Schumacher: “It’s too early to write us off”

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Melbourne, 2011

Michael Schumacher expects Mercedes to perform better after their disappointing start to 2011 in Australia.

Schumacher said: “There is absolutely no doubt we want to do better than in the opening race, which was a disappointment for all of us.

“We clearly see that as a challenge and it is much too early to write us off. Everybody in the team remains positive and is in a fighting mood. So I expect a better weekend for us to come; a weekend we can build on.”

Team principal Ross Brawn said the team had regrouped since the first race in Melbourne: “We endured a difficult weekend at the first race of the season, despite having reasonable expectations after completing a successful testing programme in Barcelona.

“We suffered a number of problems which resulted in a far from optimum car for qualifying and the race, and then were unlucky to suffer a disappointing double retirement for Michael and Nico.

“Our priority since Melbourne has been to regroup back at our factories in Brackley and Brixworth, to review the weekend in detail, and to establish the best way to achieve the full potential of the car from Malaysia onwards. How we respond to the disappointment of Melbourne, and the challenges we faced, will be a true measure of our team.”

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31 comments on Schumacher: “It’s too early to write us off”

  1. RIISE (@riise) said on 1st April 2011, 13:35

    Let’s hope, I want to see Mercedes fighting for a podium in Sepang.

  2. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 1st April 2011, 13:35

    Well, they can’t do much worse than they did on Sunday so I think an improvement is a given…unless we get a couple more DNF’s of course.

    I’m holding out hope for Mercedes, infact, I don’t even feel like I need hope, i’m confident they will be much stronger than last year.

    I really REALLY do hope they’re at least competing with Renault…which would br brilliant given Petrov’s weekend in Melbourne.

  3. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 1st April 2011, 13:38

    The whole world expect many things from both Schumacher & Brawn,as we can see they are far behind the pace as Renault showed good pace in Australia.They need to continuously develop their car, I think from Spain onward we will see a clear picture whether Mercedes can do anything this season or will it be just a repeat of 2010.

  4. Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 1st April 2011, 13:44

    I don’t know, Rubens made a pretty good attempt at writing off one of the Mercedes already.

    I think it might be another season fighting with Renault – which judging by their performance means they could be at the sharp end very soon.

  5. BasCB (@bascb) said on 1st April 2011, 13:46

    Just imagine them NOT wanting to improve on that …

    well ist april 1st!

  6. infishan (@infishan) said on 1st April 2011, 14:09

    Does anyobody know why they went in Australia with the old front wing? (Sry if I’m wrong)

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 1st April 2011, 14:43

      I think they have established that thats the best front wing ever in the history of mankind and therefore they intend on running it until the end of days .. :-P

      Did they really not use a new one? They seemed to have a new one in testing and also, looking at scarbs illustrations, don’t they have a “blown diffuser”? If they can incorporate these things, get their KERS to work properly, get into their ‘tyre window’ and have a good day, maybe they can be fighting for the podium like they planned all along. I sure hope they can.

  7. Rainman (@rainman) said on 1st April 2011, 14:28

    yes even i am confused….was it the old wing or the new one? if old, GOD hell why?
    Keith?…

  8. RBAlonso said on 1st April 2011, 14:44

    I am biased but I still believe that there is substantial improvement in both Ferrari and Mercedes. I get the impression McLaren think that they are out of the woods now but Melbourne has never been a good performance indicator. I can see Red Bull with more pace as well, and it being the same top 3 as last year. Mercedes and Renault just behind. Hopefully, Michael can get closer to Rosberg this year as well.

    Let me know what you think

    • Todfod (@todfod) said on 1st April 2011, 15:06

      Yeah.. Mercedes and Ferrari were pretty disappointing in Melbourne, but I do think they will improve. Ferrari will be joining Mclaren soon and Mercedes will be fighting just behind them. For Schumacher however, I think he will get beaten by Rosberg again this year, but probably not as badly as last year.

      But we are just a race down.. I guess a couple of more races will give us an accurate indication of the pecking order.

  9. Nick said on 1st April 2011, 15:33

    I am sure it’s too early to write off Mercedes but not too early to write off one of their drivers, and it’s not Rosberg.

  10. Eggry (@eggry) said on 1st April 2011, 15:50

    I hope they could challenge Renault.

  11. Damon said on 1st April 2011, 17:05

    Sadly I think we could be seeing 2010 all again in terms of car and driver performance. Schumacher in my eyes as ruined his legacy bigtime, biggest mistake of his career.

  12. Lew Numba 1 (@lew-numba-1) said on 1st April 2011, 18:42

    I would really love to see Mercedes running up front, especially Schumacher. It’s hard to say what their car is missing, but it just doesn’t look stable and controllable. I’m surprised that Ross hasn’t churned out an excellent car for Merc yet when the Brawn GP car was miles ahead back in 2009. This year’s car is nice to look at but perhaps not so nice to drive. Hopefully they’ll make a big step and Schumacher can begin to drive like his former self.

    • verstappen said on 1st April 2011, 21:00

      The Brawn ’09 had almost two years of Honda financed development in it, and a double diffuser which nobody else (ok, Wiliams, Toyota) had.

      In ’09 they hadn’t any sponsors and weren’t sure where everything was heading, so they were downsizing and not spending too much money. Also not on the ’10 car.

      Last year they had to go and work with the new structure (less people, but also new people from Mercedes flown in) and try to understand everything. Brawn said on Grandprix that they now feel more in control over the organisation and the way to bring developments.

      So let’s hope it helps!

      • Anon said on 2nd April 2011, 20:26

        They didn’t have anyone ‘flown in’ from Germany. They are the exact same team personnel wise as Brawn. I think just Bob Bell has been the only change since the BGP days.

  13. Damon said on 1st April 2011, 19:37

    If you watch onboard footage from lastyear the car seemed snappy when Schumacher was driving but didn’t seem too bad for rosberg.

  14. Daniel said on 2nd April 2011, 9:39

    They don’t need to perform better in the next race; better is not enough since they’re light year away. Better would mean tenths but they need seconds! Perhaps they should drop this GP2 car and start working for the next season car (hopefully an F1 car).
    It doesn’t matter if this year car is better than 2010 car; what matters is how good is compared with the other cars on the grid. In this case, their 2011 car seems to be even worse than 2010’s car.
    As a joke, I could say Mercedes has the best engine, the best kers and the … worse car!
    But, since it’s too early, let’s hope that there’s room for improvement in their 2011 car.

  15. Robbie (@robbie) said on 2nd April 2011, 14:38

    Not an MS fan whatsoever, but I do agree there is more to come from this team…that said, I don’t see them improving enough quickly enough for it to really matter in terms of fighting for wins and the WDC…it already seems like they would have to pull off a miracle for that to happen, not because they can’t improve somewhat but as has been said, because the competition ahead of them is too stiff.

    I’ll be happy if NR outpoints MS again this year, so what a shame RB torpedoed NR…NR stood to get an early lead over MS in the points…for now, Merc just has to put their money where their mouth is, because even though they talked a good game ahead of the season opener, they looked to be positioned exactly where they were last year relative to the competition, ie. not good enough, thus leaving everyone in a ‘we’ll believe it when we see it’ position so far this year…

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