Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

Rosberg says DRS and tyres helped Schumacher close gap in 2011

F1 Fanatic round-up

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Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011
Nico Rosberg, Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Spa-Francorchamps, 2011

In the round-up: Nico Rosberg says Michael Schumacher “upped his performance” last year.


Rosberg not afraid of Schumacher resurgence (ESPN)

“He closed the gap to me in the championship standings compared with 2010, but a lot of that reduction was down to the tyres and the DRS, which made overtaking more possible. Qualifying lost a lot of its importance in 2011 and that was the main explanation. But Michael also raised his game; he upped his performance.”

Wall Photos (Mercedes via Facebook)

Teaser image of the Mercedes W03.

Bernie Ecclestone resists calls to cancel Bahrain Grand Prix (The Guardian)

“I expected there was going to be a big uprising [on Tuesday], with the anniversary. But I think what happened, apparently, was that here were a lot of kids having a go at the police. I don’t think it’s anything serious at all.”

One year on, Bahrain riven by political, sectarian conflict (Reuters)

“The Bahrain Air Show last month, the first big international event since the unrest, was marred by protesters who burned enough tires to fill the skies visibly with smoke over a large area. It is not clear if Bahrain will still manage to host the Formula One motor racing championship in April. Once a buzzing tourism and banking hub, Manama is not the party town it used to be. The number of weekend visitors from Saudi Arabia is visibly down and many hotels and bars are empty.”

2012 FIA Formula One World Championship – Race Information & Event Starting Times (FIA)

As expected, the United States Grand Prix will run to a distance of 56 laps.

Caterham: Move won’t affect form (Autosport)

Mike Gascoyne: “There will be some disruption, but we are hoping to move in the August break where there will be some downtime anyway.”

Franchitti: Wheldon’s death a reality check (The Telegraph)

“‘I wouldn?t give up the four championships or the Indy 500s just to have a crack at this,’ he adds, sweeping his hand across the Jerez paddock, ‘in a mediocre car or team. Maybe it was wrong but I always wanted to do F1 with a chance of being nearer the front but I never got the offer, so I never did it.'”

F1 champ Nigel Mansell receives CBE (Worcester News)

“[Mansell] professed himself ’emotional’ at receiving the honour, which was awarded to him for services to children and young people in recognition of his work as president of the charity UK Youth.”

F1 race organisers raise almost $100 million in funding (Austin-American Statesman)

“Organisers of a race track that is set to host its first Formula One race in November have raised about $94.3 million from 24 investors, a document filed this week with the Security and Exchange Commission shows.”

Follow F1 news as it breaks using the F1 Fanatic live Twitter app.

Comment of the day

Will F1 return to Mexico? Peru-kowalsky saw one of the last races there in 1991:

I was at the track that day. It was a fight to the finish line and [Riccardo] Patrese won.

There is a very intense love of f1 in South America. I am sure in any big city like Mexico, Lima, Santiago de Chile, Buenos Aires just to name a few, you are going to have a full house.

Moto GP have plans for a return to Argentina, and maybe Brazil, plus a new venue in Santiago. I imagine F1 will follow. When there is a fan base and money, the gladiator will come forward as one promoter once said.

From the forum

Happy birthday!

Happy birthday to plutoniumhunter!

If you want a birthday shout-out tell us when yours is by emailling me, using Twitter or adding to the list here.

On this day in F1

The Formula 1 Teams’ Association has of late seen several teams leave its ranks, most notably Ferrari and Red Bull.

This continues the cycle of teams forming coalitions when it suits them and fracturing when it does not. Five years ago today Renault left the Grand Prix Manufacturers’ Association, a fore-runner of FOTA, which Toyota had already turned its back on.

Author information

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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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  • 112 comments on “Rosberg says DRS and tyres helped Schumacher close gap in 2011”

    1. I personally am hoping the Bahrain GP doesn’t go ahead. Purely selfish reasons… it’s on my GF’s B’day so I will have to spend the day with her :/ (‘you know your and F1 fanatic when…’ comes to mind)

      1. Man, it must be so scary being one of the policemen in Bahrain, having to defend against terrorists/lawbreakers :/ The police look so out numbered.

        1. Terrorists/lawbreakers???

          Is that what protesters are called these days?

          1. Probably it is to Bahrain and other countries recently cropping up for ‘violent protests’

          2. Erm… the Sprays, Rubber bullets and armored cars/vests even the stakes somewhat… I think they’ll be fine.

            And they get payed well!

