Schumacher “concerned” by Mercedes performance

F1 Fanatic round-up

In today’s round-up, Michael Schumacher reveals his concerns over the Mercedes, a strange story abut Robert Kubica, and look out for me on “The Fastest Lap” next week:


Top F1 links from the past 24 hours:

Michael Schumacher ‘concerned’ about Mercedes pace (BBC)

“Yes, we are slightly concerned but then on the other hand we know where we will and want to go to.”

Church leaders rely on late Pope John Paul II’s blood for Robert Kubica’s return to F1 (Daily Telegraph)

“Some observers believe the church may be trying to hijack Kubica?s predicament for their own ends. Pope John Paul II is due to be beatified on May 1, a crucial step on the road to sainthood, a process which requires the proof of miracles. After his spectacular accident in Montreal in 2007, Kubica distanced himself from reports that his survival was a miracle in the John Paul II beatification process.”

12 Feb: Test Report – Jerez – Day Three (McLaren)

“A shortage of spares meant Lewis was only able to record 36 laps during the third day of this week?s Jerez test. While this hampered running, on-the-spot repairs were effected, and the relevant new components will be delivered overnight ahead of tomorrow?s running.”

#7 TFL Episode Preview & Senna Movie news (YouTube)

I’m going to be on Peter Windsor’s “The Fastest Lap” next week. Note to self: get haircut…

MVR02 Launch Timo the TV Director (YouTube)

First Lotus Renault test: Nick on P1 (Nick Heidfeld)

“Nick and the team evaluated a new floor upgrade. Pressure tapping and flow viz paint allowed the engineers to verify its aero characteristics. Also he ran back-to-back tests on all four Pirelli tyre compounds for the first time. This confirmed the different degradation rates and variations in new tyre performance. Nick and his team played around with the set-up early on and changed a few things during the day ?ǣ this included the weight distribution and the toes and cambers for the Pirelli tyres.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Nick Heidfeld looks a shoo-in for the Renault seat and that suits chimpymech just fine:

Heidfeld is the most under rated F1 driver of recent history, he?s done a solid job with the equipment at his disposal ?ǣ and with a little luck could have achieved a lot more.

He?s not the glamour choice but I?m an F1 fan not a glitz fan. Give Nick another chance, he deserves it!

From the forum

Who’s up for watching the Daytona 500?

Happy birthday!

A bumper batch of birthdays today – all the best to Sparky, shyguy2008, Sebastien Carter, geo132 and Jason!

On this day in F1

Jim Clark won the fifth race of the 1966 Tasman series at Warwick Farm 45 years ago today.

With F1 engine sizes increasing from a maximum of 1.5 litres to 3.0, Clark raced a Lotus fitted with a 2.5-litre Coventry Climax engine.

Graham Hill was second in a BRM ahead of Frank Gardner (Brabham) and Jackie Stewart (BRM).

Image ?? Mercedes

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80 comments on Schumacher “concerned” by Mercedes performance

  1. Hare (@hare) said on 13th February 2011, 0:10

    Love Peter Windsor…. Feel sorry about the USF1 debacle. TFL shows his deep love, appreciation and knowledge of the history of the sport. He has a real approachable and warm nature. I’m pleased for him.

    Added to that! I’ve really enjoy his TFL so far, despite a few technical issues with showing images last week when scarbs was on…:)

    • Hare (@hare) said on 13th February 2011, 1:16

      Although it does seem the technical AV staff, are in fact monkeys…?

      • US_Peter said on 13th February 2011, 2:56

        It would seem he’s had quite a few tech problems so far. I think they’re trying to do it all on a few computers, when they really need some proper audio gear, and a video mixer, and at least one person with some ability to operate it.

    • Hamish said on 13th February 2011, 1:33

      Yea I always refer to him as the “better half” of USF1. You have to give the man credit. He has one thing that many other media/journos don’t have – passion.

