Schumacher slumps to 11th as Rosberg takes points (Mercedes race review)

Buemi passed Schumacher for eighth place

Buemi passed Schumacher for eighth place

Michael Schumacher’s move on Felipe Massa came under scrutiny after the Canadian Grand Prix – but the stewards rightly concluded the Mercedes driver had done nothing wrong.

The same goes for his early dice with Robert Kubica, although that left him with a puncture which compromised his race.

Meanwhile team mate Nico Rosberg had a quiet run to a points finish, extending the gap between the two Mercedes drivers.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 13 10
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’16.492 (+0.491) 1’16.001
Race position 11 6
Average race lap 1’22.388 (+1.108) 1’21.279
Laps 69/70 70/70
Pit stops 3 2

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Michael Schumacher

A frustrating weekend for Schumacher began with a poor qualifying session and ended with him being squeezed out of the points on the final lap.

He failed to make it into Q3 having been almost half a second slower than Rosberg in Q2. Schumacher started on the medium tyres, lining up 13th behind both the Williams drivers.

He dodged the first-lap carnage and moved up to eighth place, but also picked up some front wing damage by tagging the rear of Kubica’s Renault. Schumacher rose briefly to third as the drivers in front pitted. A well-timed pit stop brought him out of the pits in front of Kubica, who he had been behind.

Schumacher kept Kubica behind at turn three, both of them taking to the grass at the corner. He came in for some criticism for this on BBC’s broadcast but I saw nothing wrong with it myself and nor, it seems, did Kubica. But he picked up a puncture going off the track and had to make another pit stop.

As Mercedes split their drivers’ strategies it’s hard to compare their lap times, but even when Schumacher was on new mediums from lap 15, he was over a second per lap off Rosberg’s pace on more worn medium tyres.

In retrospect it’s easy to criticise Mercedes’ decision to send him out on a third set of medium tyres as he was inevitably going need another pit stop. With the benefit of hindsight this was an opportunity to get the super-soft stint out of the way.

Instead, Schumacher came back in for his third pit stop of the race on lap 33, embarking on a huge 37-lap stint on the super-soft tyres.

Schumacher’s defensive driving on his badly worn tyres was as ruthless as ever, although Sebastien Buemi made it past cleanly.

Felipe Massa did not, striking the rear of the Mercedes as Schumacher braked early then moved to cover his line for the chicane.

The stewards decided there was nothing wrong with the move – and they were right. The replays clearly showed Schumacher did not make more than the allowed number of moves to defend. He may well have braked earlier than expected but, given the state of his tyres, Massa should have been more circumspect.

However Schumacher probably should have been warned for cutting the final chicane while defending his position from Vitantonio Liuzzi in the closing stages of the race.

Regardless, Liuzzi elbowed him aside halfway around the final lap and Sutil took him at the last corner to grab the final point. A race to forget for the seven-times champion.

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

Nico Rosberg

Started from tenth but was badly delayed by the Massa-Liuzzi crash and slipped to 13th. He binned his super-soft tyres at the end of lap five and thereafter ran a ‘correct’ strategy with two sets of medium tyres.

With Kubica starting on the medium tyres, and tangling with his team mate, Rosberg was promoted to sixth when the Renault driver pitted 11 laps from the end. Although Kubica quickly caught him again, Rosberg still had 1.2 seconds in hand at the finishing line.

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

2010 Canadian Grand Prix

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80 comments on Schumacher slumps to 11th as Rosberg takes points (Mercedes race review)

  1. sw6569 (@sw6569) said on 14th June 2010, 12:08

    you just have to wonder with Ross Brawn. Moments of genius throughout his entire career, yet one of the most ridiculous strategies for Schumacher in Canada.

    I know that his tyres were damaged after the Kubica incident, but I do wonder why they didn’t bring him in for another set of tyres about 15 laps before the race when he became noticeably slower. Unless of course they didn’t have any more tyres, which in itself is a strategic mistake!

  2. Electrolite said on 14th June 2010, 12:08

    By the end of the race he was battling for a mere point, and ruthlessly so, like stated in the article. A poor weekend but proving once again he’s competitive as he ever was.