        2. Terrorist lawbreakers? Are you serious or do you work for the police state of Bahrain yourself? People have a right to vote for whom leads them you know, not to be told, “this man is your leader, pay him your hard earned money in tax & shutup or you will be beaten & then refused hospital treatment because the doctors will be put in jail if they treat you.” That’s just power hungry & inhumane, people like that don’t deserve to be on this planet let alone in control of a Nation.

      2. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
        16th February 2012, 9:39

        So you’d rather everyone missed a race than just you?

        1. I did say it was purely selfish!

          1. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
            16th February 2012, 10:46

            Haha fair enough :)

    2. Doesn’t the space between the cockpit and where the suspension will be look quite large on the teaser of the W03?

    3. Schumacher’s progress in the second year was always going to be inevitable. It only makes sense that after getting used to the sport again, he’ll be more confident in his second year, and I have no doubt he’ll improve this year as well. I admire Rosberg’s grit, though. If the W03 is good, it’s going to be a treat to watch them both; if they have a competitive car, they each have something they’ll really want to prove.

      1. Yeah, I hope the car is competitive if even just for some podiums. As you say, it’ll be fantastic to watch those two fight.

        1. Agree with both of you.

    4. the mercedes has shadow over the middle nose section… must be an ugly one! very thin tip of nose also, nice slim shape too.

      1. Or maybe they’ve done something a little different, and don’t want to give it away. For example, stretching out the step. Imagine the Ferrari or the Sauber or the Williams with a step that is the same height as it currently is, but stretched out over twice their lengths so that the actual incline is not as steep.

        1. People would still complain about it.

        2. Is it possible to stretch out the step? I though the rules mandated that the 7.5cm drop in hight from the top of the bulkhead to the top of the nose had to occur within a specified distance from the bulkhead? Could be wrong though.

          1. The only way to stretch the slope, is by starting it further back, i.e. have less of the advantage of the high nose to get space below it

            1. @BasCB indeed typical nonsense from PM, especially considering everyone knows they have the same nose philosophy as redbull and they havn’t started from scratch this year.

    5. So what do we think? What type of nose will the W03 have?

      1. Thin stepped nose.

        1. It looking thin may be due to the way the photo was taken.

          I think a step is more than likely.

          1. I’m going to take a stab and say it won’t be stepped but won’t be a low nose like the McLaren either. I )complete guess) reckon it will curve up to a point, kind of like the FI but even more so.

            1. Well, I still think you’d described the Force India solution a step. It’s just not as severe and much more attractive than say, the Ferrari solution.

          2. If it is as narrow (compared to other noses this year, and that of the W02 last year) as the pic makes it seem, it won’t be a step like the others.

            I seem to recall there being a minimum cross-section to the nose cone too, which means that in order to have a thin nose (ie. high up and as much space as possible below), it has to become wider. Then a narrower nose means a less flat one, as far as I can see.

      2. Nobody nose. :)

        1. Lol, but we do now @Bobdredds (It has a stepped nose)

    6. I can’t remember where I heard this, but I think Mercedes were rumored to have a special front wing, which was part of the reason for not releasing the W03 at the 1st test (The other part being the tyre strategy). Can anyone shed a bit more light on this theory? Or am I gonna have to wait till the 21st?

      1. It’s been said pretty much everywhere, from the BBC to Scarbs.

        What I heard is that they designed a clever f-duct front wing (which they tested in Japan during friday last year), and they don’t want the others to start copying it yet.

      2. They tested that front wing in Suzuka’s practice last year already, but it was illegal and not used in neither the qualy, nor race. The hole in the nose cone can only feed air to the driver, which in Mercedes’ case it clearly didn’t, which could be spotted very easily when the nose was off.
        So the intake for the duct will possibly be somewhere else and that might be the key to the whole system.

        However, I don’t believe this is the sole reason for the late reveal of the car. Or at least I would be very surprised if it is.

        1. You’re correct about the hole in the nose but you are allowed to test non-legal parts in practice sessions. The nose hole was only used in Korea and Suzuka because due to chassis homologation they had no other hole to use. The off season has allowed the team to design another aperture into the chassis to feed the “F Duct front wing”.

      3. Don’t know mate, but last year I contacted Mr. Bell and made some hints on different approach to the front wing design. It’s not easy to spot it, if they decide to do it. If they do it, I’ll just let you know with yes/no answer, no explanations. Even if it is my hint it’s the teams hard work making it possible. We’ll see…

        My list of exploited technical proposals:
        1. gp season 2000 ( A. Newey ) – splitter design – adopted by many later on…
        2. gp season 2006 – ( P. Symonds ) nose design adopted latter by Williams, and McLaren
        3. gp season 2007 – hint to different approach to balance issues ( B. Bell )
        4. gp season 2011 – hint to different front wing approach ( B. Bell )

    7. The DRS also helped Rosberg isn’t it. It applied to all F1 drivers in 2011. Imo not down to tyres and DRS, i think Scumacher really improved in 2011

      1. Well, as DRS helps you pass, the argument can be made that it helped Schumacher make back places he lost with only so-so qualifying.

