Mercedes: Unlucky weekend for Schumacher

2011 Korean GP team review

Michael Schumacher missed the top ten in qualifying and was taken out of the race by Vitaly Petrov.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 12 7
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’38.354 (+0.462) 1’37.892
Race position 8
Laps 15/55 55/55
Pit stops 1 2

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race (in seconds):

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
Michael Schumacher 114.781 108.094 107.48 106.754 106.011 106.429 106.301 105.851 105.874 105.715 105.541 105.738 105.327 109.468 121.616
Nico Rosberg 112.471 107.548 106.474 105.975 105.756 105.946 105.696 105.5 105.545 105.278 105.297 105.456 110.105 121.772 105.973 108.471 135.675 128.121 166.508 153.558 104.62 104.025 103.796 104.096 103.933 104.182 110.487 120.109 103.408 103.562 103.744 102.888 102.696 102.948 103.475 104.097 102.853 103.157 102.271 102.287 102.186 102.193 102.612 102.322 102.235 101.956 102.07 101.906 101.77 102.093 101.903 101.822 102.027 103.024 106.169

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Korea, 2011

Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Korea, 2011

Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.238s

Schumacher’s weekend started badly as he missed out on a place in Q3. Ross Brawn explained: “As he went out on the options in Q2, he complained of a vibration.

“We debated whether to change tyres, but decided to stay out and try for the lap time. In the end, the pace did not reflect what the car was capable of, and there wasn’t enough time to complete another run.”

He moved up to tenth on the first lap and then passed Paul di Resta for ninth on lap five.

Schumacher made his first pit stop on lap 14, gaining another place at the expense of Fernando Alonso’s Ferrari.

But on lap 16 he was hit from behind by Vitaly Petrov at turn three and had to retire.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

Start tyre Super soft
Pit stop 1 Soft 20.091s
Pit stop 2 Soft 20.772s

Rosberg took up his customary ‘best of the rest’ place in qualifying, taking seventh on the grid for the seventh time this year.

He held the place at the start before Mercedes worked their usual magic and brought him out of his first pit stop in front of Jenson Button – who pitted at the same time – and also got him in front of both Ferrari drivers.

His advantage over Button was short-lived. He braked too late as they returned to the track, running wide and letting Button through. Although he was able to re-claimed the position in the DRS zone, it only lasted a lap before Button passed him again.

He held the upper hand over the two Ferraris for several laps after the safety car before Felipe Massa finally got him on the inside of turn three. Fernando Alonso followed his team mate past.

Rosberg had locked his tyres up badly as Massa came past him and had to come in for fresh tyres at the end of the lap. That left him with a 28-lap final stint on soft tyres, the longest of any driver.

His lap times held up well even as he came under pressure from Jaime Alguersuari, who was within two seconds of the Mercedes over the final 16 laps.

Alguersuari took until the final lap to pass Rosberg in the DRS zone, relegating the Mercedes driver to eighth.

“I didn’t have enough grip by the end and so I just wasn’t able to defend the position against Jaime,” he said. “A difficult race for me today but I’m still happy to score some points.”

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

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32 comments on Mercedes: Unlucky weekend for Schumacher

  1. Fer no.65 (@fer-no65) said on 17th October 2011, 15:51

    I feel for the guys at Mercedes. They are the best when it comes to the pit stops, yet the car is too bad so it doesn’t reflect on the final positions.

    If they had a good enough car, they’d be deciding who wins or finishes on podium.

  2. I get the impression that they are getting closer! Although in terms of podiums they are far from last years performance, they seem to be so much closer to the front 3 and are regularly picking off Massa, the tail ender of the top six.

    I can see them contending for at least regular podiums next year, if not wins.

    • bananarama (@bananarama) said on 17th October 2011, 16:30

      Well that impression isn’t perfectly accurate I guess. Its more the fact that they use their tyres much better now (Rosbergs tyres were on his car very long). They have worked very hard at understanding the tyres and how their car influences them which will be very useful for next year. Haug said after the race that the XS held up longer with high fuel than the softs did just a few races ago. I’m hoping for a good podium fighting car next season.

