Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Schumacher: ‘It won’t be easy to overtake”

2011 F1 season

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Barcelona, 2011

Michael Schumacher says the Kinetic Energy Recovery Systems and Drag Reduction Systems will not make overtaking too easy in 2011.

In an interview with the official Mercedes website he said: “From what I have seen so far, these systems can have an impact, but just not to the extent that you push a button and overtake easily.

“You still have to be in the right position and have to catch the right moment to find an advantage out of the new possibilities. Only during the races will we be able to understand fully if they work to our complete understanding and satisfaction.”

He added the change in tyre supplier will make strategy more important this year:

“The tyres are the same for everyone, and I am sure we will all get along with them. Of course, being drivers as sensitive as Formula One drivers are, we feel the differences, but this is what is exciting about the change and we are trained to cope with them.

“The key in my view is finding the right strategy to make the tyres work to their maximum.”

Schumacher said he feels more “familiar” with the team heading into the second year of his comeback.

“This year feels very different indeed. Last year everything was new again; the testing situation, the car, the team, the structures. It was very exciting but it was still something you had to find your way through.

“Now, one year later, I know much better which areas to work in. I am much more familiar with the team and we have a great group of very skilled and dedicated people. I enjoy what I do, I enjoy working with Mercedes, and I have never regretted my decision to return?? if that is what you wanted to ask next!”

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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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53 comments on “Schumacher: ‘It won’t be easy to overtake””

  1. Are we getting the same talk off Race engineer and driver at the moment?….

      1. Woops, supposed to an “every” before Race Engineer…

        Anyway I was referring to everyone saying the same thing about tyres, the rear wing and KERS. Bit boring now.

        1. I agree, they are all saying more or less the same thing. I am bored now, start of testing seems like years ago and I just want them to hurry up and go racing. There will be very little newsworthy between now and melbourne, all drivers, all teams, just sitting waiting preparing for it. Apart from HRT who clearly were smuggling dope in their dampers!

          Oh the Renault vs lotus court battle could provide some interim entertainment,

          1. I’m getting bored listening to the same complaints about drivers and race engineers all saying the same thing.
            Come on, get racing started;-)

  2. and I have never regretted my decision to return… if that is what you wanted to ask next!”

    Haha, good one !

    1. Fair play to him, I like Schumi alot more now that he seems more relaxed and willing to have fun with journos :D

    2. Nicely done by Michael!

      I vote for this to be the comment of the day. Although it is not by a reader but by a driver.

      1. Sorry, but the comment of the day is definitely going to the first reply to the article: “Rosberg expects “very exciting races” in 2011” article! :P

  3. Well that’s good news if it’s not too easy, but I think we are going to have to wait, watch a few races, count the overtakes, look who was using KERS and the wing thingy and then decide how much easier it is to over take.

  4. GethToTheChoppa (@)
    16th March 2011, 10:53

    Agreed, it would be far too artificial if they could just simply breeze past one another. DRS and KERS should be designed to help, not a free ticket. The driver must still position his car, make sure he doesn’t go deep into the corner, and defend against a counter-attack.

  5. I hope with “right position” he doesn’t mean right next to the pitwall.

  6. Of course, being drivers as sensitive as Formula One drivers are

    LMAO. Sorry, I do have a lame sense of humour.

  7. “You still have to be in the right position and have to catch the right moment to find an advantage out of the new possibilities.”

    That was the entire point of the systems in the first place: an overtaking aid, not an overtaking replacement.

    1. So it seems Schumi is convinced it will do what it was supposed to do.

  8. maybe an overtaking device needs to be brought in to stop drivers sawing at the wheel when someone is trying to overtake. purely coincidental that ive posted this here.

    seriously though the more variables you throw in the more variations in strategy you will see. eventually itll settle down to one or two and then they need to mix the rules up again.

  9. Good Luck Michael, I believe in you!

    1. That’s right, cant wait for the race!

    2. go schumi! relive the glory days once more…

      1. I just can’t believe that a year have gone for Schumacher racing in F1 & he still haven’t won a race.Will 2011 change things?????????

      2. Bravo!! This makes F1 more exciting with him.. Schumi go go go

  10. if you stop believing in michael does he cease to exist?

    1. DeadManWoking
      16th March 2011, 12:35

      Yes, just like Tinkerbell! :)

      1. or Fantasia.
        “the nothing is coming!!!”

  11. “From what I have seen so far, these systems can have an impact, but just not to the extent that you push a button and overtake easily”.

    Excellent news. Push to pass and Turbo boost buttons are more Knight Rider than F1 in my view.

    Keith(or any others)
    has there been any reporting on the speed differential between a car with DRS and Kers activated, and the one in front (without kers). You’d have to imagine the effective Horsepower gain would be over 100HP?

    1. DeadManWoking
      16th March 2011, 12:18

      KERS adds 80HP and the DRS is estimated to be equivalent to a 70-80HP boost, but only the 3 new teams will not have KERS and face the full 150-160HP deficit.

    2. Excellent news. Push to pass and Turbo boost buttons are more Knight Rider than F1 in my view.

      But they were never designed to work that way in the firt place. Everyone simply assumed they were so that they could criticise it.