        1. True, but MSC did the majority of his overtakes in the first 2 laps when DRS is disabled.

          1. Also, due to rear tyre temp issues mercedes couldn’t use full power of EBD throughout the race, just in qualifying. It has been rumoured that Schumacher preferred to qualify without it to preserve tyre longevity in the first stint and gambling on making a good start and progress through the field whereas Rosberg preferred to qualify with EBD and slip backwards in the race.

            Rosberg sounds a bit sour grapey to me.

            1. I think that it was inevitable that MS wouldn’t be starting last year as a ‘newby’ anymore, so he was inevitably going to be starting off on a stronger note relative to NR. Yet strangely the poor quali performance has been the big thing that stands out like a sore thumb for MS.

              I also think both drivers were ‘stuck’ in a car that was a distant 4th, with Renault a distant 5th from Merc and everyone else. Therefore MS was not nearly hurt by his poor qualifying as he could have been because come the end of the day, on average, he was able to get back up to NR’s territory which was a placing that NR could not generally improve upon from Saturday.

              If the field is closer, as many are predicting due to relative stability in the rules, let’s say with 6 teams at the top very close to each other (say the same top 3 as last year, then Merc, Lotus, and Force India as an example), and if MS doesn’t improve his quali performance, he will not be able to gain back all those spots he lost on Saturdays nearly as easily as he did last year, sticky tires and DRS notwithstanding. I’m convinced the bulk of the work the team and MS will have been doing for his side of the garage will be toward qualifying much better than he did last year. The Pirelli’s may be a little different this year, the DRS useage may have been tweeked, but that will remain the same for everyone. The difference for NR vs. MS is how well they qualify relative to each other this year. MS must improve that in order to outpoint NR.

              The only way imho MS might have been qualifying such that he was preserving tire longevity and gambling on a good start and progressing through the field would be once they found out that they were a distant 4th with everyone else a distance back from them. Rarely would any team’s strategy for either of their drivers be to not care to qualify as high as possible on Saturday and just gamble that Sunday works out with some luck. MS got into a lot of tangles with lesser cars by qualifying as low as he usually did.

            2. @coefficient…in defence of NR I don’t think he really ‘slipped backwards’ in the races…just ended up where the car belonged amongst the field after doing a stellar job on Saturdays.

              I also don’t see where the sour grapes are…NR must be fully stoked about how his last 2 seasons have gone…lesser drivers might have been overwelmed at the mere thought of having MS as a teammate, assuming they were going to be trounced and that the team would see to it, but NR never seemed to think or feel that whatsoever. I think he has proven that he is the future of the team and given that he has been overwhelmingly better than MS on Saturdays and come the end of the season beat MS in the drivers standings gives him no reason to have any sour grapes. I think he is being diplomatic in not pointing out that MS’s downfall was his poor quali performances that saw him tangling with cars he should have put past him on Saturday.

          2. well said @Zecks. In one of F1 racing article said “He showed little fear on cold tyres at beginning of Grand Prix”(Rainmaster). That one of the reason of his brilliant overtaking.

            1. It is sour grapes because it unfairly discounts the very real possibility that MS raised his game to improve his performances. Ok, qualifying wasn’t great for MS last year leaving him a lot of work to do on Sunday afternoon which he executed very well indeed. If not for clumsy Petrovs and the like Michael could possibly outscored NR be some margin despite his lowly qualifying positions.

              MS had some strong races fair and square last year and to put it down to DRS and tyres is stupid because we can all say exactly the same thing about every driver on the grid.

              I think the real truth of the matter is that MS, accepting of his decrepitude relative to his younger competitors and an awareness that his advancing years have robbed him of a few 10ths has knuckled down and found a way to claw back some of the defecit and in order to compete. Big pat on the back for MS is say.

              MS has always been a wiley operator and he is proving that.

      2. I agree and he was unlucky towards the end of the season after being taken out through no fault of his own. It should be a great battle but I suspect that Schumi wont want to be beaten 3 years in a row and if I was Nico I wouldn’t be giving him any more reasons or motivation either.