      • damonsmedley (@damonsmedley) said on 13th February 2011, 4:58

        And he’s someone who will never ignore you. He always replies to my tweets which is really kind.

        • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 13th February 2011, 7:14

          Yeah, he seems very down to earth. He’s also very outspoken about the need for F1 to expand in the US, which of course makes him popular with F1 fans in the US, despite the USF1 debacle, which from all accounts was single handedly ruined by Ken Anderson.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th February 2011, 9:53

      I was a bit sceptical of this TFL idea working, but I must say I have thoroughly enjoyed seeing Bruno Senna, Webber, De La Rosa, Scrabs, etc. on the show, and the guest appearance of both Virgin drivers last time.

      It really makes it worth watching and Windsor does a good job to make it worthwile for the guests as well.

      Great news you’ll be there Keith.

  2. JT19 (@jt19) said on 13th February 2011, 0:13

    Just thought I would mention (please don’t bite my head off because I have guys)……

    It’s the 5th and 6th round of F1Fanatic JUNIOR Championship on Sunday 10am GMT. colinff is leading the championship but I will do my all to win these 2 races.

    I expect it to be on the ‘from the forum’ Keith, haha only messing ;)

  3. Hare (@hare) said on 13th February 2011, 0:20

    Tempted to comment on the Catholic issue, however it’ll probably spawn a whole load of emotion fever from both sides… So I’m just dipping my finger in the water here with this comment. I’m sure someone will have something to say about it.

  4. Ned Flanders (@ned-flanders) said on 13th February 2011, 0:23

    Err… happy birthday to everyone! But especially shyguy and geo132 since they’re the two names I actually recognise.

    Some observers believe the church may be trying to hijack Kubica’s predicament for their own ends

    You’d think the church would be above that sort of thing, wouldn’t you?! John Paul had absolutely nowt to do with saving Kubica’s life either in 2007 or 2010, end of story. Is the Pope a nationalist? Does he only save his fellow Pole’s?? I can think of a fair few drivers over the years who would’ve appreciated his intervention…

    Robert Kubica’s survival of his Montreal crash was down to one thing only- a remarkably safe car. In fact, if anyone deserves beatification for Kubica’s survival, it’d be Max Mosley… and that is one thing I NEVER thought I’d hear myself say!!

    • Hare (@hare) said on 13th February 2011, 0:34

      Is the Pope a Nationalist? Well he’s an ex-pope. So perhaps ‘was’ would be better suited.

      Max Mosley being compared to the Pope….. Pope Mosley. The most historically ironic oxymoron I can remember hearing for a long time, if ever!

      • Feynman said on 13th February 2011, 5:26

        I seem to recall the Vatican being quite the fan of the Third Reich, Pope Mosley aint such a stretch.

        It’s a joke: micro-surgeons and science stitching and rebuilding an arm … and someone with his shirt collar on backwards sitting out in the waiting room with a vial of Pope Juice. If he really wanted that sainthood, he would have used his magic powers to make sure that armco got welded properly.

        • Hahaha, very good. But so far we haven’t seen any proof that Mosley has the pedophile tendency which is far too often the case among the so-called holy men from the Catholic Church…
          Religious freedom = Freedom from Religions, or so it should be. What ever You believe is a private matter – as soon as someone tries to institutionalize it, it goes wrong and often becomes far too political…

    • joolsy (@joolsy) said on 13th February 2011, 1:14

      I read that its mostly thanks to Prof Sid Watkins for the ideas and MM only implemented them…..good lad Sid!

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th February 2011, 10:06

      I join in with the Birthday greetings. And also agree with your comment on the church / clan getting JP II for a shorttrack to sainthood.

  5. hey, is it just me or is it possible Renault (ye I refuse to call
    Mclaren ‘vodafone’ so Renault gets the same treatment) had shown their hand.