  3. Personally I loved Schumi’s “move” on Massa, particularly because he took advantage of Massa’s own stupidity (as you kind of point out – albeit more politely than me).

    But overall I am surprised that he was not penalised for at least one of his moves in this race. They were all ruthless to the point of being very unsporting. He deserved at the very least a Paddington Hard Stare from someone.

    I think that in the end the Stewards probably decided that a penalty would make no difference to anybody’s race, and therefore neither did the incidents they caused, so let it go.

    • Mark said on 14th June 2010, 16:01

      Your conclusion is probably the truth of it. Penalising him just wasn’t worth it.

      But all his cutting the chicane moves were bang out of order.

  4. Sami said on 14th June 2010, 12:10

    Everything was going against him in this race, despite this i think he still one of the best drivers on the circuit, if you see that before th accident with kubica, he was doing a great job, unfortunately after this everything start to work against him.

    • D Maheshkumar said on 16th June 2010, 10:05

      Yes,Michael is one of the greatest drivers in Formula one.The media,people criticising will be answered very shortly by him in this season.
      Everyone says that decision to comeback to race is wrong.But No one is thinking about his interest and passion he has in racing.In the Age of 41,He was racing with full confidence is itself an achievement.
      New young racers will win due to their top speed cars,But Michael will make this mercedes GP car to top level and win the race.He will make both the car and him to be in the Podium very soon.Thats the Champion racer.

      Critcisms will not make him go down,It will only the steps for his upcoming success.

  5. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 14th June 2010, 12:14

    I agree on Schumacher, I don’t see why everyone made such a fuss about his role in the incidents with Massa and Kubica. They’re racing cars not baking cakes, of course he needs to be aggressive. How else could he have won 7 World Championships?!

    In fact, the more I think about it the more impressed I am with Schumachers performance yesterday. To still be in with a chance of points after 37 consecutive laps on the Super Softs is actually pretty impressive

    • Dianna said on 14th June 2010, 12:23

      Brawn admitted that the team messed up on the tyre changes.So what is so terrible about that?
      Michael “RE – MADE” Ferrari during his time with them,but that took many years of lean years for the team..
      The crash between Vettel and Webber in Turkey,looked remarkably dangerous to me,but no punishment there,only a slap on the back and cuddles.
      Leave the older drivers alone,they bring a lot of experience back to the tracks,despite Martin Brundles side quips.

    • Katy (@katy) said on 14th June 2010, 19:52

      Haha it’s cos he’s Schumacher, he’s one of those drivers that it’s fun to hate apparently. I don’t get the big fuss, the only moment this race I was like
      :-O what on Earth?!
      Was Kubica going into the pits around Sutil, looked mental haha.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 14th June 2010, 20:29

      Well with the Massa incident it’s pretty clear that he chopped across him, leaving him no room on the outside whatsoever.

      Wait, why are you defending Schumacher and I’m criticising him!

  6. Sush Meerkat said on 14th June 2010, 12:23

    A big thanks to Legard during the Schumacher Kubica battle, he told us that the Renault was the car with the yellow and black livery, I almost forgot.

    Thats extraordinary!.

  7. GP4 Carl said on 14th June 2010, 12:32

    Any ideas why Brundel has such a downer of Shumi?

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th June 2010, 12:43

      The commentators make their judgements in the heat of the moment, I get to watch the video replays and look at the data before I write this. I’m not criticising them, I just don’t agree on this one.

      What I would say in the Massa case is if Schumacher had braked significantly earlier for that corner than he had been doing previously I’m sure the stewards would have had him.

      We’ve seen countless times before drivers are allowed to deviate from their line to defend and then move back towards the corner to take the line – providing there isn’t someone alongside them (which Massa wasn’t). Claiming Schumacher ‘made two moves’ was wrong, and the stewards’ verdict reflected that.

      • GP4 Carl said on 14th June 2010, 12:53

        I agree with you Keith.

