Mercedes driver will get a new chassis for the next F1 race in Barcelona
19 April 2010

Michael Schumacher will race with a new Mercedes chassis at the next Formula One race in Barcelona.

The seven-time Formula One champion has been lacklustre in the first four races of this season and Mercedes motorsport boss Norbert Haug admitted Schumacher is struggling with the handling of his car.

“Don't worry - Michael has not forgotten how to drive,” said Haug. “I think we need to replace his chassis for Barcelona.”

Schumacher finished 10th in the Chinese Grand Prix yesterday and struggled with wet conditions he mastered so often in his days at Ferrari and Benetton.

“As you imagine, there were some good emotions but there were unfortunately too many bad emotions," said Schumacher.

"Actually at the beginning I thought we were quite clever when some others changed for intermediates but it turned out to be the wrong decision [for them].

"But, quite honestly, I think all weekend didn't work out for myself. I think you have to compliment the English team [McLaren] and say congratulations to them - done a great job,” he told the BBC.

Schumacher was more than a minute behind his team mate Nico Rosberg, who finished third.

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19 April 2010

I think the problem is not so much the chassis, but the fact that he hasn't control of the team like he did at Ferrari, so the set-up is more of a compromise, leading to a neutral/under-steer situation rather than the 'on it's nose' set-up that he prefers.

After he left Ferrari, Kimi arrived at the Scuderia and found the car to be more pointy than he wanted but it was designed that way for Schumacher, so it took a while to dial that out. Now at Mercedes, in a car designed for Button, who prefers the neutral/under-steer model, it's the reverse and the car suits Nico, rather than Michael.

Also as there's no testing, Schumacher hasn't had the 1,000's of kilometres to get used to the car and work on it like he used to. He can definitely still drive and showed that in the race when he tried to keep Hamilton and Massa behind. So the race craft is still there, he just needs a car he likes.

19 April 2010

His return to race in F1 championship have brought benefits to everybody a part him!!!

19 April 2010

Schumi should drive the safety car. That is one Merc chassis that leads every lap its on track for!

19 April 2010

Schumacher has been found out. The team is no longer run around him, the car isn't designed around him and his competitors aren't scared of him. Improvements in marshalling and proper penalties have helped dial out some of the gamesmanship/cheating that he bought to F1 racing.

Sadly, we will never know what it would have been like to see Alonso/Vettel/Button/Hamilton up against Schumacher in his prime...but we are beginning to understand how much the other factors I have listed above helped him.

DAmon Hill must be laughing his head off...

19 April 2010

Oh for goodnes sake! It's not the chassis, it's not the lead-lined helmet, it's not his neck, it's not cosmic rays even. It's because he's 41! Will people stop offering up excuses for this once-great F1 driver. He's great no longer. Stick him in the same car as Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa, and he would come fifth. A truly great driver doesn't need a car 'built around him' for crying out loud! A great driver should shine out - like he did when reportedly (although I was/am suspicious) he raced around a track with only one gear.

19 April 2010

Damon Hill won't laugh, as he's too much of a gentleman. I'm not though, I laughed when he went off the track and made Ross Brawn roll his eyes.

19 April 2010

[quote golfman]

Oh for goodnes sake! It's not the chassis, it's not the lead-lined helmet, it's not his neck, it's not cosmic rays even. It's because he's 41! Will people stop offering up excuses for this once-great F1 driver. He's great no longer. Stick him in the same car as Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa, and he would come fifth. A truly great driver doesn't need a car 'built around him' for crying out loud! A great driver should shine out - like he did when reportedly (although I was/am suspicious) he raced around a track with only one gear.

[/quote]Tend to agree with this but if he had stayed in F1 rather than retire would we be seeing a different driver? i.e. is it his time out or is he really rusty or has he lacked the input he would have had at Ferrari?

19 April 2010

He could return to fishing.

19 April 2010

I fail to see how this particular story is news, he might be getting a "new" chassis. But it is not a new chassis design as they all had to be homologated before the start of the season.

-Edit- This is a new chassis design, I have just found out it has a Stannah stair lift attached to help him get in and out.

20 April 2010

[quote golfman]Oh for goodnes sake! It's not the chassis, it's not the lead-lined helmet, it's not his neck, it's not cosmic rays even. It's because he's 41! Will people stop offering up excuses for this once-great F1 driver. He's great no longer. Stick him in the same car as Hamilton, Alonso, Button, Massa, and he would come fifth. A truly great driver doesn't need a car 'built around him' for crying out loud! A great driver should shine out - like he did when reportedly (although I was/am suspicious) he raced around a track with only one gear.[/quote]

If he was seconds of the pace, then I'd agree with this. The fact he's only been about 7/10ths off Rosberg, would indicate it's the set-up of the car and driver preference, not the driver alone. Although you can argue that if he was a more adaptable driver, the set-up doesn't matter, but as set-up is everything, that's the wrong way to look at it.


If the argument about great drivers not needing a car or team built around them was true, then Senna (aged 34) wouldn't have struggled with the 1994 Williams (whilst Damon was ok), Mansell would have won more championships (than the one he won aged 39) and Alonso would not have needed help from his team mate to win in the Renault. Not to mention Button wouldn't have wallowed for years in various teams. Car and environment are as important as driving talent.

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