Schumacher scores for struggling Mercedes

2011 Malaysian GP team review

Mercedes continued to struggle in Sepang but Michael Schumacher at least got some points on the board.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 11 9
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’37.035 (+0.647) 1’36.388
Race position 9 12
Laps 56/56 55/56
Pit stops 3 3

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race:

http://www.f1fanatic.co.uk/charts/2011drivercolours.csv
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 30 31 32 33 34 35 36 37 38 39 40 41 42 43 44 45 46 47 48 49 50 51 52 53 54 55 56
Michael Schumacher 115.519 106.714 106.209 105.897 105.888 107.025 106.357 106.329 106.175 106.424 106.778 107.407 109.622 114.37 123.978 105.112 105.604 104.639 104.305 104.212 103.91 104.316 104.344 104.852 105.414 104.878 105.971 110.291 122.752 105.02 103.721 103.272 103.312 103.743 103.664 103.646 104.286 104.056 103.78 103.954 104.027 112.297 121.177 102.923 102.491 102.566 102.623 102.678 102.646 102.738 102.658 103.217 103.641 103.522 103.527 104.251
Nico Rosberg 118.442 107.775 106.438 106.506 106.436 106.709 106.604 106.901 107.296 107.115 107.531 108.402 109.919 112.379 114.635 126.808 105.561 104.036 103.825 103.76 103.774 103.82 103.965 104.129 104.467 104.692 107 105.839 109.314 122.38 103.332 104.747 103.77 103.747 104.09 104.827 105.737 107.103 107.088 110.601 121.645 102.22 101.982 102.081 101.778 103.595 101.968 102.294 105.561 104.193 102.294 102.133 103.573 105.332 103.621
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Sepang, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Sepang, 2011

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher had problems with his Drag Reduction System not working properly in qualifying and missed out on the top ten for the second race in a row.

He moved up to eighth at the start and briefly got ahead of Fernando Alonso but lost the place further around the first lap.

He ran the closest thing to a ‘normal’ strategy – three stops, using hard tyres only for the last stint – but lost out to the two-stopping Kamui Kobayashi.

Schumacher passed Paul di Resta three laps from home to secure Mercedes’ first points of the year.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

While Schumacher went forwards at the start, Rosberg slipped back from ninth to 12th. He was out-dragged on the run to the first corner and passed around the outside by several cars.

His attempts to move up through the field were thwarted when he was passed by Paul di Resta.

He picked off the two Toro Rossos later in the race to finish 12th.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 Malaysian Grand Prix


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58 comments on Schumacher scores for struggling Mercedes

  1. Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th April 2011, 16:19

    Well, stating the obvious, after the last race Merc told us not to write them off after only one race, and that there was more to come, and most people agreed I think…

    Now that we have seen them in two races barely get any points, I think it is safe to say that the ‘more to come’ will not nearly be enough to fight for wins let alone the WDC…so far, it looks like they will be lucky to get a podium…

    Ahead of them are the obvious Red Bull, Mac, and Ferrari teams, but count Renault in there, and when the likes of Koby are duking it out with MS methinks it’s going to be a long season for MS, NR, and Co. with very few points in the end…

    • Sush Meerkat said on 11th April 2011, 18:25

      Yeah but this is the fly away races, no new parts on the cars.

      Although if I was them I would be worried, seeing Rosberg and Schumacher going toe to toe against Force India’s, STR’s and Saubers and have difficulties against them.

    • Randy said on 11th April 2011, 18:49

      I like both Schmacher and Rosberg and admire the Mercedes brand but at the same time would like to see the mid pack privateer underdogs give them a thrashing.

      Ross Brawn has been saying over and over that the car has great potential yet to be unlocked. Perhaps, but I wonder.

  2. RIISE (@riise) said on 11th April 2011, 16:20

    I think Schumacher’s had a pretty good weekend. Unlucky to have the DRS problem which stopped him getting into Q3 but on the race day he was solid and just got on with it. The battles with Kobayashi were fun to watch.

    I think from now Michael will be ahead of Nico. His “rookie” season is over and he’s ready to fight.

    Shame the car is a complete dog though.

