Schumacher sixth (Mercedes race review)

The strategies of the Mercedes drivers came into conflict as Michael Schumacher spent half the race stuck behind Nico Rosberg. But could it have been avoided?

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 10 6
Qualifying time comparison (Q3) 1’31.846 (+0.352) 1’31.494
Race position 6 17
Average race lap 1’43.533 (-0.994) 1’44.527
Laps 53/53 47/53
Pit stops 1 1

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Michael Schumacher

Scraped into Q3, eliminating Nick Heidfeld with his last effort in Q2, and lined up tenth on the grid.

A good start followed by a pass on Rubens Barrichello at the later restart moved him up to sixth. But he lost that place when he pitted and fell behind Rosberg – though as explained earlier it looked like the team could have avoided that happening.

Schumacher couldn’t find a way past Rosberg despite being advised on the radio his team mate world “be sensible” if he tried a move. Rosberg’s eventual retirement put him back in sixth at the chequered flag.

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

Nico Rosberg

Seventh in qualifying became sixth on the grid after Lewis Hamilton’s penalty.

Rosberg was passed by Hamilton and Barrichello at the start, so the team pitted him under the safety car to get his mandatory change to the hard tyres out of the way.

This worked out well for Rosberg, pulling him back up to sixth, until a wheel failed at the Dunlop curve on lap 48, causing a heavy crash:

It was a disappointing end to the weekend today. Due to a clutch problem, my start was poor but our strategy was good to change tyres under the safety car on the first lap which enabled me to recover the places and be racing in sixth position.

My tyres were suffering from having done such a long stint so it was tough to maintain a good pace but it was enough to keep Michael behind. Then something broke on the rear of the car and put me into the tyre barrier which ended my race early.
Nico Rosberg

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

2010 Japanese Grand Prix

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47 comments on Schumacher sixth (Mercedes race review)

  1. William Wilgus said on 11th October 2010, 15:12

    Rather un-sportsman-like of Rosberg if Schumi was faster. That’s a rather large Boo! for him.

    • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2010, 15:31

      Not every driver is Massa or Barrichello.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th October 2010, 15:50

      Unsportsmanlike?!? How about Schumi show us some sportsmanlike overtaking once in a while? Not every driver is a Ferrari #2 driver, especially not Rosberg who is faster and has more than double the points of his teammate.
      If Schumi couldn’t overtake Rosberg fair and square with those fresh tyres, I think he should retire at the end of this season.

      • Maksutov said on 11th October 2010, 16:41

        I agree that Rosberg did nothing unsportsmanlike. But dude, im pretty sure Schumacher wont be asking your opinion if he should retire or not. And I am pretty sure he has enough money to buy a whole team and keep racing until he is mentally satisfied to himself that he can or cannot achieve his goals. So stop talking about retiring its getting old.

        • rayan said on 12th October 2010, 5:24

          nice blow to TODFOD from MAKSUTOV

          i clearly agree with the statement….i don know why everybody is bothered about schumi next year….the guys are afraid i hope that he will dominate f1 again………

          • Dianna said on 12th October 2010, 14:09

            rayan **Well said,pity Todfod wouldn’t retire from Schumi bashing,as that is all he ever does day in and day out.Once he realises that MSC is NOT going to retire I just don’t know what he will do,poor man.Peculiar hobby but to each his own I suppose.

            Thankyou to Keith for a very good report on why Schumacher was held up when he was lapping faster than his teammate.

      • @Todfood:Dude you better watch badminton! It suits your way of thinking. lol

      • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2010, 20:27

        How about Schumi show us some sportsmanlike overtaking once in a while?

        He passed Barrichello just fine on Sunday.

      • I am conflicted about this just a bit. On the one had, Schumi was much faster then Rosberg in Suzuka. The problem with Schumi overtaking Rosberg was due in part to having stronger tail wind down the straights. That meant every time Michael got in the Rosberg’s draft, he started hitting the limiter and could not go faster. So the whole Rosberg will be sensible would only come into play if Rosberg made a mistake.

        In hindsight, Rosberg should have let Schumi pass earlier because he would have been able to catch up with Lewis and maybe get a couple of points. On the other hand, Rosberg finishing sixth would have put him ahead of Massa in the WDC.

