Schumacher scores for struggling Mercedes

2011 Malaysian GP team review

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

Michael SchumacherNico Rosberg
Qualifying position119
Qualifying time comparison (Q2)1’37.035 (+0.647)1’36.388
Race position912
Pit stops33

Mercedes drivers’ lap times throughout the race:

Michael Schumacher115.519106.714106.209105.897105.888107.025106.357106.329106.175106.424106.778107.407109.622114.37123.978105.112105.604104.639104.305104.212103.91104.316104.344104.852105.414104.878105.971110.291122.752105.02103.721103.272103.312103.743103.664103.646104.286104.056103.78103.954104.027112.297121.177102.923102.491102.566102.623102.678102.646102.738102.658103.217103.641103.522103.527104.251
Nico Rosberg118.442107.775106.438106.506106.436106.709106.604106.901107.296107.115107.531108.402109.919112.379114.635126.808105.561104.036103.825103.76103.774103.82103.965104.129104.467104.692107105.839109.314122.38103.332104.747103.77103.747104.09104.827105.737107.103107.088110.601121.645102.22101.982102.081101.778103.595101.968102.294105.561104.193102.294102.133103.573105.332103.621
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. 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…

      1. 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.

      2. 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. 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.

      1. 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.

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

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

      4. 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.

      5. 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.

      6. 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…

        1. 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.

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

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

        3. No DRS in quali prevented him from beating Nico.

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

    4. 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

      1. I’m so much disappointed toooooooo…. :(

    5. 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.

      1. And NR did stand to bag more points in the first race than MS got in the second, if only Reubens hadn’t T-boned him…

        1. MS got a good start in Melbourne only for Alguersuari to hit him as well.

      2. Look at the chart again, it looks kinda even to me… -.-

        I also think that’s an insult to Nico.

        1. How did he insult Nico?

          1. Schumacher isn’t that far of Nico’s pace I think. Not since late last year anyway.

            I think that if Di Resta got far more points than Schuamcher he’d probably get just a few more than Nico too!

    6. 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.

      1. yeah but with their budget, midfield is totally unacceptable. I bet they spend easily double what sauber does

      2. Merc has better drivers than other midfield teams. It means car could be worse than them. Almost diappointing as BMW-Sauber in 2009.

        1. Yeah I agree with these opinions. Even worse for Brawn and the technical staff.

        2. I agree, they surely have even worst car than Sauber and Toro Roso…

        3. It very much feels like BMW-Sauber in 09. It is a shame and I hope they turn it around because I like Schumi and Nico.

          But at the same time I love the sight of seeing a Sauber thrash a Mercedes!!!

          1. they are performing like BAR

            which really shouldnt be a surprise, its the same team.

    7. 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.

      1. 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. 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. 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.

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

    11. tolgakaranlik
      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. 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. 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. 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. 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.

    16. It seems as if Mercedes were in a hurry to buy an operation but they ended up with a mess. 2009 and the doube diffuser only conspired to flatter what was at best an ordinary team, Brawn or not, and since that was banned, all they have left are excuses and false hope. Well Brawn has made it very big after selling lots of fresh air to Mercedes. :-)

    17. Let’s face the facts here…MS simply does not have all the advantages he had at Ferrari, including those over his own teammate, and now that he is in an ordinary car on an ordinary team, and actually has a teammate to compete against him, he looks ordinary…

      1. Let’s face the facts- his previous achivements are far beyond doubt. He simply appears to be past it.

        And about every single one of your posts is bagging on Schuamcher. You’re obsessed.

      2. & MS does this by getting a great start & then beating him all race? Your logic astounds me sir!

