercedes seat this year.

  6. pitt layne said on 22nd April 2010, 8:57

    Why defend the Schu? Driving style? Why not just get in and drive your **** off? He was King of the Traction Control Era. Now he’s having to feel and feed the power on. Isn’t that what makes a professional racing driver better than Citizen Joe? Time’s running out on Legacy Damage Control. With no testing and expectations high, it may be too late.

  7. Look how long he took to get ferrari up 2 championship standard when he left benetton.It’s the same with mercedes when he get’s the car to how he like’s it he will be flying round that track just give him time.

  8. snape said on 29th April 2010, 16:18

    To all you “experts”:
    Can you remember last season, when a frontrunner like G. Fisicella, who nearly won the Belgian GP switched from Force India to Ferrari? In his first race with Ferrari he found himself at the end of the field, while team-mate Raikkonen was in the first third. This may indicate that it is not so easy to adopt to an unknown car in a completely new environment. Rosberg is used to a modern F1 car and to its specific circumstances. When Schumacher had his last F1-race it was in a completely different world with technically completely different cars. So leave him the time to get used to the new situation! Not easy when testing ist not allowed!!!

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