Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

Schumacher admits disappointment with 2011

2011 German Grand Prix

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Silverstone, 2011

Michael Schumacher admitted he is disappointed with the second season of his F1 comeback.

Speaking ahead of his home race, Schumacher said: “Yes, I am, yeah, absolutely.

“I think we all expected something different, as we all remember coming to Australia, to the first race and we were very excited, having had a good winter test and then it didn?t transform.

“Now we all know the reason and now we are on the way to improve our game, but as I mentioned at the beginning and have done so very often, it?s a mission and the mission unfortunately doesn?t always go in one line upwards.

“It?s like a stock market: before it goes up, it falls down a couple of times and the general trend, what I can see in the factory, the progress that we are making in terms of the infrastructure, how the team is building up, I see very good signs that we can make it.”

Although he doesn’t think Mercedes are ready to win races yet, he believes they’re in a better shape than recent results may have shown:

“I don?t think we are in a position yet to talk about winning races.

“We are on the way. We steadily improve although maybe results don?t show it but if I see in terms of the organisation how we equip ourselves, how we move forward, what?s the actions for the future, I am very optimistic to be quite honest.

“It wasn?t initially a long term project for me when I signed up but after a while I understood it is going to be and there is nothing that you can rush through. You have to progressively step up and that?s what we are doing.”

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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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44 comments on “Schumacher admits disappointment with 2011”

  1. I just read the press conference, some very nice things. Schumacher really rates Vettel very high.

    But I think Michael will want to do the whole 3 years and I think he might even continue into a 4th year with Mercedes, if they turn around the team and go for winning.

    1. I wouldn’t be surprised if he does 4 years.

      1. I don’t think it would be a bad idea for Mercedes either. He is still quite competitive, and in terms of advertising Schumacher’s pull on fans and pundits alike is still remarkable.

        1. Schumacher’s pull on fans and pundits alike is still remarkable.

          I would disagree. I think there was a lot of hype built around him last year, and sure there were a lot of hardcore Schumi lovers who returned to the sport because of him. But I think the constant disappointment of his performances have made him an almost insignificant presence on the grid. Sure, he is still marketable, but 2 years from now Mercedes would be better off signing a new and exciting talent like maybe Kobayashi, or maybe Di Resta or Perez.

          1. Sure, he is still marketable, but 2 years from now Mercedes would be better off signing a new and exciting talent like maybe Kobayashi, or maybe Di Resta or Perez

            Disagree. Until Mercedes is consistently able to compete for podiums, they’re better off with an old hand who can develop the car. That’s why Ross Brawn retained Barrichello instead of hiring Senna in ’09. Maybe MSC doesn’t have as big an effect now that in-season testing has been banned, but 17 seasons in F1 should count for something.

            In any case Mercedes have di Resta, Hulkenberg and Sam Bird waiting in the wings when MSC retires. Until then, any extra eyeballs that MSC draws is a bonus. Even you are talking about Mercedes because of him :D

        2. Agree with Mike and Burnout on this

          1. javlinsharp
            22nd July 2011, 20:58

            Yea, Im with Burnout here. There is no such thing as bad publicity. If it were any other driver in that seat the Mercedes team wouldnt get 1/2 the air time they do.

            Until MS becomes a negative factor on a real fight for CC, this arrangement seems mutually equitable.

    2. If he can’t do anything next year given his fitness he will continue for 2014.

  2. A proven winner when in the right car, but also an old man in a young mans game. Uncertain if the car is good enough and wonder if the man himself may be the same.
    History may look at this attempt as a mistake, with his reputation now somewhat tainted from being in a lesser car. Without a win during this comback some may begin to question whether he actually was that good or was he lucky to have caught Ferrari at the right time.

    1. Caught Ferrari at the right time? He was 2-times World Champion before he joined them. I think Schumacher is the same in terms of skills and talent as he was before his retirement, it’s the conditions around that changed:
      1. He doesn’t drive the fastest car anymore (not even 3rd fastest).
      2. The field is much more competitive than it was during his ‘reign’. He gets to fight 4 World Champions and all of them drive faster cars.
      3. Maybe the age does take away some tenths.

      1. It’s the other way around Ferrari was lucky to have caught Schumacher, he helped to turn that period into the most successful in Ferrari’ history, ask Jackie Stewart about that.

        1. in reply to Dan Gurney

          1. Agree 100%. Lets wait and see when he drives a faster car. He did a great clever drive as he shows. He might loss few tenths as he aged but still he is a brilliant driver. He can win races with a winning car.

  3. Schumacher’s had very good race pace this year, arguably better than Rosberg’s, but he’s just throwing too many good results away – namely at Turkey, Valencia and Silverstone.

