Mercedes: Schumacher takes blame for collision

2011 European GP team review

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Michael Schumacher admitted his collision with Vitaly Petrov was his mistake.

Michael SchumacherNico Rosberg
Qualifying position87
Qualifying time comparison (Q3)1’38.240 (+0.009)1’38.231
Race position177
Pit stops33

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

Michael Schumacher116.29107.897107.437107.134107.263106.854106.514106.637106.705106.989106.623106.812107.299122.847147.804111.647105.664105.751105.605105.208105.085105.082105.351105.515107.044105.403105.583105.194105.534106.679122.008115.218105.361106.252104.91105.227105.164105.007105.216105.388105.473105.21105.463104.721104.806106.285105.619105.176105.606104.578105.198104.84104.652104.71105.363108.419
Nico Rosberg114.972107.305107.028106.938107.136107.801106.604106.249106.112106.579106.477121.287111.574106.712106.039106.355105.448105.428105.337105.736105.205104.956105.066105.298106.144105.577106.267105.929106.645124.054110.392104.184104.28105.397104.647104.277104.213104.836105.387103.95103.862104.07104.091103.963118.677111.471103.897104.132104.004104.168103.89104.162103.649104.117104.094103.89104.301
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Valencia, 2011

Michael Schumacher

There was little in it between the two Mercedes in qualifying: Schumacher was less than a hundredth of a second slower than Rosberg.

But his race went wrong after his first pit stop, when he ran into Vitaly Petrov at the second corner.

Schumacher said: “I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him.

“But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake.”

The time lost returning to the pits left him 17th at the chequered flag – his worst ever finishing position in an F1 race.

Michael Schumacher 2011 form guide

Nico Rosberg

After a messy weekend in Canada Rosberg had a solid, if quiet run in Valencia.

He squeezed past Jenson Button on the first lap but didn’t see the McLaren driver lunging for the inside at turn two on lap six to claim the position back.

From there on he faced little threat from behind for his seventh place. He dropped behind the two stopping Jaime Alguersuari but passed him back quite easily on lap 39.

The team had been planning to pit him twice, feeling they’d improved the tyre wear on the W02. Rosberg had saved a fresh set of soft tyre during qualifying with this in mind, but with the front-runners making three stops they elected to do the same.

Nico Rosberg 2011 form guide

2011 European Grand Prix

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    Keith Collantine
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    52 comments on “Mercedes: Schumacher takes blame for collision”

    1. Schumacher had made more rookie errors than any of the rookie drivers have made this year.

      1. Very poor result from Schumi, but this and Turkey (also with Petrov) definitely do not exceed Di Resta’s errors.

        1. or maldonados copious crashes. Lets not forget also we can only call errors that we see on tv. Many drivers make many mistakes from bad starts to short shifts to long shifts to out breaking themselves. Or in rosbergs case coming no where near to out breaking him self, they’re all errors.

      2. Let’s not exaggerate. But Michael has either excellent races or messes up with silly mistakes.

        1. Its really not an exaggeration. Look at the footage of his incidents in Turkey and Valencia.. they are very amateurish mistakes.

          1. yeah, you are smart enough to make an judgement watching that on TV… WOW

            1. Its kind of obvious I saw it on TV and on youtube, and then came to that conclusion.

              Did you expect me to do get into his head like Professor X and give you a more detailed analysis?

            2. That’s interesting because I watched a montage of Hamilton’s incidents and came to the conclusion that he was making the most errors.

            3. but you forget that Todfod is potentially a better driver than Schumacher , from his armchair of course !

          2. It IS an exagguration, since you’ve even admitted to him making 2 mistakes when we know that the rookies like Di Resta and Maldonado have made more.

            1. 4 mistakes in 8 races. 3 broken wings and a completely botched up start in Monaco

            2. He broke 2 wings (Alguersuari hit him in Australia). So yeah, you’re exaggerating.

        2. One thing I can not get my head around just yet and maybe someone can answer. When things like this happen, and Michael has had a couple of races with silly mistakes, has anyone noticed that there isn’t really any alternative strategy that can be deployed?
          In the past they would have tried to get the driver on less pit stops which of course was helped by the fact that tires would last much longer and the gap between different choices was not much. Why can’t teams today act on the same type of strategy in similar situations when incidents or accidents occur?

          1. Good question. I thought Mercedes should have gone for the harder tyre earlier.

            1. yep, agreed

          2. helped by the fact that tires would last much longer and the gap between different choices was not much

            You’ve hit the nail on the head right there.

            Webber’s podium in China is an aberration, either because the gap between the hard and soft tyres wasn’t as big on a full tank of fuel or because he was much, much quicker on soft tyres at the end of the race. Not to mention that he had fresh softs for each stint and he was running in relatively clean air after each pitstop. I’m not taking anything away from Webber or Red Bull, but those were some very unusual circumstances.

            Also the Mercedes strategists have made quite a lot of surprising decisions over the last two years, with both Schumacher and Rosberg. Mercedes really needs a shake-up n that department.