    • Merk said on 11th April 2011, 16:25

      Tis a shame, it was very unbalanced in qualifying. Looks like it has no rear end grip.

      It does have one of the shortest wheelbases on the grid, which is not ideal for malaysia or china, but maybe it will find something special in Canada/Monaco/Hungary where the short wheelbase will give them an extra edge.

    • I agree with you RIISE although I think it’ll be close between Nico and Michael.

    • BasCB (@bascb) said on 11th April 2011, 17:02

      I agree with you RIISE, although I do expect them to be very close to each other.

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 11th April 2011, 17:23

      Considering the cars performance I guess both drivers made the best of it they possiby could. Its nice to see Schumacher in front of Rosberg for once, last year even when Schumacher had the better weekend it often still went the other way around.

    • Icthyes (@icthyes) said on 11th April 2011, 17:34

      I think so too RIISE.

      Last year whenever Schumacher was behind Rosberg a big deal was made of it but it barely got a mention yesterday. Just a shame he came back to race his final years in a car not worth his reputation.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 11th April 2011, 17:52

      Given that NR outqualified MS but got a poor start, I’m not ready to concede that MS will now be ahead of NR…the best I think MS can hope for is to match NR…but I always allow that they may find something and be a little more competitive down the line, and depending on the venue, but it will be too little too late…

      Wonder what happened to MS’s ‘car development’ skills that he was so applauded for at Ferrari…

      • Bren said on 11th April 2011, 22:58

        Start meant little in a race where overtaking seemed pretty straight forward.

        looking at the graph schumi times seemed impressively consistent considering he was wheel to wheel with drivers most of time.

      • Hyoko said on 12th April 2011, 12:19

        Wonder what happened to MSā€™s ā€˜car developmentā€™ skills that he was so applauded for at Ferrariā€¦

        I believe MS did an amazing amount of testing back then in Ferrari, which is of course banned now. Absurdly. I’d say

      • Coefficient said on 12th April 2011, 15:57

        No DRS in quali prevented him from beating Nico.

  3. Eggry (@eggry) said on 11th April 2011, 17:17

    the problem is simple : gap between front runner and them is bigger than last year

  4. djdaveyp85 (@djdaveyp87) said on 11th April 2011, 17:36

    Before the cars came out this season I really felt Mercedes will be the team to beat this season with all the extra development time they’ve had.

    Three words: What a disappointment

  5. dim23 (@dim23) said on 11th April 2011, 17:46

    A struggling Schumacher scores 2 points for struggling Mercedes. After all, Rosberg beats him every time they are on the track, and if not; after that turns out that Rosberg had a problem. 2 races and 2 times not making to Q3. The fact that he finished in Malaysia in front of Rosberg, is meaningless, look at the chart – Rosberg’s race pace looks better. The only thing Schumacher is good this and last year too are the starts, here he is dominating Rosberg. other than that , put Perez or Di Resta in his place and they will bring far more points than Schumacher.

  6. Atticus (@atticus-2) said on 11th April 2011, 17:47

    Mercedes seems to lost it. They are considerably slower then the duo of Ferrari and Renault let alone Red Bull and McLaren. They are slightly better in terms of race pace but not as dominantly as Ferrari for example. They are leading the midfield fairly comfortably from Sauber, Force India and Toro Rosso.

    Thrid topic I post in and thrid remark regarding the tyres: it surprises me to see them go off this fast. See Schueys’ lap times. Pretty consistent and then suddenly. Phew, no more grip at all. It’s all the more obvious in this case but the overall pattern is the same.

    It’s all about how to adjust your pace to have the tyres go off in tandem with your strategy – something which worked like a charm for Alonso & Co. in both races! He just messed up the end game here.

  7. ManjuBoy (@manjuboy) said on 11th April 2011, 20:32

    When Michael advanced at the start while Nico fell back, I wasn’t shocked because that happened more than a few times last season, only to have the positions reversed because of poor strategy on Mercedes’ part.

    So I was a bit surprised and delighted Michael was able to stay in the top ten and even get past di Resta at the end.