    If he can capitalise on his speed a bit more often, who knows, he might just be able to beat Rosberg in the championship, and that would be an incredible achievement.

    1. I have to question the comment about incredible schievement. Rosberg has done nothing in F1 in general. Schumachers record is widely known. The Mercedes is also a dog. Add all of it up and their season is not acceptable. This team is barely approaching mid field positions. There is little reason to hope for any change. Rosberg should get the ride for next year and those results will tell the tale of his future. I find it hard to believe that Rosberg will ever make his mark and question his ever winning a Grand Prix.

  4. I believe that Mercedes are getting better and that the team is going to win races sooner or later. But it’s not only about Mercedes, it’s about Schumacher as well.

    I think MS should simply quit at the end of this year and admit that the idea of coming back to F1 was not a good one. Now we have different rules than last year but Schumacher is still lagging behind Rosberg, he makes too many mistakes and cannot really explain why. Last year Ross Brawn admitted that if it was some young rookie instead of MS, he would have been replaced already before 2011 season.

    I think that MS is simply a good asset from the marketing point of view, which is why Mercedes has not got rid of him yet. And MS cannot think of something better to do than to race an F1 car so he doesn’t want to throw the towel himself. Other than that, it seems a very irrational decision to keep Schumacher in Mercedes as there are many drivers available who would be able to bring Mercedes more points than MS does now.

    1. there are many drivers available

      Like who?

  5. themagicofspeed (@)
    21st July 2011, 19:25

    its an awfully embarrassing situation for a 7 time world champion, whose reputation is now seriously tarnished. this in my view was the biggest mistake of his career. i too (like Girts) think he should quit at the end of the season.

    As a Ferrari fan, I saw his comeback for a different team as betrayal and so in a way im glad Ferrari are beating Mercedes. The Ferrari may be a step below the Red Bull but the Merc might as well be a cement mixer. Even Ross Brawn doesnt seem to have the answer. I also agree that the only reason MS is still at Mercedes is simply because he is Michael Schumacher. When i see him drive now its hard to beleive he’s the same guy that won 7 world titles, cause his driving has completely changed, even though of late we’ve seen little bits of the old Michael.

    1. I don’t think it’s right to consider his comeback with a different team as betrayal until you’re not sure whether Ferrari offered him a seat in the first place.

    2. Shumi was forced to retire. It’s LDM who betrayed.

        1. Great article!

  6. Jos The Boss Verstappen
    21st July 2011, 19:39

    Schumacher decided to come back into F1 because he enjoys it still and believes he can still do a great job.

    I think he is just happy racing in an F1 car and doing what he loves, he doesn’t care about his reputation and when he feels he isn’t up for the job he will know it’s time to retire, saying his reputation is tarnished is over the top.

    His race pace this season has been excellent, if only Ross Brawn made him pay for each front wing he damages, he would be ahead of Rosberg on points by now, I think he has been much better than last year he just needs to cut out his mistakes.

  7. Could be more than 3 years. That would be great if he carried on I think. The way he talks about the infrastructure and progress of teams makes it obvious he’s been there before and seen a teams go from rags to riches with his help. He’s doing more straight-talking than he has done before about the team, so for me it seems all the more believable that progress is been made. One of my favourite teams and sadly all they’ve done since the Brawn days is slightly disappoint me so I sincerely hope they’re on the up.

    1. I’d love it if Michael stayed. It would probably be wise if he didn’t stay too long and risked damaging his reputation further still and it would be nice if a young driver got a shot at that seat but the chance of seeing Michael’s magic again is such a wonderful prospect I hope he sticks around.

      1. Well when I was a young teen and a Jordan fan with a short attention span, I absolutely loathed the guy, we’re talking 02-04. Now I’m a big supporter of his and I love the fact he’s come back with Mercedes. And I’m not sure why. But it doesn’t seem to bother me that much that he’s damaging his reputation, and to an extent why it should bother anyone else that much.

        However, if it’s 3 years down the line and he hasn’t done anything that’s remotely commendable, then yes, he’s preventing other drivers that could possibly do a better job from getting a seat.

      2. I hope he will stay for more years after his contract ends. Love to watch F1 with him around. he is still a great driver. Alonso still rate him high with a faster car!!

  8. I was a huge Schumacher fan in his Ferrari years, but when there was talk of him replacing Massa after his accident, I thought it was a mistake. Then the next year he’s driving a Mercedes. Schumacher was the best F1 driver ever in my opinion but that was a while ago. Schumacher hasn’t looked like the same driver for Mercedes as he did for Ferrari. Also I don’t get all his talk of the future, the ways he’s talking its as though he’s a 20 year old in his first year in F1. How long does he think he’s got? I’m not sure if he’s realized but he’s getting old. I don’t think he’s going to be happy unless he adds an eighth title but he’s not going to. Even if next year Ross Brawn builds a car that’s 5 seconds a lap quicker than anything else I think its Rosberg that will win the title.