      3. Yeah I think not actually.

      4. Please provide some statistics with your claim, cause your post without anything to prove has to be classified as a hater/troll comment.

        1. The Schumi haters come out again! Ya he has made more rookie errors than all the rookies, he never was any good, it was just the Ferrari,

          His team mates back in his first career were all faster but weren’t allowed to race him, all the drivers he won his championships against were really slow compared to today’s drivers and since Alonso and Button were driving back then too, they are way better these days also.

          Rosberg is also really slow because Schumi is close to his pace. In Canada when driver skill cud make the difference with a rubbish Mercedes we all know Schumi was only heading for second place in closing laps because he is incredibly lucky.

    2. Is he the first driver to overtake an undamaged car with a damaged car? (Loose front wing on a Force India)

      1. I’d bet it was!

      2. The Force India outbraked itself into the corner (Turn 12?).

        1. So he didn’t get overtaken?

    3. Michael you are a gentleman and a champion!. Not many drivers would admit blame for that accident!!. Whatever thay may say out there, there will never be another champion out there like you, at least not in our life time!!. Go michael, you have another year to justify your come back!! you just need the car my friend!!!!!

      1. All the best luck to the living legend, though saying he needs the car could be said for other drivers too. He doesn’t seem have the ability to consistently out-perform his car anymore.

        1. He doesn’t seem have the ability to consistently out-perform his car anymore.

          That’s probably due to a lack of testing; when he first joined Ferrari he spent all summer driving the car around the Ferrari test track trying every possible change under as many different conditions as possible. This meant that even though the car wasn’t great he always knew how it would behave and how this would change as a result of changing the set-up either in the pits or while out on track.

          These days he gets very little testing time in the real car and instead has to do his testing in the simulator and this means that he doesn’t have the intimate knowledge of the car and how it will behave come the race weekend which in turn prevents him from knowing exactly what changes to make to get the best out of it or how to drive around the problems that are inherant to the car.

          So not only does he have to drive a car that isn’t to his liking, he also has to drive a car that (by his standards) is almost an unkown quantity.

      2. Wow, Schumi admitting a mistake, I’m not quite sure whether if I like this new Schumi more than the old one…

      3. I feel no sympathy for MS, and while I do find it refreshing to hear him own up to this mistake this time, so many times in the past he has been a bully in his Ferrari, and he was also a bully last year in the Merc a few times, example vs. Reubens, and so many times in post-race interviews after incidents using his ‘I-have-my-own-rulebook’ type of behaviour he would simply say he didn’t know what happened and he would have to look at the tape. ie. next question. So as I say, refreshing to hear him own it outright this time, but it has been a long time coming. Too long as far as I’m concerned.

        1. beneboy good point and another thing is his simulator time is limited because it makes him sick.

          Very unusual seing a driver admitting blame never mind when the stewards said it was a racing accident never mind it been Schumacher admitting the blame.

          1. MS is not the only driver limited in the amount of testing they get though. It’s equal in that regard, so no excuse really…NR for example is now back ahead of him in points, and it’s not like the car is a race winner for him either. And this time NR got every bit the good start off the line that MS has been getting, so…again, no sympathy.

            1. He isn’t the only driver with limited testing miles. However, what beneboy was getting at is that Schumacher’s work ethic was to ensure he would put in more miles on the test track to understand his car more than any other driver would. Now, that opportunity to simply work harder in testing is significantly reduced.

            2. You missed the point entirely Robbie; no-one is saying that he’s any more or less limited in the amount of testing he gets compared to other drivers. What I was saying is that one of his strengths during his earlier career was that he (unlike most other drivers of the time) used to spend hundreds, maybe even thousands, of hours testing the car and all of the different set-ups that were available to him in a variety of different conditions.

              This commitment and determination gave him an edge over his competitors and also allowed him to be able to get more out of the car than anyone else could because he knew exactly how it would react to different set-ups, the different changes that he could make from the cock-pit and so on.

              The current rules don’t allow him to do this and therefore he’s not able to get the same intimate knowledge of the car that he used to be able to get before testing was limited.

              No-one’s asking for your sympathy, David made the point that Schumi isn’t able to get as much out of his car as he used to back in the day and I considered this to be something that may be contributing to this so put it out there to see what other people thought.

      4. It’s nice to see that nowadays Michael is actually willing to admit to his mistakes, but let’s not forget that while he was at the top of this game there were many times he behaved anything but gentleman-like. Without that ruthleness he wouldn’t have been the great champion he was.

        1. Well it is not like MS had a better work ethic than other drivers. It is just that when you are on the most established team in F1, getting an extra 100 mill a year just because you are Ferrari, and you have your own test tracks with the tire manufacturer on site, as well as seemingly unlimited resources to go testing as well as the ok to do that from the FIA, then of course you are going to test a lot. I doubt that MS was the one that had to rally the troops to go testing more just because he wanted to…they had the resources and the opportunity to test moreso than anyone else so they did…it’s not like this was some big hardship and only the likes of MS could have or would have tested so much…it was a luxury for MS, and one of the reasons his numbers compilation was not an apples to apples comparison to the rest of the grid. All drivers would have tested as much if they had the opportunity because it is their job.

