Rosberg says DRS and tyres helped Schumacher close gap in 2011

F1 Fanatic round-up

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

In the round-up: Nico Rosberg says Michael Schumacher “upped his performance” last year.


Rosberg not afraid of Schumacher resurgence (ESPN)

“He closed the gap to me in the championship standings compared with 2010, but a lot of that reduction was down to the tyres and the DRS, which made overtaking more possible. Qualifying lost a lot of its importance in 2011 and that was the main explanation. But Michael also raised his game; he upped his performance.”

Wall Photos (Mercedes via Facebook)

Teaser image of the Mercedes W03.

Bernie Ecclestone resists calls to cancel Bahrain Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“I expected there was going to be a big uprising [on Tuesday], with the anniversary. But I think what happened, apparently, was that here were a lot of kids having a go at the police. I don’t think it’s anything serious at all.”

One year on, Bahrain riven by political, sectarian conflict (Reuters)

“The Bahrain Air Show last month, the first big international event since the unrest, was marred by protesters who burned enough tires to fill the skies visibly with smoke over a large area. It is not clear if Bahrain will still manage to host the Formula One motor racing championship in April. Once a buzzing tourism and banking hub, Manama is not the party town it used to be. The number of weekend visitors from Saudi Arabia is visibly down and many hotels and bars are empty.”

2012 FIA Formula One World Championship – Race Information & Event Starting Times (FIA)

As expected, the United States Grand Prix will run to a distance of 56 laps.

Caterham: Move won’t affect form (Autosport)

Mike Gascoyne: “There will be some disruption, but we are hoping to move in the August break where there will be some downtime anyway.”

Franchitti: Wheldon’s death a reality check (The Telegraph)

“‘I wouldn?t give up the four championships or the Indy 500s just to have a crack at this,’ he adds, sweeping his hand across the Jerez paddock, ‘in a mediocre car or team. Maybe it was wrong but I always wanted to do F1 with a chance of being nearer the front but I never got the offer, so I never did it.'”

F1 champ Nigel Mansell receives CBE (Worcester News)

“[Mansell] professed himself ‘emotional’ at receiving the honour, which was awarded to him for services to children and young people in recognition of his work as president of the charity UK Youth.”

F1 race organisers raise almost $100 million in funding (Austin-American Statesman)

“Organisers of a race track that is set to host its first Formula One race in November have raised about $94.3 million from 24 investors, a document filed this week with the Security and Exchange Commission shows.”

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

Comment of the day

Will F1 return to Mexico? Peru-kowalsky saw one of the last races there in 1991:

I was at the track that day. It was a fight to the finish line and [Riccardo] Patrese won.

There is a very intense love of f1 in South America. I am sure in any big city like Mexico, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires just to name a few, you are going to have a full house.

Moto GP have plans for a return to Argentina, and maybe Brazil, plus a new venue in Santiago. I imagine F1 will follow. When there is a fan base and money, the gladiator will come forward as one promoter once said.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to plutoniumhunter!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The Formula 1 Teams’ Association has of late seen several teams leave its ranks, most notably Ferrari and Red Bull.

This continues the cycle of teams forming coalitions when it suits them and fracturing when it does not. Five years ago today Renault left the Grand Prix Manufacturers’ Association, a fore-runner of FOTA, which Toyota had already turned its back on.

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112 comments on Rosberg says DRS and tyres helped Schumacher close gap in 2011

  1. John H (@john-h) said on 16th February 2012, 9:34

    There is a very intense love of f1 in South America

    If Bernie reads only one COTD this year, please make it this.

  2. Too bad that in a large continent such as South America, that has given three world champions, there just one race. I’ve also wondered why there has been no desire to see Finland host an F1 race. Is it banned there or is it the usual financial issues?

    • Prisoner Monkeys (@prisoner-monkeys) said on 16th February 2012, 9:57

      I don’t think there’s ever really been a desire to see a race in Finland. In all the time that I have been following Formula 1 – some seventeen years – I haven’t heard of anyone trying to get a race going.

      • Strange, don’t you think? They host a WRC round (don’t they?), but surely with 3 world champions from there…they should be dying to see F1 in their country. I guess there could be deeper political issues involved here.

  3. Harry Palmer said on 16th February 2012, 11:17

    I’m really quite excited about the W03, despite the disappointment of the last two Silver Arrows (hope over experience and all that). I hope the delayed release is deliberate and considered rather than because they misjudged things. I think the fact they announced the intention so early suggests the former but we shall see! I’m not too fussed if it’s ugly as long as it’s quick (though I’d rather it didn’t look like its nose had been smashed in just before they took the cover off)

  4. il Leone said on 16th February 2012, 11:18

    I personally prefer to replace Bahrain with Turkey a week later. Plus why did Bahrain go from March to November and back to April? The pure reason why Bahrain was scheduled for November was to give the Bahraini government more time to stop the protests, so why was it sent to April?

  5. Shimks (@shimks) said on 16th February 2012, 11:30

    Really great article on Dario Franchitti. Thanks for that. I knew that name but didn’t know anything about him. Same for Dan Wheldon until the tragedy.

    I only follow F1. But I really think it’s time I got into some other series, don’t you think? Any advice which? GP2? Indy? Let’s say I should pick only one or two, which should they be?

    I think Keith did an article on it at the beginning or end of a season a couple of years ago?

    Also, I live in Switzerland. So if anyone from here or Germany/Austria/Italy knows of any good racing hosted on the main TV channels, do let me know please. Or good internet hosting would do too.