    1. It’s only your guess and you can be wrong. Let’s wait and see. MSC might finish ahead of Britney this year, we never know considering his good race pace.

  9. Schumacher is only doing what I predicted he would do, however I did expect a podium or two.

    Schuie’s record only stands due to a couple of factors:
    *His Ferrari was reliable for 2.5 seasons whilst Kimi &
    other drivers lost due to unreliablity.
    *he did not grab a single pole position for almost 2-3 years until the race after Senna died.
    *all ex champs started retiring and there was nobody else left to challenge…i.e. Mansell 92, Prost 93, Senna 94.
    *he never allowed a potential champion to be in the same team as him to make him look good. i.e. Barrichello following team orders & giving him wins, whilst Kimi would’ve been in Ferrari much earlier if Schuei didn’t have a say.
    *there were less cars on the grid and more races per year during his winning years (in regards to his stats & records)

    Whether the Merc is good or not at least Rosberg has grabbed a couple of podiums in the last 2 years.

    1. *His Ferrari wasn’t always the best car on the gird only 2002 and 2004 Ferrari’ got so dominated car, with his hard work and the dream team where other drivers failed that turned the cars into such a domination cars.
      *2-3 years after Senna died he drove inferior Ferrari yet he still put couple of stunning drives.
      *All ex champs started retiring yet future champs the like of Alonso, Raikkonen, Hakkinen, Hill, Button, Villenueve to challenge, at least he ever competed and put great shows with the ex champs.
      *Massa was a potential champ showing in 2008, arguably Kimi won in 2007 helped by “team order” and Lewis-Alonso factor.
      *Less cars–would like to hear your explanation about this.
      At Merc Michael i think already past his best.

      1. Agree 100%

      2. I agree about your other points Mgn, but you have to admit that MSC’s Ferrari was practically bulletproof in the 2000s. He suffered no engine failures between France 2000 and Japan 2006. That’s pretty astonishing considering how Merc and BMW engines were blowing up left and right back then.

        I’m not holding it against the man. I’m just saying that happened.

  10. Canadian GP showed he still has it…

  11. Still one of the sports all time greats, Schumachers passion for the sport and in particular his being driven to become a integral part of developing not only a race car but an entire organization makes him stand out when compared to his current rivals. Maybe all of this so far failed attempt to return to driving is nothing more than a last grasp attempt before taking on an internal position with his team. A great driver, a great leader and a great motivater surely has made the door open for a different kind of glory and after his driving days are over.

  12. MS is doing as well as I thought he would

    1. although fisichella is not upto michaels standards…fisico is also an experienced f1 driver….and u guys remember how he suffered to drive the ferrari in 2009 despite he was competitive in his force india…..keeping tis in mind i feel schumacher is doin a lot better job in his f1 return..hope he will b on the podium soon

  13. Why isn’t the title of this article ‘Schumacher Bullish on Mercedes Long Term Future’? As that seems to be mostly what the article is about.

    1. Because I could pick an email at random in my inbox and find a vague but positive quote from an F1 driver in it. A reasonably frank assessment of their situation is much harder to come by – particularly from Schumacher, who tends to be evasive in interviews.

      Besides which, your headline would probably be around five lines long instead of two, and no-one would click on it because their reaction to it would be “well he would say that, wouldn’t he?”

      1. Maybe my example headline wasn’t great, but I don’t think the one you have is representative of the content of the interview.

        Maybe I’m being over sensitive, but I just don’t like sensationalist headlines that don’t reflect the content of the article, I feel tricked when I read them. I also don’t like the word ‘admits’ in them, it makes it seem like the person in question had to be held under water torture for four days or something. ‘Schumacher disappointed with 2011 so far’ would have been a 2 line headline and would have been closer to the mark for me.

        1. It’s not sensationalist in the slightest. He was asked if he was disappointed by the season so far and said “Yes, I am, yeah, absolutely.”

          I feel tricked when I read them. I also don’t like the word ‘admits’ in them, it makes it seem like the person in question had to be held under water torture for four days or something.

          Then I think you’re investing rather too much additional meaning in the word “admits”!

  14. Schuey’s driving this year has been much better than last year, despite a poorer car. He was exceptional in Canada, and had he not been unfairly overtaken by the stupid DRS, he could have won with Vettel’s moment. He also drove brilliantly at Silverstone.

  15. I know that but during 00s Schu also suffered some technical failures and non finishes, 2005 the rule changed to prevent Ferrari domination, 2006 he got faster car at mid season

    1. Supposed to be in reply to Burnout post above :)

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