        With Massa, Shumis rubber was shot, so he had to brake early and take the racing line to make the chicane. Massas crew should have made massa aware of that, might have stopped Massa sailing into the back of Michael.

        I do think that the Kubica chop as he came out the pits was very hard, but, he only changed line once, so possible “fair”. And as for them both cutting the grass at the next corner, well, if Shumi had Not cut the grass, he would have speared Kubicas Renault.

        As for the Commentators. I would expect, if anyone, for DC to have a downer on Shumi moves, yet he seems very understanding. But Martin really saw the negative. And continued to do so after the race and during the Forum, when one assumes he would have had time to reflect. Or maybe I am cross remembering him with EJ, who I think called it Shumachers worst race ever……

        Will need to re-watch race and forum a few more times. Was great entertainment. :)

        • I agree with GP4 Carl. I don’t see what more Schumi could have done more. the strategy after coming together with Kubica was terrible, and I don’t understand what the team was thinking. Whether it a call made by Brawn, Schumi, or his Engineer, they need to sit down together and start making better decisions. They also had a terrible strategy in China leading to Schumi losing his tires towards the end.

          On the Commentators, I only watched the Forum. I watched the race on Speed (terrible commentary, but not as opinionated as BBC).

          All three of them (Brundle, EJ, and DC) dumped on Schumacher.

          EJ: Who cares what he has to say, he was the one who called this Schumacher’s worst race ever, and then Brundle agreed with him.

          Brundle: During the forum I believe Brundle said that Schumacher “Lacked judegement” was “clumsy” and his performance was that of rookie not ready for Formula 1. That was regarding the Kubica incident. How do you want him to turn in when Kubica, on the inside line, is not turning? I know you can’t do that from karting. If someone is blocking you way, you have to go off.

          That was the aggressive driving of someone who has won races and championships in Formula 1, someone should tell Brundle what that feels like.

          DC then went on about how a leopard doesn’t change his spots about how Schumacher moved back to the racing line when fighting with Massa. Even Smedly agreed that Schumacher did not have the tires to brake normally. If that is true the DTM drivers won’t have to worry about DC challenging for the championship.

          I think Schumacher will challenge for the championship next year or the year after. He is going to push Merc to build the car he needs, and he still has what it takes. His driving, whether you like Schumacher or not, is just as good and has the raw aggression that he has always had and I cannot wait to watch him race in a better car rest of the year and next year.

          • Carl, rantsonf1, keith; you have all summarized my thinking, but much more nicely. He was tough, the kind of tough that makes you a seven time world champ, there has been a bit of an overreaction.

          • F1 is more entertaining with the presence of the legend. He only shows how skillfull he is. Tha’s fantastic to watch. Lets say it wasn’t Michael who drives that “prey car”. Surely no Massa incident, no kubica or Luizzi fighting. It it will be passed realy easy and forgetable. Where’s the excitement? MS is a good thing for Formula One…

      • Patrickl said on 14th June 2010, 15:36

        This has nothing to do with braking early. You are not allowed to change line in the braking zone. Massa is braking at the maximum and Schumacher flings his car across.

        That’s something done by rookies, but in F1 it has no place.

        Still, Kobayashi did the same last year in Interlagos and he got away with it too.

        • Kobayashi was a rookie, of course….

          But yes, this stuff about Schumacher “not making two moves” is essentially a strawman, as I don’t think many people were claiming that. The real issue, as you say, is that he changed his line in the braking zone. I maintain that Schumacher should have been at least given a grid penalty for that, though I would personally have imposed a one race ban.

          • Jean said on 15th June 2010, 13:04

            a one race ban ? I would have thought you would have been a bit more severe than that , like his retirement in favour of Brundle taking his seat ?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th June 2010, 23:03

          You are not allowed to change line in the braking zone.

          Have we ever seen anyone get punished for that? Rubens Barrichello caused an almighty pile-up doing it at Australia in ’02 and got nothing.

