Another setback (Mercedes team review)

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Having hoped to qualify on the third row Mercedes only scraped one car into Q3.

Michael Schumacher Nico Rosberg
Qualifying position 11 9
Qualifying time comparison (Q2) 1’15.026 (+0.008) 1’15.018
Race position 9 8
Average race lap 1’19.860 (+0.048) 1’19.811
Laps 66/67 66/67
Pit stops 1 1

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Michael Schumacher

Schumacher’s spirits were high after Friday practice, saying:

If everything goes as it should tomorrow, we should reach fifth or sixth position, which is a step forward, and maybe even more in the race.
Michael Schumacher

But a late improvement from Nico Hulkenberg in Q2 left Schumacher in 11th place.

The team chose not to gamble on starting the race on medium tyres, and that seemed to pay off when Schumacher picked up three places on the first lap, mainly thanks to his good start from the clean side of the grid.

He would almost certainly have stayed ahead of his team mate but for the time he lost on lap 23. I’ve not been able to find out why, but he lost around a second on that lap and dropped back slightly from Kubica.

This meant that when Rosberg came out of the pits he was able to stay in front of Schumacher.

Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate in 2010

Nico Rosberg

There wasn’t much between them in qualifying – Rosberg beat Schumacher into Q3 by just eight thousandths of a second.

Like Jenson Button, Rosberg ran long on his first stint and gained a position from it. But he wasn’t able to pass Kubica after his stop.

Compare Nico Rosberg’s form against his team mate in 2010

2010 German Grand Prix

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    Author information

    Keith Collantine
    Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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    16 comments on “Another setback (Mercedes team review)”

    1. “He would almost certainly have stayed ahead of his team mate but for the time he lost on lap 23. I’ve not been able to find out why” Perhaps it was team orders ;-)

      1. Maybe he sensed that he needed to back off by one second to let Nico come out ahead of him, for the good of the team and the fans.

    2. Schumacher seems made up for the pace he lacks on qualifying with consistently good starts at least. Maybe he should give some classes to Rubens in exchange for hints on how to bet talented young german team mates.

      By the way, Mercedes year seems indeed lost. I hope and expect for a much better championship next year, with Rosberg having acquired more experience and Schumacher starting a year used again to F1 and not being the only one to need adaptation to tires.

    3. If Schuey is matching it with Rosberg, he’s well and truly on his way back. Robserg is still hugely underrated, and extremely quick. As good as this season has been, it’s a massive shame that Merc haven’t had a decent car. Sure, Brawn fought for the championship all the way last year, but Newey has said the 2010 car was more just an evolution of the ’09 model, and the pace of the RB6 is proof of that. Interesting to see that the main problem Merc have is still not getting enough heat into those tyres to make them work, a problem which many thought might lose Button the championship last year.

    4. Mercedes should start concentrating on 2011 car rather than trying to more R&D on this car. Only then they will be able to match the likes of the top three teams.

      1. agreed. i think its time to drop this year,all their updates are not working for them.

    5. Mr JoeBlack
      27th July 2010, 13:50

      One thing i can’t understand, why Micheal pitted so early and why he let nico take his place?
      it’s clear that both drivers had the same pace but it looks like micheal had back off for nico or it was a team order?
      if Micheal (by the way i am a big fan for shumi) wants to be number 1 driver for Mercedes next year he should stop all this and start to beat nico, at least during the race!
      Go Shummi!!! show us what u really are!

    6. Without really knowing how the merc takes to the soft tires, it would appear they screwed up by pulling Micahel in to change to hards, when compared to Button or some of the others that stayed out. Remember Michael started on new softs where as Button was on his qualifying ones. I would have expected more life from the tires.I think it was a knee jerk reaction to Vettel. Merc has seemed to do a lot of second guessing pit calls this year that have cost them dearly.

      The car itself is clearly off the pace . In on boards the RedBulls are full throttle in fast sweepers and you could hear Michael had to lift.. A lot. Front end seems to wash out very easily.

      Come on Brawn! Schumi needs 8. Get it together!

      1. To answer why Schumi pits earlier than Rosberg is that he is much harder on his tyres. Nico’s smoother style allows for more flexibility as when to take the pit stop. Nico is a very good, if under-rated driver, I would love to seem him against Button, Webber or Vettel in the same car. This season he has also made very few errors.

    7. you say “The team chose not to gamble on starting the race on medium tyres” but wasn’t it hard and super-soft on offer at Hockenheim?

    8. So why was the Brawn car so wonderful and yet the Mercedes, which is a development from it, such a dud? Are they trying too hard to compete with the technical breakthroughs of Red Bull and McLaren, when really they should be running a very good ‘basic’ package?

      1. Because the Brawn was a Honda, and the result of two years of development by that company, applying a massive budget.

        1. Charles Carroll
          27th July 2010, 19:47

          Exactly. Makes one wonder about the Toyota car that was never used. Probably a very good package there too.

          If Mercedes is committed, they will succeed in time. But we cannot expect overnight success.

    9. I feel very sad about Mercedes not going anywhere (a bit like Williams looking like continuously falling further back, hopefully they at least are regrouping) this year.

      1. Michael Schumacher is the ONLY driver with the technical and mechanical knowledge to get the car as he ,Nico and Mercedes want it.
        Next year he intends going for the title,but the problems will all be ironed out by then.Schumacher is not to be hurried,he still phones Ross up at Midnight or A.M. to ask about the windspeed in the tunnel.Come on now have faith in this man,who,as I have have said on many occasions has won more F1’s than all the current F1 drivers have put together.He is a genius in motor racing,no question about it but as he said he is not a magician.It takes time.

        1. Charles Carroll
          28th July 2010, 15:09

          It is amazing how little patience there is left in the world today, and much of that derives from the presence of the internet and the instant gratification of a query or need that comes with it.

          In the United States, where I have worked in sport for over a decade, I have seen our timetable for developing collegiate athletes fall from six years to four years and, recently, down to two years. Not only do the fans, coaches, and parents expect near-overnight results, but the kids themselves are starting to believe that it is possible as well.

          The trouble is, the human body knows the truth regardless of what the mind believes. Like developing a world class athlete, developing a world-beating racing team takes years.

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