        1. My ‘obsession’ to point out the realities of how MS achieved his numbers is no different than everyone else’s ‘obsession’ on this thread to figure out what the truth is at Red Bull these days…

          You will find I am no fan of MS, even just from his unethical behaviour alone, let alone his insistance all along that his teammates be his subservients, thus meaning they could build him a designer car with designer tires with no regard for the likings of his teammates…that goes way beyond MS simply being better than his teammates…it’s hard to beat anyone, or even come close, when you are driving a car designed for someone else, tires meant to suit said car/driver as well, and data only going one way…that to me took the racing out of the pinnacle of racing, hence my comment on the viewing audience being manipulated into thinking we were watching some WDC God, when in fact many drivers could have compiled the numbers MS did under the same circumstances…see Austria 02 as the most striking example of extreme skewing toward one driver…

          So MS/Ferrari being the extreme example, when we then discuss teams such as Red Bull, I will make comparisons and look for degrees of favouritism…

          MS’s achievements may be far beyond doubt in terms of numbers compiled, but there was no honour in it, he was unethical not only on the track but as someone who claims to be all about racing, who claims to be a racer, took the racing out of F1 with a teammate contracted to be subservient and not compete against him…not RACE him…

          So at least at Red Bull MW had a WDC shot alongside SV…when did EI or RB have a WDC shot alongside MS…and if you want to claim that is because he was so much better, don’t forget the effort they put into him, and don’t forget that Ferrari in the MS era would not sign a higher calibre driver to compete against MS because they wanted to avoid that competition, and don’t forget the number of quality drivers who when asked if they wanted to go to Ferrari said yes, but not while MS is there, because everything at Ferrari was skewed toward him and they would not be able to trust that they would get a fair shot at the WDC from race one of each season…

          So if I seem obsessed it is because I was so disappointed in the MS/Ferrari era and what the meant to the racing series I have watched and loved since the late 70’s, and wish not to see that era honoured nor repeated…it wasn’t about true racing in the pinnacle of racing…it was about an FIA that wanted at all cost to see the Ferrari WDC drought ended with a mega deal to MS that was unprecedented before and since and robbed the viewing audience of true racing…

          1. omg, you “are” obsessed. ;) , i think you are taking this MS issue too seriously…

            Simple facts. Rosberg is a pretty damn good driver. So far MS is able to keep up relatively well, though i admit lacking slightly on qualifying. which = MS is reasonably good too. the end. What he achieved in the past, he achieved in the past. Statistics are there to show and prove everything. Cant argue with the maths only makes you look stupid.

            …thus meaning they could build him a designer car with designer tires with no regard for the likings of his teammates…that goes way beyond MS simply being better than his teammates…it’s hard to beat anyone, or even come close, when you are driving a car designed for someone else,

            and you know this information how? were you MS team mate? Schumacher is not there to race for his team mate, and im sure you wouldn’t be either. Same could be said about any other driver and their team mates.

            when in fact many drivers could have compiled the numbers MS did under the same circumstances…

            lol, so why didn’t they, and why don’t they?

            MS’s achievements may be far beyond doubt in terms of numbers compiled, but there was no honour in it, he was unethical not only on the track but as someone who claims to be all about racing, who claims to be a racer, took the racing out of F1 with a teammate contracted to be subservient and not compete against him…not RACE him…

            lol. so? racing is about racing, beating your team mate and others and not giving them a baby bottle. Who cares, he won in most cases because he was consistent. No doubt he used all tools available at his disposal to achieve victories. Some tools that were illegal, he got punished for them. Team orders and team mates management on the other hand is a different story… go talk to the team boss about that…

            and don’t forget that Ferrari in the MS era would not sign a higher calibre driver to compete against MS because they wanted to avoid that competition, and don’t forget the number of quality drivers who when asked if they wanted to go to Ferrari said yes, but not while MS is there, because everything at Ferrari was skewed toward him and they would not be able to trust that they would get a fair shot at the WDC from race one of each season…

            zzzZZzzzz So? Every team wants to win and use best options available to achieve this goal. And you Sir forget that Schumacher entered Ferrari while they were very uncompetitive and stayed with them through difficult periods and good periods. Did he build the team around him? Maybe he did! That makes him even better!