      • GWbridge said on 14th June 2010, 20:37

        I think you guys need to have a little patience with Schumacher. Once he gets the rust off, he’ll surely be able to stop cutting corners and won’t need to defend by running people off the track. Mercedes needs to custom-design a third car that better suits his driving style, perhaps something with deflector shields. After all, our cell phones way beyond what Kirk had in the Original Series, and force fields must have kept pace. Perhaps a button on the steering wheel linked to a matter transmitting device that simply re-materialize him beyond the twisty bits or beyond cars that are slow but still faster than his. After all, F1 has always been at the apex of technology, and we are in the 21st century, after all. Give him time, and Schumi will make believers out of you all.

        • HounslowBusGarage (@hounslowbusgarage) said on 14th June 2010, 21:49

          How many races would you give a rookie to ‘bed himself in’?
          Schu has had quite enough races to ‘get the rust off’.
          I’m beginning to think the man has gone to seed.

          • GWBridge said on 15th June 2010, 3:45

            Do I correctly perceive that you missed the intended humor?

          • Mike said on 15th June 2010, 12:30

            He really makes for some great viewing, either because you love him, and he’s skilfully defending a position, Or you hate him, and OMG he’s pushed them off the road again! the nerve!

            It’s all good for F1.

          • David A said on 16th June 2010, 1:50

            Ideally, you’d give a rookie a season to “bed themnselves in”, like even Nelson Piquet Jr got.

      • BasCB said on 17th June 2010, 8:54

        I think you are right here Keith to a extent.

        As far as Brundle is involved (and the other live commentator), i think they are doing as good as possible with reacting instantly.

        But i am a little bit sorry to see, that they digged themselves in more and more during after race analyses and even with comments afterwards. You get the facts better and Schumi comes out not great, but not horrible as well, so a lot more balanced.
        I would like the BBC team to take a more balenced look as well, with the hindsight of having looked at the incident and circumstances.

    • glue said on 14th June 2010, 12:49

      I think it was a matter of opinion, not of spite..Brundle has always been balanced with his commentary regarding Schumacher, with criticism and praising whenever it was adequate (Jerez 1997, “you’ve hit the wrong part of him, my friend” springs to mind, don’t know why)..this time I think he voiced his opinion in the context where it’s relative whether he was within the limits or not, with all these variables involved (his used tyres, his will to finish in the points combined with his ruthlessness), as the ‘vox populi’ of the F1 community isn’t definite on neither ‘slay him’ or ‘leave him be’

    • Dr Skyhook said on 14th June 2010, 22:48

      Brundle was spot on (as usual). Awful race for the German.

  8. DGR-F1 said on 14th June 2010, 13:15

    So what was wrong with him, or his car in Qualifying and the Race? Has anybody at Mercedes commented on this? How can the ‘inexperienced’ Rosberg beat him so conclusively on a track which as an ex-WC, he is supposed to know intimately?
    And why are we allowing the ex-WC to get away with such idiotic moves? Has he forgotten how to defend without hitting the other car or driving it off the track?
    If you are going to blame Vettel for dangerous driving in one race, you have to blame Old Schuey for exactly the same thing in another, especially since he is supposed to represent the very best of F1 drivers!

    • Todfod said on 14th June 2010, 21:36

      I think Schumi got a ‘Get out of jail free’ card after Monaco this year, and I think he used it in this race.

      Additionally, its kind of sad to see the ego crushing Schumacher has suffered this year. Schumacher wasn’t going anywhere in race anyways, so, I guess they just let him be. Hopefully, Schumacher will get lapped enough in the next few races to throw in the towel and let a more deserving driver take the seat.

  9. ashes1991 said on 14th June 2010, 13:20

    Wonder when Schumi’s neck injury comes back?

  10. Jomy John said on 14th June 2010, 13:27

    There was nothing wrong with the way he drove. In fact, I think it was by far one of the best races he has had this season. The incident with Kubica was the highlight of the race. I have never ever seen anyone in the history of FORMULA1 ever manage to keep his position being on the outside line to turn 4th. Was in a pub and everyone cheered when Schumi made that move. It was Schumacher at his brilliant best. Its just that luck isnt favoring him much this time around. Plus, Mercedes are going cock-eyed with his strategies. I thoroughly enjoyed the race with Schumi

    • David A said on 14th June 2010, 13:39

      Yep, nice to know that he’s still willing to fight to the death!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th June 2010, 13:52

      Hmm. Definitely wouldn’t say it was one of his best. He was off pace in qualifying and the race. Not as bad as Shanghai but still bad.