      1. Bang on.

        2009 was hardly awash with out-of-the-ordinary over-taking moments. We had the DD and KERS back then only on select teams which you would think could create ‘artificial’ over-taking, but it never did. This year won;t be any different.

        Like Schumacher says, you still have to be good enough when and where to use it.

        1. Just imagine if Vettel tries to use the new systems to overtake; the grid will be speared one-by-one with increased efficiency.

    3. @ Andy

      Charlie Whiting: From the simulation work done so far the difference between a car with and without the DRS is likely to be in the region of 10-12km/h at the end of the straight.

      Taken from this link

      its a pretty good q&a that answers a lot of questions and clears a lot of things up

    4. Brundle estimated the adjustable rear wing would give something similar to a 70 to 80 bhp advantage.

      So that’s similar to KERS, but most cars have KERS.

  12. you can do ! theyre all on DVD, well probably video

  13. my simple calc.. they said DRS will get +10km/h.. (x0.28) thats 2.8m/s and if driver separate 10m then he need 3.6s (10/2.8) to push DRS n move side-by-side. if vanue have 8s straight (o-taking box around 5s) then there are plenty of space.. or just im my imagination :)

    1. The 10kph speed boost from DRS is at the end of the straight, it is not instantaneous with the push of the button.

      1. Either way, the car using DRS will accelerate faster. For simplicity, Sukoco’s calculations are correct.
        Although, DRS is only active for a 600m zone on the track.
        Given cars go around 250-300KMH (70-84m/s), you only have a 8.6-7.1 second window to make the move stick.
        If you can stick with your opponent despite them using KERS, a combination of KERS boost and DRS will definitely send you flying past them. Running wide will be costly this year.

        1. Only the 3 new teams will not have KERS so you can’t add that into the equation for the others who can use their KERS to defend but not the DRS. You also have to take into account the ‘acordion effect’ in a corner where the trailing driver catches up going in, because the leading driver brakes first, and then loses the ground back coming out as the leading driver gets the power down and starts accelerating first.

          1. That’s true. That perfect gap will have to account the accordion effect, and must be on the straight itself. Theoretically, that’ll have to be 20-24 meters( @2.8m/s for a 8.6-7.1 second window). We’re talking about 0.2-0.3s here. Not to mention the driver will be using the dirty line. It’ll need to be very precise.

            I think every driver’s biggest fear will be braking under DRS, hoping it doesn’t malfunction and they go flying off into the barriers. HRT anyone?

  14. I envisage many press conferences with drivers moaning about being overtaken with DRS. Probably mostly Vettel as he did in the ‘magic button days.’

  15. Nice to see that he is showing full support to his team just as he did in his Ferrari days.that’s’ what makes a team go forward as they know that the driver is fully committed & believing in them.

  16. Unless I’m missing something isn’t it possible that everyone will be deploying their DRS at the same time, ie. at the end of a selected straightaway, and for a brief time period. In other words, where’s the advantage? If you stall out your rear wing as you approach the end of the straightaway, but buddy in front of you has done the same thing, where’s the gain? Is buddy behind just hoping buddy in front forgets to deploy his? Or doesn’t have as good a system?

    I vote for getting rid of this gimmickery and limiting the amount the teams can crank their wings for downforce in general, thus limiting their downforce, thus taking away such aero dependency and stressing mechanical grip, since they have slicks back now. I’m tired of seeing faster cars held up by slower cars for lap after lap due to aero, not driver skill by the guy in front.

    And now I wonder if a driver will risk his race moreso than before by attempting to pull out and pass somebody only to find himself in tire marble hell. I wonder if the consequence of the changes they have made will be to send us back into passing through pitting strategy ala MS/Ferrari era, which is the last thing I want to see.

    1. Ahm, you might have missed the point where only the following car can use its DRS.

      I agree that this should help for fast cars not being able to get past far slower cars, even backmarkers.

  17. robbie – you are missing something. something big!

    the guy in front of you needs to be within a second of someone else or he cant deploy. all the DRS really does is clawback the disadvantage of running in dirty air. you used to slipstream or draft a car and youd get by him. now you race up to his rear wing and sit there sliding around on no downforce. so DRS is necessary or at least worth a go.

  18. @antonyob…thanks…forgot about that one second thing…wonder how they police that. When does a driver know when he is allowed to deploy? Do they have timers on board? What is the consequence of someone hitting their DRS button at 1.01 seconds behind the car in front which was 0.99 when he moved his finger to the button?

  19. its all on the charlie whiting interview julian posted but basically its electronically “armed” and there are set parts of the track its armed at. sounds great to me.

    you can imagine if theres a trulli train and all 13 cars behind him trip the “arm” switch on the same straight… it will be mind blowing and possibly a bit hairy. fantastic!!!

  20. Sorry…just noticed there is a whole thread dedicated to the very type of questions I am asking about this system entitled ‘Fans will be told when drivers can use DRS’

  21. With the marbles off line from the comedy (show) tyres it won’t be as easy to overtake as one might of originally thought. ;-)

  22. ya.. if 10km/h in the end of straight then it would be hard. so much drama for season start

  23. It will be very interesting to see whether Rosberg can still beat Schumi consistently, now that the car has been shaped around the latter.

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