        1. For sure Bobdredds…MS will be totally stoked about this year too, and will not want to be bested by NR again…that said, even if NR is giving MS ‘more reasons or motivation’ it’s fair game and NR has proven to not be afraid to take the fight to MS and all other drivers on the grid. Should be great to see how it shakes out, especially assuming that they both should be mixing it up with more cars than last year, which had their real excitement only being the odd tussle with FM who should have been doing better with that Ferrari and not falling into the clutches of a team that was a distant 4th in the constructors, and with Renault barely able to affect the Mercs from a distant 5th.

          1. I have no idea who will ultimately win the fight between them but Schumacher was never a great qualifier and always concentred on race setup anyway. His improvement rate since he came back has been steady and impressive. If he hadn’t been taken out by Koybashi he might have at least equalled Nico. If he maintains the same level of improvement this season Nico will have a fight to stay ahead.

          2. @coefficient…”But Michael also raised his game; he upped his performance.” That quote is of NR’s from the paragraph of Keith’s above under the heading ‘Rosberg not afraid of Schumacher resurgence.’ So again I ask, where is the sour grapes?

            Not only does NR acknowledge that MS has upped his game, as you are pointing out, but I think he is diplomatic when he doesn’t point out that MS hurt himself with his poor quali positions. It think it is a bit convenient of you to point out Petrov’s clumsiness and others as the reason MS didn’t outpoint NR, when in fact MS had just as many clumsy moments that could be put on him, and it starts with not qualifying so low that he had to deal with cars he should have put past him on Saturday but couldn’t. And NR doesn’t dwell on that fact. He doesn’t point out the broken front wings that MS caused himself. He doesn’t point out that as a distant 4th in the constructors and with Renault as far back as they were, MS’s quali positions were less penalizing than they would have been in other years.

            So all in all I think NR is being more than fair to MS and to me only shows confidence in being able to handle himself against a ‘resurging’ MS.

            1. No doubt Nico has come of age and beating Michael for 2 seasons is no mean achievement and has been almost as good for his confidence as a race win. It is natural that he wants to continue in the same vein and lay down a challenge. With Michael that is the best way to approach him beause he will exploit the slightest chink in your armour. But regardless of all that I dont think I have seen Michael as relaxed and happy as he looks now. Normally that would slow a driver down but Michael gets faster the more relaxed he is and he has dealt with the comeback pretty well IMHO and I would never write him off.

            2. Not writing him off either, especially if he gets his quali days in order. But I also know that NR can take the fight to him and seemingly is allowed to, barring any need to ‘conserve fuel’ etc. so MS will have to get by NR first and foremost. He may be relaxed, but I doubt he is happy with the results of his last 2 seasons and he will be very hopeful that this car suits him well and perhaps suits NR less. That said, NR has stated that anything that will help MS go faster will help him too, so it will be a blast to watch.

            3. I would like to see them both will races in 2012 and it looks possible to me. I had a look at the pic of the new car in Autosport and my first impression was, fast!
              Intelligent comment from Nico, shows an excellent mindset.:)

    8. It appears that the some races are starting local time 14:00 instead of 13:00. I wonder why that is the case.

      1. Probably so that they will be broadcast at the optimal time for UK viewers.

        1. I think it’s probably more to do with Europe rather than just the UK.

          1. Which races are starting later? If European races are that would suggest it’s for the American market.

    9. Another incomplete title.(or misleading). Should be “How Schumacher closed the gap to Rosberg”.

      1. Uh, how is it incomplete or misleading? It is, after all, paraphrasing what Rosberg said. We have no conclusive proof that DRS and the Pirelli tyres are what led to the gap between the two closing – but what we do have is Nico Rosberg’s opinion on the subject, and that is reflected in the article title, and in the quote he gave. After all, if you actually look at the daily round-ups, the lead article (in this case, the ESPN piece) is always used for the round-up title.

      2. My god? What is with people and titles? There are several long articles to pick on… but apparently you can’t move past the title.


        1. People just like to pick holes in Keith’s hard work. I think they do it because it makes them feel superior, which is pretty sad when you think about it.

      3. Brixspeed, why do you think its better that way? The title covers exactly what the article says.

      4. It is neither incomplete nor misleading. It reports what Rosberg said.

    10. Not sure what will happen in Bahrain but the ticket selling has already started

      1. Quick get em before they sell out guys LOL.

    11. “But I think what happened, apparently, was that there were a lot of kids having a go at the police. I don’t think it’s anything serious at all.”

      Isn’t that pretty much what happened last year too, Bernie? Not exactly the best spin I’ve seen put on the situation.

      1. Not the best spin, and it’s also a very condescending and dismissive thing to say. These are people risking their lives to fight for something they believe in very deeply. Whether or not Bernie agrees with their cause, they are more than just some kids having a go at the police.