    If we think about it, at some point, even if the team told him not to, heidfeld was gonna drive the wheels off his car. Primarily he’s there to win himself a seat, I doubt he gave a damn about system checks etc. Maybe the pace of the Renault was revealed. Or maybe I’m a cynic. Lol

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th February 2011, 10:02

      Wouldn’t be to sure of that. Williams (with Rubens driving) got half a second below that time today in a pretty similar run.

      Shows all teams have plenty of spare time in their cars, or do you think now Williams shows its speed and might be a race winner.

      That said, the publicity could come in handy for their flotation ;-)

  6. Victor. said on 13th February 2011, 0:40

    As a Pole I can only say that the JPII article reminds me what sort of country I’m from. All we need now is a conspiracy theory (ideally formed by a politician) claiming Kubica’s accident was plotted by the Kremlin. In fact seeing as Heidfeld is set to replace Kubica why not go as far as to say it was a Russo-German agreement to oust the only Pole from F1? Ribbentrop-Molotov all over again.

    • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 13th February 2011, 7:21

      LOL. Start of WWIII?

    • Maciek said on 13th February 2011, 9:20

      Victor – nice one there – and unfortunately only too true. I’ve been (unintentionally) following the story of that medallion for a couple of days now on TVN24 and what strikes me as most risible is that it’s really down to the reporter (or his bosses) who are totally milking this to make themselves a part of the story and probably try to get some kind of super duper ultra special interview with Kubica where they ceremoniously hand over the sainted relic. Pffffffff.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th February 2011, 10:04

      From observation from the contry next door (Czech Republic) I agree with you.

      Sad to see them want to hijack Robert like this, good to see he doesn’t want a bit of it.

  7. Hamish said on 13th February 2011, 1:08

    Congratulations Keith. I think this is testament to the progress you have made and the growing audience as a result of it.

    To quit your job to commit to this full time requires balls, to the extent that many wouldn’t do it for fear of failure. I am pleased it is working out for you and hope that future progress is as rapid as it has been over the last 12 months.

    On a side note – I always thought people over and above us self proclaimed “best drivers in the world” from our couches viewed this site given it is stand out compared to all other sites. Hell, I don’t think I’ve spent more than 2 minutes at a time on I think a few people would be suprised by who actaully views this site from the F1 circus.

  8. Hamish said on 13th February 2011, 1:21

    On a side note. My Father knows I am a big F1 fan and said he used to go to races at Levin (New Zealand) as a kid, which I didn’t think much of. I was going through his old records last night and found a few programmes from 1966-1968. The participants, among others:

    – Derek Bell
    – Jim Clark
    – Piers Courage
    – Graham Hill
    – Phil Hill
    – Timmy Mayer
    – Jochen Rindt
    – Pedro Rodriguez
    – Jackie Stewart
    – Denny Hulme
    – Chris Amon
    – Bruce McLaren
    – Jack Brabham

    Of course, long conversation into the wee hours of the morning proceeded.

  9. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 13th February 2011, 2:01

    They have started their car design way before many team have done but still Schumi isn’t happy about it, seems like Mercedes need to do a lot of work before between now & then until Bahrain.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 13th February 2011, 10:10

      I was starting to feel a bit of deja vu, when Rosberg commented he is looking for the updates coming for Bahrain to get the car up to speed 2 days ago.

      Are we into the Honda doldrums again? Car is not good, ditch it, start new car early only to find out it is … even worse? Or just as bad?

      At least it seems Schumacher himself is better prepared for the season. Looking forward to a german intermezzo for places 5-10 between Sutil, Heidfeld, Schumi and Rosberg. That will be a tight battle, I guess.

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th February 2011, 10:46

        Well, the car does seem to not have the same problems. I think they are better of now, without an inconsistent and hard to set up car, even if it doesn’t have the best pace.

        But on the other hand, it looks like Mercedes GP somehow (again?) forgot to factor in that while they were stopping work on the W01 to get a working W02, Ferrari and McLaren would still be able to keep developing (having learned their need to do so after winter 2008/09), that Red Bull would be able to use development to try and maintain their advantage, and (quite probably) that Renault would use that new windtunnel of theirs to good effect on their own new car.