            You got sick of MS and Ferrari dominating, which is understandable. Many did. Same could happen with any other team/driver

            1. Of course I take it seriously…the MS/Ferrari era was a travesty in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of RACING…I stand for an F1 that promotes racing between the best drivers possible on the best teams possible, not racing that has, like Austria 02, one driver practically stopping at the start finish line on the last lap to let his teammate take the win, and then saying in the post-race interview that he was just obeying his contract…

              I don’t think I look stupid by looking for reasons for the statistics, especially when I see things like RB pulling over for MS in Austria 02…to simply look at the stats without analysing them is to be ignorant of the facts…

              I contest that the same thing will never happen again on any other team…the MS/Ferrari era was a perfect storm of ingredients…MS won his first two WDC controversially so with illegal cars and with unethical behaviour on the track…the media was like hounds on Max and the FIA to explain how they could allow MS at least one of those WDC’s and post-Senna’s death the FIA orchestrated a move of MS, who they decided would represent the new chapter in F1 post-Senna era, and ending the Ferrari WDC drought would be the perfect way in their eyes to create the next chapter in F1…

              Hence the deflection away from the messy Benetton days, to Ferrari who needed the boost, a bag of cash for MS to become a lifer at Ferrari, and I have already spelled out the rest of the ingredients that came with the very governing body’s own desires to see MS be the next icon in a new F1 chapter post-Senna…

              And it worked…the numbers are there to see…it just wasn’t honourable…it wasn’t sporting…it wasn’t about true racing in the pinnacle of racing…it was about numbers compilation by MS helped largely by teammates that were contracted not to race him in the pinnacle of racing, which paved the way for him to not have a psychological nor physical worry in the world about his teammates, and paved the way for them to design the car and eventually the tires for him…

              We will never see another era like it, and if we do it will take for the same massive skewing of one driver over all other drivers on the grid including his teammate.

              But note that no other teams have gone anywhere near to the lengths that FIA/Ferrari went with MS, not even as a way to compete against MS while he was at Ferrari…why? It’s not the honourable way to go, that’s why…

              I will always stand against that, no matter how much some of you would just like me to sweep it under the carpet like it didn’t happen or like it was nothing unusual.

            2. You’ve just posted a load of largely misinformed, one-sided nonsense i’m afraid, Robbie. You obviously need to sort out your own issues, before you go around being obsessive about F1 drivers who haven’t done anything to affect your life.

            3. My own issues of fairness and transparency in a sport I love? That’s ok…I think I’ve got that sorted out just fine, thank you…

              One-sided nonsense? I agree that seeing RB pull over for MS in Austria 02, with even the tifosi leaving their Ferrari memorabilia in the stands in disgust, was one-sided nonsense in what is supposed to be the pinnacle of racing…

              Do you deny that happened? Do you think I am the only one of this opinion? Do you think I just pulled all this stuff out of a hat? Or were you just not watching F1 in the MS/Ferrari era?

              When Patrick Head said back in the late 90’s of MS/Ferrari…”what a shame they have given up the spirit of racing for the sake of share value” how was I to take that?

              I will not apologize for caring enough about a sport I love to point out what I think are failings in F1 in the past that I do not wish to see repeated.

    18. hey dim 23… you might wanna look at that chart again… clearly michael is more consistent and quicker… oh… you may not understand that, as in the game of golf it is the low scores that win!!!

    19. Some of you here are just impossible to satisfy aren’t you. MS gets the first points for the team and we get comments like:

      1. Overtaking in starting lap doesn’t count
      2. He only came 9th

      The guy made a very impressive start, outscored his team mate who made a lousy start and kept going backwards. Using this GP if some of you are going to say that he had no talent when he was young at all, then you should not be knowing what logic means. If at 42 he can do a top 10 finish in a donkey of a car, he was a demon behind wheels when he was young.

      And for godssake, the amount of hardwork he had put in during his Ferrari days by driving miles and miles in testing is testament to the man’s commitment. So don’t belittle by saying he never had it.