        1. Like the London riots…

          1. Are you seriously comparing the political protests in Bahrain to the scumbag riots in the UK?

      1. From that is fairly obvious they also have a step.

        1. Not necessarily. It could be something like the Virgin VR-01 (but with a front wing).

          1. But with a front wing


          2. The VR01 still has a bit of a slope at the front of the nose, and from what’s visible of the W03 it looks pretty flat, a la 2012 stepped nose. I think it’s pretty safe to assume it’ll have a step. Hopefully it’ll be a more graceful/gradual step like the Lotus though, and not a harsh transition like the Ferrari or Williams.

    12. Looking From Above The W03 Looks Exactly Like F2012.But Is That A Stepped Nose?If It Is The Car Will Defi Look Ugly!!!!!!

      1. But Is That A Stepped Nose?

        How can we tell, when the nose is delibrately obscured?

        1. Andy G (@toothpickbandit)
          16th February 2012, 10:02

          I think because both sections of the nose we can see are really flat, you can conclude that there will be a step as opposed to a gradually sweep. I’ve made a crude drawing of what I’m seeing:

          1. That’s one giant leap for nosekind!

          2. That’s a cool drawing, I hope it’ll be a bit more elegant than that, but I think you’ve shown conclusively what it will be like.

            You should get COTD for that I reckon.

    13. It probably Schumacher’ car set more to race set up not qualy, my point is that he has improved comparing to 2010. Recently in interview he said that he is getting better but still not 100% maybe in 2012 he will close to there.

      1. If he has recently said that he is still not 100%, then I think he is screwed. Imho, the likes of NR, FA, SV, and JB have never been better and will definitely be at 100% this year.

        1. I don’t he is screwed, if according to you the one that screwed must be Rosberg last year with no 100% self and considering his age still could beat or challenge Rosberg which almost double his age. And i think Schumahcer has nothing really to prove just like some say(including Alonso) he got the world champion status in his pocket. As for Rosberg imho he is an overrated driver i think he never really shine in his F1 carreer comparing to his past teammates etc. The like of Schumacher, Alonso, Vettel, Hamilton has really put their name among the best and alreay shined in their short F1 career whereas Rosberg considering his age needs to put his game to the business fast considering he still need to win as time is running and there are some talented young drivers out there.

          1. Except that the drivers you have named have all had top cars and NR has yet to have the equipment to truly shine. I believe that will happen sooner or later in his F1 career. For now he has nothing to hang his head about in terms of what he has done with what he has had. And for sure, once he has the equipment it will still be up to him to not squander it and crack under the pressure of leading races and/or the WDC race. So far he has handled the pressure of having MS as a teammate very well. Even seems to revel in the opportunity to compete and succeed against a 7-time WDC.

            And I also think MS has something to prove in F1…succeed with a teammate actually allowed to compete against him, without a designer car meant strictly for him on the most resourced team with his teammate forced to drive the same car, that meant for MS. So far, with a bonafide teammate, and one that has yet to win a race, MS has not done anything anywhere near like when he had all the resources from the most established team in F1 focused on him. His layoff is no longer an excuse. Nor is his age. If he was too old he shouldn’t have come back. The fact that he did means he thinks he can compete, so people shouldn’t degrade him by bringing up age as an excuse. He obviously doesn’t make that an excuse or he wouldn’t have come back.

            1. Not really they shined even before in the top teams or top cars. Vettel in Toro Rosso, Raikkonen in Sauber, Schumacher in his first or 2nd years, Alonso in Renault(before Renault able to challenge for WDC). Their skill and ability to drive not a top car that bring them to the top teams. As for Rosberg sometimes i ask why there isn’t any top teams really pursuing(Ferrari, Mclaren, red Bull….) him as for Mercedes they got Schumacher i think to help to develope to be a winnig team and i think Rosberg in this case hasn’t prove his skill in here and gainning sponsorsip for Mercedes F1.

              Imo he got that luxury just because he deserved it from his dedication to the team ans sport, i think many of teams in F1 got their number 1 driver except if the 2 drivers in the team is a top driver and judging from Schumacher past teammates i don’t think all in all they are better than Schumacher. Off course his age can be concerned at 40s in this demanding sport is not that easy every sportman in the world i think pass they 40s can’t be as good as when they are 20s, it’s not an excuse ask the sport science. In Schumacher case i think he still has the speed and can in some races still can beat his twice younger teammate as he has shown last year and still can improve. He came back just because he love the sport and considering he is still an icon to the sport and definetly better than any other pay drivers i guess why not he made a comeback.

            2. Well the fact remains NR is on a team that could sooner than later be a top team, and certainly as an F1 engine maker they are top 3 by powering the Macs, so he has obviously done something that you are not wishing to acknowledge, that has impressed those within F1 willing to hire him on.