        But who knows, maybe this time the magic Bahrain update does show up, and turns out so much better than the updates from others thanks to extra time spent on it that they are the fastest come the first race.

        Can’t help but think that is unlikely, and even if it happens, I wonder what happens afterwards. If they always need a lead time over the others they will be caught rather quickly.

  10. Is Schumacher still concerned about Mercedes performance?

    Just to get us back on to the main topic. :)

    • Dianna said on 13th February 2011, 10:42

      No he isn’t that was recorded before Jerez.Trust the BBC to stir the post against Michael

    • Maciek (@maciek) said on 13th February 2011, 11:59

      Yeah, to be honest I haven’t really liked the look of that Mercedes since it was launched. Of course I’m going only by what my eyes can tell me, but compared to the other cars it feels like Merc aimed to find optimal solutions for last year’s template, while other teams have simply gone in other directions. We’ll see, one way or another my fingers are crossed for as many teams fighting it out as possible, and it certainly would be nice to see Schumacher really fighting it out so we can see what he’s got left in him.

  11. manatcna said on 13th February 2011, 2:24

    More smoke and mirrors?

  12. Pking008 said on 13th February 2011, 3:08

    this is ridiculous and i’m suprised no one has picked up on it. i think McLaren (Martin Whitmarsh) is deliberately sabotaging Lewis chances of a good performance this year. In all the test he’s taken part in so far, Lewis has probably driven less laps than any other driver bar those that had car breakdown but when its Jenson’s time, somehow the car is fit enough to drive almost 70 laps. Dont forget, Lewis and of course Jenson didnt partake in the season ending test where Alonso and even the newly crowned champion Vettel were churning up laps after lap of race milage.

    if it contibue at this pace then Lewis might go into the new season having driven less than 150 while his main competitors would have done something in the region of 600 to 700 laps on the new Perillis tyres. hmmmm..

    • outstanding, another nonsense conspiracy theory. 6 days into testing and it’s already started.

    • Hamish said on 13th February 2011, 3:21

      Pking008, most people probably would not reply to such a laughable comment, but heres my 2 cents.

      McLaren is a multimillion dollar business. As a racing team (like any racing team) their sole purpose is to win. Overall Lewis is the better driver of the two. From a commercial perspective a winning Lewis will probably generate more revenue than a winning Jenson. On the basis of that, and a lot of common sense, why on earth would Martin Whitmarsh be sabotaging Lewis’s chances?

      I’m sorry but the pre season strategy of Pking008, or the pre season strategy of the McLaren F1 team – I know which one I would have more faith in.

      With posts like this me thinks its going to be a long season.

      • SundarF1 (@sundarf1) said on 13th February 2011, 7:14

        ROFL. What next? Ross Brawn screwing up Schumi’s comeback because the German stole a banana from him once while at Ferrari?

      • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th February 2011, 10:51

        Well, arguably, Button will need more time to get to grips with KERS (on Friday he only used the button, but not in a fast lap), so maybe his program is very different. Since on Friday Button was mostly getting to know the tyres but didn’t use ARW or KERS in a race simulation, it makes sense to concentrate on that.

        Hamilton knows the team so in that sense it would make sense if he is the main guy to test new things, which tend to be more fragile. He tried the ARW on Thurday, I think, but maybe not a lot – maybe he got the hang of it rather quickly and they were able to focus on other things.

    • Your comment makes so much sense! I can’t believe the level of intelligence you must need to be able to see through the scam! Obviously (well obvious now that you have uncovered the story) Maclaren are fed up at being a successful F1 team and the only way they can think of getting out of it is to sabotage their drivers chances, loose sponsorship and go bust!

