Schumacher: Mercedes face “major job”

2011 Australian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2011

Michael Schumacher says Mercedes face a “major job” to improve their car after he failed to reach the top ten in qualifying.

Schumacher said the team didn’t understand why they were off the pace after going well in pre-season testing:

“After winter testing, coming to the first race we had expected different performance so, naturally, there is some disappointment.

“The times we’ve done in testing, they were very clear and we had a good interpretation, we didn’t manage this performance here and we have to understand why we didn’t. And that’s going to be the major job that we have in front of us.”

He missed out on Q3 by a tenth of a second despite using fresh soft tyres in Q2:

“The soft tyres was working for more than one lap so I used that for first qualifying and second qualifying, and then went to a new set after.

“We had a bit of issues with KERS not working so it was a bit of an inconsistent session. But anyway, I don’t know exactly what was the problem with Nico [Rosberg], but over the weekend we are not where we are supposed to be.”

He said that even with the Drag Reduction System overtaking may not prove easy in tomorrow’s race:

“You need to be quicker to be able to overtake! If I am slower all those gimmicks don’t help you very much. We’ll find out.”

2011 Australian Grand Prix

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30 comments on Schumacher: Mercedes face “major job”

  1. Eggry (@eggry) said on 26th March 2011, 8:18

    Yes, to use DRS, you should close to the guy front of you. Actually it’s useful only when you’re fast but behind of him. Probably it makes no need of team order such as “Fernando is faster than you”, but I’m in doubt that it would really make more overtake. gap between teams and drivers looks like huge than last year.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 26th March 2011, 8:25

      I found that remark by Schumi pretty good! He is right though, being slower does not give you much to use that DRS for.

      It seems the KERS might be a bit better packaged and better balanced than in 2009, but who did not report problems with theirs so far?
      Ferrari, but they were pretty much off the pace here anyhow. Hm.

      • Patrickl (@patrickl) said on 26th March 2011, 10:11

        If his remark makes sense then why do people wonder why there is no overtaking in F1? They start in order of who is fastest, so why expect any overtaking at all?

        Of course DRS won’t give him the win, but even for a midfielder there are opportunities for overtakes.

        For instance, Buemi is ahead of him, but he really should be slower than Schumacher.

    • Gnarly Racing (@) said on 26th March 2011, 10:03

      You can still pass another bloke somewhere else on the circuit though – out where you can’t use the adjustable wing – and maybe he won’t be expecting it.

      In theory,it should be easier now the double diffusers are banned and KERS is back.

      Can’t wait to see tomorrow if the more switched-on drivers (Schumacher, Alonso etc) try this, or does everyone just wait for the pit straight to make their move.

      At least from 11th he can choose his tyres and do something different from those in front.

  2. US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th March 2011, 8:19

    Sounds like they misjudged their pace by a lot. I would expect better from Ross Brawn and co.

  3. Icthyes said on 26th March 2011, 8:21

    Catalunya and Albert Park are two different circuits, Sepang will be a better test for them.

    Also, any How I Met Your Mother fans should be saluting the headline ;-)

  4. Todfod (@todfod) said on 26th March 2011, 8:27

    Schumi isn’t in all that bad a starting position. He can start on the hard tyres, and maybe go through the race with one pit stop less than the top 10 qualifiers.

    • Bigbadderboom said on 26th March 2011, 11:22

      Very true. He will probably start on hards and work his way through after the first early stops for the top 10 and he may be able to consolodate that position, I think race pace will be very different to single lap performance as the tyre degredation may come to some cars characteristics more than others.

      • US_Peter (@us_peter) said on 26th March 2011, 18:24

        And with the more stops than last year, that type of strategy may be more effective this year as well. Brawn and Schumacher were always masters of strategy. Let’s see what they can do tomorrow.

  5. Stefanauss (@stefanauss) said on 26th March 2011, 8:28

    There’s a strange, recurring number between Rosberg and Schumacher. Really A LOT of times, Schumacher is slower than Rosberg by 0.350s (thousand more, thousand less). Odd precision.