  3. BasCB (@bascb) said on 17th October 2011, 16:01

    In his video Blog Rosberg says his tyres really went over the cliff in the last 2 laps. He did fine but Mercedes are really not on it this year, despite showing better pace again in the past couple of races.

    As for Schumi, was this the first accident he was involved in without being part of the cause in his second career?

    • icemangrins (@icemangrins) said on 17th October 2011, 16:18

      @BasCB Except Australia, Singapore – he was helpless on 2 DNF’s (Korea, Monaco ). In Hungary, he spun and caused the gear box failure? or the gear box failure caused him to spin?

      By the way, one more DNF, Michael will equal his 1996 & 2005 record of 6 retirements – 1 less than his 1933 record of 7 retirements in a season. All these are lost crucial championship points. MGP are lucky in a way… The fifth constructor Renault is 40 points away

      While Schumi claims the car’s progress is his priority (and he doesn’t have to beat Nico for championship position), leading Nico in the championship will be a huge boost compared to last years (he was trailing Nico by 70+ points)

    • Enigma (@enigma) said on 18th October 2011, 6:22

      @BasCB He was taken out by Alguersuari in Melbourne, which wasn’t his fault from what I remember.

      @Icemangrins At Hungaroring the spin and car failure had nothing to do with each other, just a mere coincidence that it happened on the same lap.

  4. Mr draw said on 17th October 2011, 16:04

    Rosberg’s race progression was disappointing. At the first pitstops he was battling Button and in the final lap he was overtaken by Alguersuari. So I don’t think they are really getting closer to the front 3.

    • bosyber (@bosyber) said on 17th October 2011, 16:37

      This year, especially later in the year, that has often been the case for Rosberg I have the feeling. When he is just ahead of someone, it is a matter of several laps before he outbreaks/lock up, and lets the other driver past, it seems.

  5. This team mate battle is the one I’m most interested in. I was gutted for Schumacher this weekend. I’d love him to beat Rosberg in the standings.

  6. Schumacher has progressed massively this season(closed to his old self but not yet) and i think Rosberg just average in most the race this year. Next year he just have to raise his game especially if Michael has managed his qualy sessions and faster in the race. Nico going to meet the real deal in term of teammates he ever have.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 18th October 2011, 16:22

      But given the Brawn had MS as 2010 WDC I’d say that NR has been far from average over the two seasons he has had MS as a teammate…he has in fact been stellar.

      I object to those who say NR is just average whereas it is MS that is making strides…the fact is that it is easy to look like you are making strides when you are often starting from further back in the grid.

      Let’s face it…the car is a distant 4th in the Constructors with Renault a distant 5th from that…it makes sense that MS or NR rarely can get it higher than 7th on the grid…best of the rest…so all that is left is to see that for 2 season now NR has been getting the maximum out of the car, putting it basically as high as it currently belongs vs. the top 3 teams, and for 2 seasons now MS has had to play catchup. It’s all well and good to say he is the better driver because it ‘appears’ like he is making more progress, but to my thinking a 7 time WDC who was touted as 2010 WDC should not be playing catchup. MS is suffering for a change from not having a top 3 car built for him and a guarantee of a non-competing teammate, and the results are there for all to see. If he finally matches or slightly beats NR this year, that is small consolation, and nothing to write home about for someone who everyone said could drive garbage to the podium…hardest worker every….best car developer ever…etc etc. and all that rhetoric.

      NR is the true star and the future on that team.

      • He had Michael which not in his prime and in his 40s not that stellar that you proclaim, much decent drive this year not a stunning one which Michael in his 40s has showed this year.

        He moved from back of the grid with amazing start, has most overtaking and mostly showing great race pace compared to Nico

        Let’s face it yourself Michael made a comeback in his 40s from 3 years absence and not at prime speed and still can match and faster than Nico in the race. I bet Nico wouldn’t be that capable in his 40s.