              And you might be right…perhaps he is not an FA or an SV, but I think he is likely better than an EI or an RB. And I think I am not alone in that thinking or he wouldn’t be sitting as Mercs future. I think Merc understands not to expect NR to have the experience that MS does…few drivers do…yet they wanted him, so he must be doing something right. After all, NR had a better handle on the car, put it further up on the grid regularly, and then ‘suffered’ from having maxed it out on Sunday, fighting with the top 3 teams, while MS starting from further back got to look more progressive and pass more cars and therefore got more driver of the day or of the weekend votes but in reality should have put those lesser cars behind him on Saturday like NR did. So in terms of developing a winning team, I see nothing wrong with the info they must be getting from both NR and MS. It is MS that couldn’t get it going better on Saturdays such that he would have had less work to do on Sundays. Again, NR has nothing to hang his head about, and the contract extension he got last year, after which in the last or second last race of the season he truly took the battle to MS on the track, shows it.

              And MS may still improve, which will make it all the sweeter for NR if he bests MS again this year, and I’m just glad that MS is finally against a teammate that seemingly has a fair shot against him. There’s room for NR to improve too, and I’m sure MS is cognicent of that. Ultimately if MS can improve on his quali postitions he may give NR a run for his money and actually best him. But something tells me it will only be just. And he’ll also have to keep his nose far cleaner than the last 2 seasons, and in fact his whole career. Something tells me NR will not get trounced like MS’s previous teammates did. Unless MS has a car he can run away from the field in, I think he is going to find himself with more broken wings like last year. Nobody is intimidated by him anymore, including NR.

            3. Well i’ not saying that Rosberg is poor driver just imo not the best out there currently comparing to his generation(for now i guess), that’s why Mercedes hired Schumacher to help Brawn to develope the team into winning one, Rosberg also ever said he learn from Schumacher work ethic and Schumacher in this is unquestion i think maybe his developement side improve from learning from Schumacher. According to Stefano Domenicalli only two drivers he knows that brilliant in team leader Schumacher and Alonso. Who knows who Mercedes will sign after Schumacher retired after they become top team maybe Vettel etc if so i think Rosberg going to be need a lot of improvement as curently he is not besting the best of Schumacher(younger Schu).

              I agree with you he is better than Irvine and Rubens, that’s my point why in the past Ferrari tends to focusing on Schumacher as he is the one that can get the best from the car etc. The stake was not only a WDC but also WCC in Mclaren imo clearly Hakkinen is the number 1 driver the faster driver. Michael Schumacher as well has obviously done something in 2011 especially in the race that you are not wishing to acknowledge yourself, in some races he got the best out from the car in races and clearly has improved a lot comparing to his 2010′. Maybe the reason why he slow in Qualy because of his car set to race mode or he just needs to find the speed in this session. I think the head hang thing tends to weight on Rosberg as Schumacher already prooven himself in term of winning races and WDC.

              Imo i don’t think Schumacher can really get the best out like in his prime considering his age but i believe he still got couple of tenths there comparing to his 2011. So i think Rosberg needs to really improve especially in race and hopefully he can hold his race pace otherwise he going to get trounce by his older teammate that imo already passed his prime that really can put his name on the line.

            4. Agree totally with what “Cx9” is saying.

              Robbie, here’s a point in case. Look what Webber did with Red Bull in the last 2 years (where he drove well but SV pretty much had his measure….

              Now lets just remember that Webber outperformed Rosberg completley when they were at Williams together…. THATS the difference between the goods & the greats.

              Also I’m very interested to see the changes in the qualifying pecking order between teams AND teammates without the EBD rules making a farce of quali 3 this year (i.e we can’t run the engine like this repeatedly or it will blow up but we CAN do it for one super fast lap!)

              Seems like at quite a few teams this gave one driver a marked edge over the other throughout the season, & then the mysterious qualifying time gap would suddenly not be there during the race at race pace.

            5. @Aussie fan…there could be umpteen reasons why Webber outperformed NR at Williams including NR’s inexperience in F1 at the time, and one of them might actually be that he is better than NR, or maybe the car just didn’t suit NR etc etc….just saying I think he deserves the ride he has, he has held his own very well against a teammate that upon his re-entry into F1 Brawn said would be 2010 WDC, and so could have been intimidated by that, but instead NR has only bested him almost at every opportunity, with MS showing some signs of finally competing against him in the last part of his second season on the team.