    What really surprises me is that in 20+ races Mercedes hasn’t demonstrated the ability to bounce back the way McLaren for example did from poor form during pre-season testing to Melbourne.

    Although his best days are long gone, I still haven’t given up on Michael. I wish I could say the same for Ross Brawn.

    • Jean said on 12th April 2011, 14:35

      You make an excellent point , Manjuboy , but it seems to me only McLaren are able to make such gains in modern F1 (hope we don’t have a RBR engineer with a leak in his laptop !) . Even Ferrari , who we know have vast experience and everything available , struggle somewhat. And Red Bull themselves , have been working years now to have a superior car. I think Merc will come good , but it is taking longer than the fans are hoping for.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 11th April 2011, 21:10

    Bit of a polarisation to the usual state of affairs at Mercedes. Seeing that they only just scraped points after the second race is hardly setting anyone’s world on fire. I’m just glad that Renault are in the mix a little bit, otherwise we’re looking at a 2010 repeat.

  9. MattHT (@mattht) said on 11th April 2011, 21:34

    I can imagine they will improve a lot once we get to Europe, but fairly mediocre so far. Saying that, I think Schumacher did alright in Sepang, made up places off the start and held it pretty well after that barring letting Kamui through. Not anywhere near good enough though.

    • I can imagine they will talk of improve a lot once the europe rounds start but alas, like last year this will not happen at the same rate as the leading teams will.

      I really like Mercedes and I do hope that they prove me wrong but I just cannot see it.

  10. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 12th April 2011, 3:03

    Good race for Schumacher. He needs to keep the momentum with him & also needs to qualify in the top 10 regularly.

  11. tolgakaranlik said on 12th April 2011, 6:53

    Look at the 7 times world champ Schumacher, people are congrating him because he scored 2 points this weekend. And look at the Mercedes, who has enermous resources and being directed by “legend” of F1 Ross Brawn! Challenging Force India (who has very limited resources, living with bonds from the bank) and Paul Di Resta (who is experiencing his first year in F1).

    I believe this year is the last year of Schumi in F1. I also don’t know how long would Mercedes continue in F1. But it would certainly be good for Rosberg I believe, he would move to a team which has “real” potential. Perhaps to Ferrari, in replacement with Massa.

  12. Daniel said on 12th April 2011, 7:08

    Yes. One or two points / race, this is all they can this year. Why? Simple. The best cars are by far RedBull and McLaren. Then come Renault and Ferrari, then Sauber, Mercedes and maybe Williams, Force India. So the best thing that can happen in a race for Mercedes is to take the 9th and 10th places (supposing they’re strong enough to beat Sauber).
    MSC had a nice start (he often had good starts in 2010 too but in races was a poor driver); it’s first time when he is ahead of Nico so I’m not so sure that he’ll constantly beat Nico from now on.
    Anyway, MSC’s pace in the first laps was surprisingly good but the car seems to wear tyres very fast. Or, maybe is Schummi’s fault – he does not know how to make tyres last longer.

  13. Harish said on 12th April 2011, 8:23

    Yes now schumacher does not know how to manage tyres.. His race pace is poor.. He made good starts in 2010 also but rosberg ended in front. Tired of hearing all these nonsence.. Go back to 2010 nico though qualified better it was micheal performance which was better right from the start, merc let him down with some dumb strategies. Why dont yo go race by race in 2010 and then comment. Even nico has same car so who askin him not to make up places at the start. From 11 to 8 in first corner then ends with points and then gets blamed for it.
    At 42 he s questioned his ability to take on young guns , he takes up the challenge he gets blamed, does a decent job of what he s given then gets blamed.
    Im proud of whatever he s achieved and very happy of what he s doing with the equipment he s havin. Go micheal

  14. gnvour (@) said on 12th April 2011, 11:06

    A good consistent race for Schumacher I think, although its a shame he didn’t get enough TV time so we missed some of his fights

  15. Alexi said on 12th April 2011, 12:28

    Rosberg should be just as good as Button and prolly better than Massa, and Schumi is Schumi, and look at all they managed to achieve so far. The Merc car seems like a complete dog, worse than FI or Williams and probably only just as good as the STR. Bummer.

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