      • Jomy John said on 15th June 2010, 8:56

        There is a difference here, you are a neutral and I am totally a Pro-schumi fan. I never really enjoyed him winning with no competition in 2002 and 2004. A lot of his fans are the ones who were used to seeing him push the boundaries and more. Id anyday settle to see a hard-fighting Schumacher down in 11th rather than a tame Pole to Victory kinda victory. Is anyone really impressed by Rosberg’s finish to 6th place??? There are some drivers who drive a straight forward race and get the points and there are the others who just like to live on the edge. Its what makes him unique I believe. Fight till death :)

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th June 2010, 9:06

          Is anyone really impressed by Rosberg’s finish to 6th place?

          Given where his seven-times-champion team mate finished, yes…

          • Alias J said on 15th June 2010, 10:37

            Yeah right.

            Rosberg drove just like any other grade A driver. Schumacher drove as if he was fighting for the World Championship and only a single point and his life depended on it.

            The point is Schumacher is already 7-times WDC, but Rosberg has hasn’t even won a race! The roles should be reversed actually! How often do you see, where a 41-year old who’s won it all still has FAR MORE FIRE AND HUNGER than a 20 years younger and faster driver who still hasn’t won a race?

            The fact that Schumacher is just as fast as Rosberg is but still has FAR MORE SUPERIOR RACECRAFT than the kid is absolutely mind-blowing!

          • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 15th June 2010, 10:43

            Schumacher drove as if he was fighting for the World Championship

            No he didn’t. Rosberg did.

          • Jomy John said on 15th June 2010, 13:00

            Rosberg didnt drive like he was going for the World Championship, he kinda just lucked into it. I mean, if we reverse the roles and lets say Rosberg was in the same position in the duel with Kubica – what could we all have expected? He would have just settled behind Kubica for the points. Thats why the majority of the world LOVE SCHUMACHER. Becuz he isnt going to settle. Remember Hungary 1996, he was in the fight for the world championship – but he didn’t care and never relented until he was forced to retire. He was that same racer at Montreal.

          • Jomy John said on 15th June 2010, 13:02

            oopps that should be hungary 2006

        • BasCB said on 17th June 2010, 8:56

          It seems Rosberg himself is pretty much satisfied as well ( http://adamcooperf1.com/2010/06/16/nico-rosberg-you-need-to-wait-and-see-where-we-are-in-valencia/ ).
          And i think he is doing a great job so far, regularly beating Schumi or not being far off.
          A shame Mercedes made a car that is hard to balance, otherwise both drivers would be racing for victories as well.

  11. Robbie said on 14th June 2010, 13:44

    Putting aside all the Schumacher controversy it’s weird to think that at the start of the season Mercedes were considered one of the top 4 teams when it’s quite clear now they’re actually in the midfield. Sure, Rosberg’s doing alright but when they’re generally fighting with Force India and Renault (the latter of which I think are actually in the top 4) just to scrape in a point then it’s obvious that Ross Brawn has taken a huge step backwards from last year, even with the world’s most successful F1 driver in his team…

    • Jomy John said on 14th June 2010, 13:48

      its the colder temperatures that are catching them out. They still havent figured out the optimum way to utilize those tyres.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th June 2010, 13:53

      Yeah my pre-season prediction of a Schumacher championship isn’t looking too great. I didn’t think it would take him so long to get up to speed and I certainly didn’t think last year’s constructors’ champions would build the fourth-fastest car.

      • It was the fourth-fastest car in Canada. But in Turkey they were clearly ahead of Ferrari. The exact pecking order seems to change from race to race, and a lot is to do with the characteristics of the circuit rather than the development race.

        But in general, I think Mercedes need to be more worried about Renault behind them than Ferrari ahead of them.