      1. I would hope MS was committed…more money than any driver had ever been paid, Ferrari with the deepest pockets including an extra 100mill from the FIA just because they were Ferrari, veto power on rule changes with 3 votes on the board to the other teams’ one vote, unlimited testing at their own tracks including the tire manufacturer with a centre right there at the track to make sure MS’s tires suited him to the optimum, and teamates under contract to not compete against him from race one of each season…and if that wasn’t enough, he took all that and was unethical to boot…

        I’m not saying MS wasn’t a good driver, nor that he isn’t today…just that there are reasons (advantages) that go way beyond what any driver has ever had, and imho will ever have, as to why MS became a record breaker and a 7 time WDC…

        And the proof I am right is that without all those ingredients, he is nowhere…

        1. As I pointed out, he is 42, and past his best.

        2. And I don’t agree to this post one bit.

          MS has had his fair amount of struggles in 1996-2000. No one stopped Mclaren from doing the same amount of testing as MS did. Neither MH nor DC were that committed.

          There is no standing proof that you can provide that he had under contract that he will have a sub servient team mate. If you can refute that I am ready to change my view

          If they had always the best tyre maker, you wouldn’t have had 2003 or 2005. So your point is invalid.

          And you last point in the sentence makes me wonder whether you even realise the talent the man has got. At 42 he is able to beat his team mate (consistently or not, this season will answer), but he can mix with the fast boys. So trying to put invalid points in your posts to denigrate the man is really amusing.

          And you are talking about unethical which is something every team in the grid can be accused of. So sorry doesn’t count. MS won nothing by being unethical when he was in Ferrari. He lost deservedly in 1997. He got a penalty in Monaco 2006. His winning in Austria would have made no difference to the result in 2002. As a ferrari fan I denounce that decision of theirs.

          But finally I have seen the kind of post you make about MS and Ferrari. They are neither fair nor open minded. So I don’t expect you to suddenly have a change of heart and see any reason in my post.

          1. Pramoth, you are right that you will not change my mind but I appreciate your acknowledgement that others share my opinion…

            You are right that MS had his struggles…F1 is hard and Ferrari were a dog when he went there…but ask yourself why he would go to Ferrari to begin with when he was already at Benetton that he ‘won’ 2 WDC’s with (one of them of course from whacking DH)…he himself, when it was suggested he go to Ferrari said ‘you mean drive those red cars I keep passing in my Benetton?’…you see he didn’t even want to go until the mega deal unprecedented before and since was cooked up for him, including a migration of his Benetton crew to Ferrari along with him…

            And of course it was going to take sometime to sort things out…Ferrari hadn’t won a WDC in 16 years at the time…why would MS go there? Just because he is a sporting chap that wanted the challenge? Don’t think so…

            EI admitted a contract to not compete, and his actions proved it…time and time again EI’s function was to go out there and disrupt other driver’s quali effort, and during races, hold back whoever he could hold back…when MS broke his leg there was no way they were going to have paid MS all that money to end the WDC drought only to have EI do it, so they ensured he didn’t…remember as one example them forgetting one of his tires in a crucial pit stop?

            And then when RB said after Austria 02 that he was just obeying his contract, that about sealed it up for anyone that had any doubts, didn’t it? Ready to change your mind yet?

            Time is limited for me at the moment, but suffice it to say, all the drivers are mixing it up with each other, but given the status MS has achieved on the backs of subservient teammates and advantages hand over fist moreso than any other driver in the history of F1, one must ask why all he can do is be halfed by his teammate last year, and may only match his teammate now…I know the answer…because he only proved in the past what a good driver can do with massive advantages…sadly he was massively more unethical than any other driver too…Senna had his bad moments…MS made a career out of it…

            You say MS won nothing by being unethical…I say he was only unethical with his bullying tactics, the chop and swerve at the start that the FIA decided way back not to sanction him for, and it was unethical to have contracts that his teammate was not to compete against him…it was unethical of Ferrari and the FIA to rob us of true racing in the pinnacle of racing…

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