        His teammates in the past just wasn’t as complete as him, Michael just capable of building the team around him because of his dedication, hardwork, speed and talent. I have already showed you before that his teammates also praise what he capable of doing where they couldn’t. He has helped Ferrari to be a domination team where experts acknowledge it not like your comments based on obsessive hate and not knowing inside out about it and most based on your nonsense fantasy. And now trying to help Mercedes to become a top team where i doubt Nico has the capability of being a helper or motivator or a team leader like Michael. Michael in his return still the highest paid athlete in F1 and much of headlining the news and still trending in social network like of Twitter when he put a stunning show where Nico hardly on it. Mercedes wouldn’t be much in the spotlight if they didn’t sign Michael. Stefano D, Flavio B, Franz Tost, Peter Sauber recognized that:
        http://www.formula1blog.com/2011/08/23/sauber-offers-sensible-praise-for-schumacher/
        http://www.motorsport.com/f1/news/f1-schumacher-should-stay-if-formula-one-still-fun-tost
        http://motorsport.nextgen-auto.com/Schumacher-is-helper-at-Mercedes-Briatore,31384.html#.TpBaEAkaT6s.facebook
        http://www.motorsport.com/all/news/f1-domenicali-says-only-two-leaders-on-f1-grid/

        Brawn in his recent interview also stated that Michael is the Icon at MGP.
        Until Rosberg starting to win and becoming world champion i doubt he is the true star like you claim to be. He never been paired with a real teammate Webber as an exception but not in Michael level, hardly put a stunning wow drive where his generation drivers like of Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso has showed. If Mercedes happen to sign DiResta when Schumi retired i think he is the one that will shine.

        • Alain (@paganbasque) said on 19th October 2011, 10:00

          Michael is not only a F1 star, he is a leader and an icon, he has a natural capacity to motivate the rest of the team in order to achieve success.

          What he is doing now, being 42 years old, coming back from 3 years of retirement is simply amazing, perhaps he is not as fast as he used to do, but come on, he is still very fast and his commitment is wonderful, I would like to see the rest of the drivers in the same conditions.

          And the best thing, he is continually improving, he is faster than 2010 and I am sure that nex season he will be even faster. He has made some mistakes and he has been very unluky with mechanics problems but this is going to change, all the hard work he is doing will bring results in a near future.

          Let me be sincere, I admire him more than ever.

          • @Alain Well said

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st October 2011, 16:49

            Bottom line for me…MS has only looked more impressive than NR because he has started from further back way more often, and further back than the car belongs such that come the end of Sunday MS has managed to bring the car back up to where it belongs amongst the grid when he hasn’t crashed into someone, which has happened way too much.

            If he is so good and so amazing and such a hard worker etc etc why is he starting from so far back so often, and getting into so many collisions?

            NR on the other hand has steadily put that car where it belongs on Saturday, and maintained that on Sunday for the most part, and that to me is more worthy of more accolades than what MS has been doing, which is cost himself and the team a bunch of points and a bunch of front wings.

            MS has not performed like a 7 time WDC, and NR has performed extremely well given that MS is his teammate…ie. if you are going to give MS all this praise for so many mistakes this season, then at least give NR as much praise for what he has done too.

          • Wrong..Michael looked more impressive than Nico because simply he has improved lot especially his race pace and starting to find his old great even in his 40s on the contrary Nico just has ok drive but not impressive or you so called performed extremely well comparing to his 2010 season where i admit Nico has couple of good drives but at that time Michael is far from his old speed comparing to this season, Nico quiet make a couple of mistakes while in the race on and slip back from his start position whilst Michael often gained from where he started. It just 2 mistakes where Michael mistakes caused him DNF the rest wasn’t his fault and i could argue because he drive that fast, unlocking the potential of the car which sometimes caused mistakes while Nico just drive an ok drive trying to bring home the car.

            Norbert Haug: “As for Schumacher, the 42-year-old may have taken a while to get up to speed upon his return to F1 last season. However, in the last five races, the only time his younger team-mate has beaten him on Sunday afternoons has been when Schumacher has retired.

            “Michael is a motivator through and through,” Haug said of the seven-time World Champion.

            “He has a plan like he had a goal at Ferrari. He fought for five years for his first title (with Ferrari) and has never fallen even if for some it may look like this after 91 Formula 1 victories and won seven World Championship titles.