    • Mark Hitchcock (@mark-hitchcock) said on 13th February 2011, 14:12

      this is ridiculous

      If you’re describing your comment then yes, I 100% agree.

      • CarsVsChildren (@carsvschildren) said on 13th February 2011, 15:45

        Is it just me, or have there been more of the lunatic fringe commenting here recently or something? Did PlanetF1 shut down or something?

        • David-A (@david-a) said on 13th February 2011, 16:52

          We’ve had an explosion in ridiculous screen names, (Nico Rosberg to win 2011, Michael, let Nico past for the championship, Michael will kick Britney Rosberg’s Ass 2011), so yeah, we seem to be getting more loonies before the season has even started.

          • Pking008 said on 13th February 2011, 21:44

            y’all can jump of the deep end for all i care. perhaps i wasnt subtle in phrasing my thoughts but unless you are biased, there were some very questionable strategy gone Lewis way last season unless we are making an attempt at selective memory.

            secondly, i find it bizarre that for a team whose drivers have no experience with a new tyre supplier, they can afford to run so few laps especially in the case of Lewis as it always seems to turn out.

            thirdly, the history between Lewis and Whitmarsh is not a particularly happy one. Infact, Whitmarsh more or less sacked Lewis and his dad from the team over an argument of when Lewis should debut in F1 before Ron overruled him. I bet none of you jumping of the deep end knows this. I suggest a bit of research.

            while there is no proof of him being intentionally disadvantaged, one just has to wonder when all these factors are put together. just saying…

          • David-A (@david-a) said on 14th February 2011, 1:48

            there is no proof of him being intentionally disadvantaged

            And that’s why your arguments will always fall down.

  13. I think Mercedes are clearly in some trouble, despite starting on the new earlier than most teams they are not confident about their new car. Renault on the other hand were bringing decent updates on their car last year & even then they got a car which may bring them back at the front, fighting for podiums and wins.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 13th February 2011, 11:10

      And Renault also evolved that front wing at almost every race based on simulation and race/test data, so their understanding of the whole “system” at the front seems to be really good by now, meaning that they could possibly introduce new steps relatively easy too.

      Given that for most of the season Kubica seemed to have the upper hand over Mercedes, I think that it isn’t unlikely they managed to significantly improve their car. Even without Kubica, Heidfeld might keep the R31 equally or further ahead of the Mercedes – it again might come down to Petrov whether Mercedes or Renault end the season better.

      In that sense, Mercedes’ strongest point is their driver pairing, as Schumacher should be back in the game by now and there is no reason why Rosberg would fade (I hope).

  14. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 13th February 2011, 7:27

    Happy birthday to everyone! (whose birthday it is today)

  15. Edward Marshall said on 13th February 2011, 8:12

    I don’t think it’s intentional from Mclaren to short change Lewis in testing time.
    That said it’s not been very well managed, if they wish for another title run they need Hamilton to have the best chance possible!

  16. Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 13th February 2011, 9:34

    “Some observers believe the church may be trying to hijack Kubica’s predicament for their own ends. Pope John Paul II is due to be beatified on May 1, a crucial step on the road to sainthood, a process which requires the proof of miracles. After his spectacular accident in Montreal in 2007, Kubica distanced himself from reports that his survival was a miracle in the John Paul II beatification process.”

    Bernie’s oing to loooooove this …

  17. Did anyone catch the V8 Supercars race from Abu Dhabi? It was easily the most entertaining race Ive seen from the circuit (thats not really saying much though…)

    The last few laps were real edge of your seat moments.

  18. Happy birthday to everyone!

  19. TomD11 (@tomd11) said on 13th February 2011, 11:10

    Keith, before Peter sees it, is it not ‘The Flying Lap’ as opposed to ‘The Fastest Lap’?

  20. Dafffid (@dafffid) said on 13th February 2011, 12:24

    “I know nothing about this,” he said at the time. “I don’t know by whom I was saved.”

    Ah man – the Poles speak better English than us… :P

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