  6. Damon said on 26th March 2011, 9:15

    Schumacer cannot cope with these young guns. He simply isn’t fast enough to be at the front. It’s going to be the same as 2010, maybe worse for him. The 7x world champ is vastly overrated

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 26th March 2011, 13:59

      Agreed, Damon…I’ll give him this…it is only one quali session so far…the race might be different and some of the remaining venues might be kinder to them, and as with the other teams time may allow them to improve…however, to start off like this for MS, once again behind NR and not making the top ten already indicates they will be hard pressed to make podia again, let alone grab wins, and we already know they themselves have said they won’t be fighting for the WDC, so in my books MS is already out of it…there’s no way they are going to catch up to Red Bull and Ferrari in a timely enough fashion to do anything significant, and even Mac has come out being more of a factor already than most people thought, including Mac.

      Go NR Go…MS…you’re toast! I love it…

  7. Geordie_Porker said on 26th March 2011, 9:39

    I can’t help but disagree with MSc here – McLaren face a ‘major job’ to catch RBR. Everyone else needs a miracle…

  8. infishan (@infishan) said on 26th March 2011, 13:45

    They r slow. Simple as that.

  9. verstappen said on 26th March 2011, 13:53

    Yeah, that was a big disappointment. Being 11th I can live with, some teams just have done some extra homework and are more at the front than in testing.

    But losing out to Nico, that is truly disppointing. It would be so nice if Schumi really got back!

  10. marcblondino said on 26th March 2011, 14:05

    Truly I’m very disapointed. Brawn lost his imagination & Schumacher lost his lion heart. They have all – money, sponsors, real good backup but they give us nothing but promises. Altogether I’m losing my faith and patiance. Beacuse I was always fan of “Mercedes” not individuals conclusion is obvious – they imbarras Three-Pointed star. Put yourself together or go away. It’s enough.

  11. dim23 (@) said on 26th March 2011, 16:24

    Maybe they should try upgrading their front wing? i somehow doubt their content with this “Brawn” wing they are using since 2009; other teams evolved their front wings but not Mercedes, why?! Why at least they didn’t use that wing from Barcelona tests?

  12. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 26th March 2011, 16:53

    Sounds like a typical level-headed approach from Schumacher. Hopefully we will see them further up tomorrow.

  13. letmeshowyou (@) said on 26th March 2011, 17:44

    It’s not just the Mercedes that weren’t as fast as I expected. Ferrari and the Lotus’s (Lotii??) have struggled more than I thought they would. Im hoping Malaysia sees a different trend.

  14. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 27th March 2011, 3:05

    I say what’s wrong with you? Nico qualified to Q3 you didn’t.You need to find out why you didn’t make it there.

  15. F1WorldDriverChampion said on 28th March 2011, 6:46

    Statement of Facts:

    1) One year lead time to design the W02
    2) Beaten by Renault on the day
    3) Fighting with Toro Rosso
    4) Slower than Sauber on Sunday.

    And no, Sauber doesn’t “cheat”. Nobody cheats in F1 on purpose. RBR have a flexing wing as well. That’s not important. The important thing is to be QUICK. The important thing is to WIN.

    Mercedes are just Honda with three-pointed-star branding. They are no better than when Ssangyong was making “fake” Mercedes SUV’s.

    And Schumacher. What’s up with that? How can he be half a second off Rosberg and miss Q3 (again!). KERS was broken? Hello? Everybody’s KERS system was broken. Hamilton pipped Webber’s Red Bull in Qualifying without his KERS system. Both Red Bulls have no KERS system.

    And Bob Bell joining the design team? He was practically booted out by Renault last year, the very benefits of his removal are apparent with Petrov’s podium.

    And no. Australia is not “unusual”. On the contrary, Australia (especially as the season opener) is usually the Barometer of the Season. The winner of Australia frequently goes on to be crowned World Champion.

    Sauber and Red Bull aside, This rebranded Honda squad could not make a faster car even if they intentionally tried to break the rules.

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