        It is a toss up, but it was great seeing Schumacher fighting for positions given that he has an equal car interesting article: http://uk.eurosport.yahoo.com/11102010/23/schumacher-mercedes-cars.html

      • Overtaking on a long straight in F1 is difficult , let alone around the high speed corners of Suzuka.

    • Dan Thorn (@dan-thorn) said on 11th October 2010, 16:22

      Why should he have let him through? Mercedes are semi secure for 4th in the constructors and Rosberg is fighting for sixth in the drivers.

    • F1iLike said on 11th October 2010, 21:14

      Unsportsmanlike? thats the stupidest thing I’ve heard.

  2. Mr JoeBlack said on 11th October 2010, 15:26

    what happen in suzuka was ok, but i would really be happy if i saw micheal passing rosberg. now shumi should focus more on the last 3 races, he should be in front of nico for both qualification and the race.
    go shumi go!!!!!!

  3. Schumacher has nothing to prove..He will probably be the best driver ever.Im sure he will do much better next season if Mercedes provide him with a faster car and one that suits him.

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th October 2010, 16:21

      Actually he does have something to prove, and that is exactly why he made his comeback. He wanted to show everyone that he can beat the current generation of F1 drivers. The only problem is that he will never be able to do it. Even if Mercedes gave him a car quicker than any other, he would still have to beat his teammate.. which is pretty much impossible unless they hire Rubens again.

      • Maksutov said on 11th October 2010, 16:48

        Last time I checked, the current so called “generation” of drives you speak of, consists of a large number that Schumacher HAS indeed beaten and not long ago either, or maybe you were too young to remember?

        • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th October 2010, 16:53

          Yeah i was old enough to remember Schumacher beating Hamilton, Vettel, Kubica and Alonso.

          • Alexi (@alexi) said on 11th October 2010, 16:57

            Cross Alonso out and maybe you answer will mean something :D

          • The presence of Schumacher is enough,seeing him race is more than enough regardless of the result…During the drivers parade in Singapore, everyone wen bonkers when he appeared..shouting and waving!!Red Bull fans,Mclaren fans,Ferrari fans,Mercedes fans all alike…

          • Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th October 2010, 17:19

            Actually Alonso was mentioned in there because he beat Schumacher as soon as he got a competitive drive.

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 11th October 2010, 20:10

            Renault were there or there abouts as a top team when Schumacher beat Alonso in 2003 and 2004. Don’t get me wrong, Alonso did very well to beat Schumacher t the title in 2006.

      • sumedh said on 11th October 2010, 19:24

        Drivers’ forms fluctuate year to year a lot. Take Felipe – Kimi, Nick – Robert for example. Next year could throw a complete surprise.

        And Michael is like Alonso in many ways. He does his best when he knows that the team is backing him and only him in the championship. Even Vettel is in a similar mould to these 2, he performed much better in 2009 than in 2010.

        • Robert said on 13th October 2010, 5:01

          You’re going to psychologically profile Sebastien Vettel after less than 3 years in F1? One n a half seasons in a title contending car, that’s enough evidence for you?

      • By that logic he will have to keep racing until he is 100 years old…

        Which for you would be a pity for sure, As I get the feeling you don’t like the guy…

  4. MtlRacer said on 11th October 2010, 16:08

    Did the radio transmission to Schum that aired during the race happen before or after his attempt to pass Nico?
    I would guess before, as he really didn’t seem to try again after the initial attempt.

  5. David B said on 11th October 2010, 17:07

    Schumi did one of his best races in the year, but Nico was fair enough.
    I’m confident Schumacher is going to have a good season end, and a much better one next year.

  6. Todfod (@todfod) said on 11th October 2010, 18:21

    Wondering if anyone was Schumi’s interview after this race
    Its pretty funny when he gets asked “to what point?”

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IZPUPPZjeSs

  7. Burnout said on 11th October 2010, 20:37

    I’m getting a little worried about the strategy calls coming from the Mercedes pitwall. This isn’t the first time they’ve denied themselves of more possible points this season.

    Forget questions about Micheal’s ability (anybody who cheekily grabs a position at the last corner of a race hasn’t lost his racing ability, IMO :D) What I want to know is if it’s the same Ross Brawn who engineered the 3 stop strategy at Hungary ’98 and the 4 stop strategy in France (was it 2006?)

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