              Guess I can bottom line it like this…if everyone is going to keep putting MS, the 7-time WDC, on such a pedestal even though he has been outperformed (outpointed) by NR 2 years in a row, which is unprecedented in MS’s F1 career, everyone willing to state that MS in fact started to outperform NR as the season wound down, then give NR his props for doing what he has done with MS as a teammate. To degrade NR by claiming he doesn’t deserve the ride he has, or is no FA, SV etc. only degrades your illustrious MS because this ‘nobody who has done nothing’ has bested MS. What does that really say about MS then if he can’t even outpoint NR? It’s not good enough that he started to show signs of it later in the season. You have to put a whole season together to succeed.

          2. You mean he has THE world championship status.;)

            1. Fair enough, anyway i never said Rosberg didn’t deserve the ride imo i just don’t him really besting Schumacher in this past 2 years as Schumacher didn’t really show his old self i’m not alone in here saying Schumacher hasn’t been in his old self, you can read in journalist etc blog, site most will wrote about this “old self” thing meaning they still can’t see or waiting for the real Schumacher to pop out as for me as i said it i can’t see him back to his prime considering his age but hope at least he can close to that hope this 2012 so we can witness the reall fight between both him and Rosberg. And i think the ilustrious thing should be apply to you as you still think Rosberg bested Schumacher in this past 2 years especially in 2010 as Schumacher really way ahead from real him in 2010 and trying to degrade his improvement in 2011 by saying Schumacher less work in race, i have to really desagree with this if he less work in race it would’t be the drive like in Spa etc. you might be right in saying “have to put a whole season to succeed” as Rosberg really have to work on his race pace as you don’t score points in Qualifying.

    14. Happy Birthday to @plutoniumhunter, good luck with the hunt :-D (hope youre not in Iran or North Korea though!)

      1. Thanks @BasCB! I’m actually Malaysian, the nickname was just something silly I cooked up when I was younger! :D

    15. There is a very intense love of f1 in South America

      If Bernie reads only one COTD this year, please make it this.

    16. Too bad that in a large continent such as South America, that has given three world champions, there just one race. I’ve also wondered why there has been no desire to see Finland host an F1 race. Is it banned there or is it the usual financial issues?

      1. I don’t think there’s ever really been a desire to see a race in Finland. In all the time that I have been following Formula 1 – some seventeen years – I haven’t heard of anyone trying to get a race going.

        1. Strange, don’t you think? They host a WRC round (don’t they?), but surely with 3 world champions from there…they should be dying to see F1 in their country. I guess there could be deeper political issues involved here.

    17. I’m really quite excited about the W03, despite the disappointment of the last two Silver Arrows (hope over experience and all that). I hope the delayed release is deliberate and considered rather than because they misjudged things. I think the fact they announced the intention so early suggests the former but we shall see! I’m not too fussed if it’s ugly as long as it’s quick (though I’d rather it didn’t look like its nose had been smashed in just before they took the cover off)

    18. I personally prefer to replace Bahrain with Turkey a week later. Plus why did Bahrain go from March to November and back to April? The pure reason why Bahrain was scheduled for November was to give the Bahraini government more time to stop the protests, so why was it sent to April?

    19. Really great article on Dario Franchitti. Thanks for that. I knew that name but didn’t know anything about him. Same for Dan Wheldon until the tragedy.

      I only follow F1. But I really think it’s time I got into some other series, don’t you think? Any advice which? GP2? Indy? Let’s say I should pick only one or two, which should they be?

      I think Keith did an article on it at the beginning or end of a season a couple of years ago?

      Also, I live in Switzerland. So if anyone from here or Germany/Austria/Italy knows of any good racing hosted on the main TV channels, do let me know please. Or good internet hosting would do too.

      Thanks in advance!

      1. @shimks I’d definitely encourage you to give IndyCar and GP2 a try if you can watch them.

        For more suggestions, check out the occasional Why You Should Watch series:

        Expect a few more of those this year.

        Of course there’s loads more information on different racing categories in the forums and groups.

        1. Actually, I’ve never ventured into the forums and groups. I was always scared it might be full of old sleazy men trying to groom me.

          Sorry, bad joke.

          I’ll take a look. Thanks!

          1. @shimks Don’t worry – our sleazy old men don’t do any grooming.

      2. Imho Indycar is not what it once was but right now the cars are very much alike from one team to the next, so in that sense the racing is very very close, with any number of drivers having the potential to win on any given race weekend.

        Most of us in North America liked the series much more before Tony George, owner of the Indy500 track at the time, decided to use said venue as a base from which to launch his own racing series called Indycar, and by taking away the Indy 500 from the CART cars it dilluded that series, and his new series was looked upon as CART-lite. So his move created two weak series’ in NA and eventually ruined one strong one completely…CART. Team owners in CART resisted initially but eventually trickled toward Indycar strictly because of the massive exposure of the classic Indy 500 race that had been taken away from them. And Indycar initially only ran on oval tracks, whereas CART always used a mix of road and street courses, and oval tracks.