          1. You’re talking rubbish; when Schumi came into the sport many drivers were still going out boozing and did as little testing as they could get away with.

            Schumi changed the way that drivers prepare for F1, the amount of physical training they did, the countless hours of testing and the many hours spent working with the engineers and all of this contributed to him becoming the most succesful driver in F1 history.

            1. Lol, beneboy…you call my post rubbish and then make a blanket statement like that about drivers boozing and doing as little testing as they could get away with? Laughable. You’ve just downgraded F1 and it’s teams’ and drivers’ level of professionalism to the point of WWE wrestling , and if that was actually the case as you believe, then you must also believe that there was no challenge for MS after all, so it wasn’t really about MS’s talent but the lack of effort from everyone else that resulted in his numbers compilation.

            2. @ Robbie – beneboy may have exaggerated the lack of effort of other drivers, but it was clear from Schumacher’s relationship with the engineers, and what was observed by everyone in F1 that Schumacher did indeed take preparation in this sport to a whole new level that the drivers of today now follow and refine.

              Schumi changed the way that drivers prepare for F1, the amount of physical training they did, the countless hours of testing and the many hours spent working with the engineers and all of this contributed to him becoming the most succesful driver in F1 history.

              The part of beneboy’s post that is simply beyond argument.

    4. It was third time as Schumacher damaged his front wing in a race this year – that’s way too much in eight races.

      As for his overtake, it was nothing special. Sutil overtook Schumacher, missed his braking point and went wide there.

    5. its too many errors. but no less than lewis has made or massa. even fernando has had contact this year twice.

      It reminded me of the bourdais massa incident from a few years ago. Tho that day most people blammed massa(who was in petrovs position).

      shame it happened his pace again seemed alright. Tho i must admit im not enjoying the field spead with current rules.

    6. Schumi is mellowing out at an alarming rate.

    7. Mercedes is making no ground on the lead pace. Their tire issues are not getting better. In front of Button, it was only a matter of time when Rosberg would eat his tires and Button would just drive around him.

      I keep hearing Brawn talk about how everything is going to gel next year and Michael will look like a genius again. I guess you can talk like that when you cashed out so well when you sold out to Mercedes. It just feels to me like the team is just slipping backwards as Honda did in its latest stages.

      1. Looks like Ross Brawn delivered on his promise only when his own money and brand were on the line.

        I think their best chance will be in 2014, where the next major batch of rule changes will be applied. I do not think Schumacher will be able to withstand this kind of beating all the way up until 2014 though.

        1. I do not think Schumacher will be able to withstand this kind of beating all the way up until 2014 though.

          Maybe because Michael had said he would leave after 2012 since before the 2010 season?

    8. It’s all so incredibly tiring this Schumacher bashing stuff, I’m always surprised at how so many people still live to wake up in a morning and say something negative about him. Dear me. Why does one comment about one race have to be analysed using data/evidence from the last 20 years? He messed up, he admitted it, he moves on. Some of the rest of us need to do the same.

      1. Yes :D

        I do like the guy.

        People expect levels of utter perfection up and down the grid. That would be rather dull.

        I’m loving Schumacher’s return. I respect him for hanging about for this year considering the level of criticism he is getting. Let’s face it, the guy doesn’t need the money.

    9. If Michael Schumacher would be judged simply on his past 2 season performance it would clearly be mediocre so say the least!
      He does have a history which we all know about, like or dislike him his results from 1991-2006 are impressive.
      I used to enjoy watching him but let’s be honest people, today he is boring and rarely does something memorable.
      I feel so many hungry young guns could give us more joy on race weekends.
      The is a perfect example that F1 is a political sport and he gets his drive because it helps Mercedes sells cars. It will never change unfortunately

      1. If Fernadnez said one GP winner Trulli was invaluable to Lotus because of the experience he brings how much more do you think the greatest winner in F1 history is to Mercedes??

    10. Decent result from Rosberg. Really want to see one of these guys on the podium, we were so close to Schumacher in Canada.

      1. It’s coming , my friend , without testing , the racing data has to be used as a form of testing these days . Once they have the car , either MS or NR are very capable drivers of delivering.

    11. Unfortunate mistake, one of many made by some of the top drivers this year. Maybe we should ask them all to retire and allow fresh blood in. Keep driving Michael, as long as you want and they’ll have you.

    12. I’m starting to wonder if there’s some sort of weird metaphysical connection between Schumacher and Petrov. Remember how many times Raikkonen “ruined” things for Sutil? Kimi collided with Adrian more than once, and always when Adrian was in a points scoring position. Are we seeing a lesser version of the same thing now?

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