    • Patrickl said on 14th June 2010, 15:40

      Rosberg was doing fine in that Merc. he was just unlucky with the accident between Liuzzi and Massa, while Schuamcher was lucky that he got around.

      Rosberg drove a pretty solid race after that though. He finished in P6 (behind the McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bulls).

      • BasCB (@bascb) said on 15th June 2010, 8:47

        But if Schumi would not have suffered the puncture during the fight with Kubica, he might have ended up in quite a different place as he would have certainly waited with pitting for another 15-20 laps.

        Hard to call, at least we can see Schumacher is fighting with all he has got, the rust is gone.

  12. Sulman said on 14th June 2010, 14:46

    Remember that Brawn mentioned a while ago the car fundamentally isn’t quite working properly yet, even with the wheelbase change the car is inconsistent on the tyres. It looked good in practice, but then it just went away over the course of the weekend.

    There’s a good piece on Craig Scarborough’s tech blog about the W01 here, that talks about some of the fundamental isses with the design. http://scarbsf1.wordpress.com/2010/04/28/mercedes-mgp-w01-spanish-update-predictions/

    James

    • DaveW said on 14th June 2010, 17:04

      The Speed commentators made uncited claims that Mercedes had stopped the funding for ’10 car development and that they were moving on to 2011. I would expect Mercedes to try to get to a clean sheet as soon as possible, but I’m sure Schumacher did not come out of retirement to help Mercedes develop a car from scratch over a period of a couple seasons.

  13. Mark said on 14th June 2010, 16:00

    Sorry but your conclusion and the stewards conclusion doesn’t seem right to me. He moved once to the right to defend the corner and then moved back to the left to block.

    Presumably the logic is that the earlier move to the right on the straight wasn’t a “move” but that seems a rather loose interpretation to me.

    The key point from this race is that Schuie had a truly awful race to add to his catalogue of poor performances this season. His return is not going to be his most glorious decision.

    • In general you are allowed to make one move to block an overtake down a straight, then one more move to take the “normal” line for the following corner. What you’re not allowed to do is weave repeatedly down the straight (unless you’re trying to “break the tow,” of course), or change your line in the braking zone (which is what Schumi did, but never mind….)

    • Patrickl said on 14th June 2010, 19:32

      I was wondering what they (Legard and Brundle) meant about the double move too.

      I watched it back and I think they are confused about the slight bend that’s in the straight. The cars hit the apex there and the cars look to be moving right and left again when they go through that. It’s simply the racing line though.

      The number of moves is (should be) compared against the racing line. I didn;t see Schumacher make two moves.

      What he did do was move left to take the line and then during braking move further left. That should not be allowed, but I think it’s more a gentlemen’s agreement among drivers. Since Schumacher isn’t a gentleman he obviously cannot be held to such agreements.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 14th June 2010, 23:02

      He moved once to the right to defend the corner and then moved back to the left to block.

      Which, as we have seen time and time again, is allowed.

  14. Todfod said on 14th June 2010, 19:16

    Is anyone happy with the fact that Rosberg has more than double the points that Schumacher has. I was hoping Schumi would get a little bit of an ass whooping on his return, but this is ridiculous.

  15. Nuevo said on 14th June 2010, 23:21

    Its funny reading the Shue posts..you can tell who likes him and who hates him…I think both moves, Kube and the Massa chop were poor moves done by a driver I expected more from..sure his tires were shot, still, for 1 poster to suggest that it was Ferrari’s fault for not telling Massa that MS’s brakes are shot, you better back off….is incrediously innane….Anyone who has seen more than 3 GP’s could tell that the difference in speed between the Merc and the Ferrari was so huge, that the only right thing for Shue to do wouldve been to get out of the way…let me say that again…get..out..of..the..way…
    Its ok to defend, but to defend and ruin another drivers race is not cool…Im not going to sit here n say Shue is done as a racer..thats not the truth, and he may win again as soon as Ross gets it together, but man, the guy had a lousy race…Even the Shue lovers could see that…

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