        But now, although I personally still consider the cars CART-lite, the series has improved and the action is tight, and it has regained some of it’s lost popularity due to the fact that it is the only open wheel series in NA, it uses both road and street courses, and it has the Indy 500 (Tony George no longer involved I believe) which alone accounts for half of the years exposure and revenues to the series.

        There has been an argument made against the cars being so homogenous as highlighted by Dan Wheldon’s death, in the sense that the cars are so similar that you can throw a blanket over the top 10 or more cars, especially for the first number of laps after the start of the race or a restart after a caution. Sometimes it’s a very high speed traffic jam out there, and we have all seen the results of that to sometimes tragic conclusions, most particularly on the smaller tighter ovals. There has been a movement toward more chassis builders and more engine builders in the series, so I think the series is gradually heading back to the way it was before Tony George threw a wrench into the works.

        When JV left F1, and before he even turned a wheel at Lemans, he was asked about coming back to Indycar, but to him it was been there, done that, got the T-shirt, and after winning rookie of the year there in 94 and the Championship as well as the Indy 500 in 95 when it was still the real series, namely CART (with no less names than Mansell, Andretti, Fittipaldi, Rahal, Unser, Penske etc involved), he didn’t see any value at all in coming back to ‘CART-lite.’ Had he, it would have been a huge boost for the series, but I think it is very understandable for him not to have even considered it. It would have been like an F1 driver returning to GP2 upon leaving F1.

        1. I don’t know the story behind the whole Indy/Cart thing… But this version seems a tad….. one sided.

          1. How so? If you don’t know the story, then what are you using to support your point? I think I have given a pretty good summing up of what happened. Enlighten me as to how I have shown one-sidedness.

    20. Some W03 spyshots surfacing just now. They’re shaking down the car at Silverstone, starting to appear on Twitter.

        1. Nice one Keith

    21. Hi,

      N. Rosberg’s comment about the DRS sounds a bit weird: if I remember the stats correctly, a huge proportion of M. Schumacher’s overtakes were done during the first lap, in which the use of DRS is prohibited.

      1. You do make a good point, Schumacher was brilliant off the line last year, perhaps because he was off the pace in qualifying!

      2. @JS…I think NR is being diplomatic when he doesn’t point out that even without DRS the cars MS passed in the first few laps of races didn’t belong ahead of the Mercs. He should have put them behind him on Saturday. And let’s not forget a huge part of the stat for MS’s passes off the grid came from Spa when he started at the back but 9 cars collided in front of him and moved out of his way, as Keith pointed out in a summing up article after the season ended.

    22. I think you’d be hard pressed to disagree with Rosberg’s thoughts on Schumacher. I think the second year was always going to be Schumacher’s real test. His ability to develop was always going to be at its greatest between year 1 and 2 of his 3 year deal. I expect Rosberg will have a similar fight on his hands this year.

      1. Agreed AndrewTanner…I don’t see anything wrong with NR’s comments as he does acknowledge MS’s upping his performance. What I am looking for between these two drivers for the coming season hinges on a few things…if the field is closer due to rules stability, which was the FIA’s aim and which I think most are predicting, and if MS continues to qualify poorly, then I think MS will be penalized far more for not putting cars past him on Saturdays. A closer field will mean on average he will have a much harder time working his way back up the field during the races than 2011 afforded him.

        So a) lets see how close the top 6 teams are to each other, and b) lets see if MS has upped his game for quali.

        I predict that the majority of the effort in this off-season to help MS will have been getting him qualifying better. No team would ever just shrug off such a perfomance deficit on Saturdays as something that can simply be made up for on Sundays. MS was lucky NR didn’t have the car to progress from his starting spots vs the top 3 teams, and lucky that Renault and all the others didn’t have the cars to take the fight to him from further back in the field being a distant 5th or worse in the WCC.

        1. “MS was lucky NR didn’t have the car to progress from his starting spots vs the top 3 teams, and lucky that Renault…”
          And how you will explain that Schumacher most of the time can finished ahead of Rosberg in 2011 it’s not like he qualified behind Rosberg and sudenly his car got the supersonic boom as he needs to work hard not less(as your last post) as the frontrunner did. You said people degarde Rosberg i think you are way degrading Schumacher race pace in 2011 as i said in my last post Rosberg really have to improved his race mode otherwise he will need to be lucky to finish ahead Schumacher as you don’t score in qualifying.

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