    Thanks in advance!

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 16th February 2012, 11:58

      @shimks I’d definitely encourage you to give IndyCar and GP2 a try if you can watch them.

      For more suggestions, check out the occasional Why You Should Watch series:

      Expect a few more of those this year.

      Of course there’s loads more information on different racing categories in the forums and groups.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 16th February 2012, 15:40

      Imho Indycar is not what it once was but right now the cars are very much alike from one team to the next, so in that sense the racing is very very close, with any number of drivers having the potential to win on any given race weekend.

      Most of us in North America liked the series much more before Tony George, owner of the Indy500 track at the time, decided to use said venue as a base from which to launch his own racing series called Indycar, and by taking away the Indy 500 from the CART cars it dilluded that series, and his new series was looked upon as CART-lite. So his move created two weak series’ in NA and eventually ruined one strong one completely…CART. Team owners in CART resisted initially but eventually trickled toward Indycar strictly because of the massive exposure of the classic Indy 500 race that had been taken away from them. And Indycar initially only ran on oval tracks, whereas CART always used a mix of road and street courses, and oval tracks.

      But now, although I personally still consider the cars CART-lite, the series has improved and the action is tight, and it has regained some of it’s lost popularity due to the fact that it is the only open wheel series in NA, it uses both road and street courses, and it has the Indy 500 (Tony George no longer involved I believe) which alone accounts for half of the years exposure and revenues to the series.

      There has been an argument made against the cars being so homogenous as highlighted by Dan Wheldon’s death, in the sense that the cars are so similar that you can throw a blanket over the top 10 or more cars, especially for the first number of laps after the start of the race or a restart after a caution. Sometimes it’s a very high speed traffic jam out there, and we have all seen the results of that to sometimes tragic conclusions, most particularly on the smaller tighter ovals. There has been a movement toward more chassis builders and more engine builders in the series, so I think the series is gradually heading back to the way it was before Tony George threw a wrench into the works.

      When JV left F1, and before he even turned a wheel at Lemans, he was asked about coming back to Indycar, but to him it was been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and after winning rookie of the year there in 94 and the Championship as well as the Indy 500 in 95 when it was still the real series, namely CART (with no less names than Mansell, Andretti, Fittipaldi, Rahal, Unser, Penske etc involved), he didn’t see any value at all in coming back to ‘CART-lite.’ Had he, it would have been a huge boost for the series, but I think it is very understandable for him not to have even considered it. It would have been like an F1 driver returning to GP2 upon leaving F1.

  6. electrolite (@electrolite) said on 16th February 2012, 14:08

    Some W03 spyshots surfacing just now. They’re shaking down the car at Silverstone, starting to appear on Twitter.

  7. Hi,

    N. Rosberg’s comment about the DRS sounds a bit weird: if I remember the stats correctly, a huge proportion of M. Schumacher’s overtakes were done during the first lap, in which the use of DRS is prohibited.

    • AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th February 2012, 13:07

      You do make a good point, Schumacher was brilliant off the line last year, perhaps because he was off the pace in qualifying!

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th February 2012, 16:05

      @JS…I think NR is being diplomatic when he doesn’t point out that even without DRS the cars MS passed in the first few laps of races didn’t belong ahead of the Mercs. He should have put them behind him on Saturday. And let’s not forget a huge part of the stat for MS’s passes off the grid came from Spa when he started at the back but 9 cars collided in front of him and moved out of his way, as Keith pointed out in a summing up article after the season ended.

  8. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 17th February 2012, 13:05

    I think you’d be hard pressed to disagree with Rosberg’s thoughts on Schumacher. I think the second year was always going to be Schumacher’s real test. His ability to develop was always going to be at its greatest between year 1 and 2 of his 3 year deal. I expect Rosberg will have a similar fight on his hands this year.

    • Robbie (@robbie) said on 17th February 2012, 16:14

      Agreed AndrewTanner…I don’t see anything wrong with NR’s comments as he does acknowledge MS’s upping his performance. What I am looking for between these two drivers for the coming season hinges on a few things…if the field is closer due to rules stability, which was the FIA’s aim and which I think most are predicting, and if MS continues to qualify poorly, then I think MS will be penalized far more for not putting cars past him on Saturdays. A closer field will mean on average he will have a much harder time working his way back up the field during the races than 2011 afforded him.

      So a) lets see how close the top 6 teams are to each other, and b) lets see if MS has upped his game for quali.

      I predict that the majority of the effort in this off-season to help MS will have been getting him qualifying better. No team would ever just shrug off such a perfomance deficit on Saturdays as something that can simply be made up for on Sundays. MS was lucky NR didn’t have the car to progress from his starting spots vs the top 3 teams, and lucky that Renault and all the others didn’t have the cars to take the fight to him from further back in the field being a distant 5th or worse in the WCC.

      • “MS was lucky NR didn’t have the car to progress from his starting spots vs the top 3 teams, and lucky that Renault…”
        And how you will explain that Schumacher most of the time can finished ahead of Rosberg in 2011 it’s not like he qualified behind Rosberg and sudenly his car got the supersonic boom as he needs to work hard not less(as your last post) as the frontrunner did. You said people degarde Rosberg i think you are way degrading Schumacher race pace in 2011 as i said in my last post Rosberg really have to improved his race mode otherwise he will need to be lucky to finish ahead Schumacher as you don’t score in qualifying.

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