            “Michael has more bite than ever and remains one of the very best drivers in the field. And he still is the flagship for Formula One – and rightly so.” http://www.planet-f1.com/driver/3213/7256075/Haug-Michael-has-more-bite-than-ever
            Another prove he just the icon at MGP

            Don’t play the disgusting ridiculous innocent part here, your comment: “if you are going to give MS all this praise for so many mistakes this season, then at least give NR as much praise for what he has done too.” Should be pointing out to your own self , when Schu had amazing drives ex in Monaco, Canada, Spa, Monza, Suzuka where acknowledge by many, has been voted driver of the day in this site and others yet you come out with nonsense obsessive hate comments against Schumacher without giving a right praise. Nico on the other hand haven’t been voted as driver of the day etc, hardly trending and not drive strongly thats couple of reasons why i think Nico just have ok drive this year(so far) but not extremely stunning not like your comments much based on hatred.

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 21st October 2011, 20:43

            What else do you expect Haug to say about MS as NR sits 7 points up on him after nearly 2 seasons, outqualifying him in almost every race?

            Don’t play the disgusting ridiculous because Haug says it it is proof ploy on me…MS is only ‘trending’ because he starts from so far back too often…NR isn’t ‘trending’ because he always puts the car up where it belongs and ends up fighting with the top 3 teams while MS looks trending because he is passing cars that don’t belong ahead of him to begin with.

            And you keep missing my point…if NR is nothing special and MS is such a god, why is NR sitting 7 points up on MS still after nearly 2 seasons, and why has MS broken his car so often and NR has only been hit and not hit others?

            Your love for MS and your desperation to find the MS of old when he had a designer car and tires and a guaranteed non-competing teammate has eclipsed common sense.

          • Or perhaps because of your love for NR and the desperation seeing Michael quiet back to his prime speed couldn’t deal with the fact that Haug said. Michael could already ahead of Nico in points if not the DNF. And the fact he had helped Ferrari turned into such a domination team.

          • @Robbie: Only a driver who pushes the envelope makes mistakes. NR is a good driver who maximizes the performance of the car and then stays there. Result: solid but average results. MS on the other hand is always driving on the outer envelope of the car (just like Alonso) and hence you will see the odd mistake here and there and accidents (just like Hamilton). These are the drivers that make racing interesting and worth watching, and true world championship material (by the way, all 3 of them are WDC).

          • Robbie (@robbie) said on 27th October 2011, 15:15

            Whereas Button on the other hand, who is also a WDC, has made few mistakes, has not overdriven the car like MS and LH, and as a result heads LH just like NR heads MS. Interesting and worth watching is one thing, but I’m sure many MS fans wish he hadn’t driven himself into being behind NR still after nearly two seasons at Merc. And I’m sure LH’s fans wish he could take back a few of those ‘interesting and worth watching’ moves such that JB wasn’t besting him now. Pushing the envelope sounds romantic and heroic for fans of LH and MS to say, but the reality is that only works if one pushes the envelope and still keeps it between the ditches…those are the true Champions because they don’t squander their chances but rather capitalize on them. To finish first you must first finish…that is part of the game too.

  7. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th October 2011, 21:52

    Ah, I thought it was Hamilton he had the pit lane battle with, oops.

    A shame Schumacher was taken out. Judging by his recent results, India should be good with a disaster to follow in Abu Dhabi!

  8. wasiF1 (@wasif1) said on 18th October 2011, 3:14

    Schumi may have had finished alongside Massa given his pace.

  9. Alain (@paganbasque) said on 18th October 2011, 8:15

    Michael has improved a lot this season, He is using the Pirelli tyres in a more efficient way and his pace in long turns is very good. But unfortunately he has been very unlucky in some races as Australia, Monaco or Korea of course.

    But he is only 7 points behind Nico and he can reduce the distance and gain more points in the last races. Anyway its quite difficult because Nico (almost)never make mistakes(as he is a very solid and conservative driver).

    And about the car, there is a tremendous amount of work to do if they want to battle for podiums and victories next year. I would like to see Michael fighting again with Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel!!

  10. Nico could have let Alguersuari pass him one lap earlier.. then re=passed with DRS in the final lap. Just sayin….

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 18th October 2011, 17:59

      Assuming he would have been able to stay within a second of him.

      If he’d backed off a little coming out of the last corner and let Alguersuari take him going into turn one he might have been able to do it. But in qualifying trim the Toro Rosso was 4kph quicker so maybe not.

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