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Posts tagged “Mercedes Benz

Why Michael Schumacher Could Win The 2011 World Championship

Michael Schumacher’s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive.  The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion.  He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career.  So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time?

It’s still the same Michael Schumacher

Indeed, we saw glimpses of it last season.  The passion, and the desire to do well.  He was racing on the ragged edge, braking as late – if not later – than anyone else.  The trouble was, he didn’t have the car underneath him to be able to win.  It took him a while to get reacquainted, but in truth it would take anyone a while to get used to be these new cars.

The 2011 car will be built around him

Sorry Rosberg fans, the fact is – Schumacher & Brawn will be running the show at Mercedes Benz.  Let’s not forget, they are paying Michael an arm and a leg to race for them.  He will design the car around him, something he didn’t get chance to do last season.  He also has an entire year of racing with the wide nosed, tall winged cars so has plenty of data and ideas to call upon when constructing the new vehicle.  An insider has already said that downforce and grip levels on the simulator are exceeding expectations.  Not a bad start?

Pirelli Tyres

Yep, the great big unknown means it’s all a level playing field this season.  No-one knows much about Pirelli just yet, so it’s a fair and even start for all the drivers.  It’s about adaptability, and we know deep down inside the 42 year old he can adapt.  He also looked quick in the 2010 car on 2011 rubber.

Less expectation than last year

At the start of 2010, we all expected the Schumacher from 2006 to jump behind the wheel and immediately win.  Let’s not forget here, 2005 and 2006 were barren seasons for Schumacher – he walked away with nothing.  He was in decline, so why did we expect him to be immediately brilliant?  I was and still am a Schumacher fan, but I knew he was not as good as he used to be.  This year he will have less expectation than before.  We’re all used to him driving and Germany has a new world champion to thrust under the spotlight at every opportunity in Sebastian Vettel.

Other drivers still fear him


When the red baron’s helmet is filling your wing mirrors, surely it must make your heart beat twice as fast.  Fernando Alonso has already said he fears Schumacher the most for 2011

“There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael.  Now in January if I have to choose one name I have to say Michael. He is seven-time champion, he has nothing to prove. He had a difficult season but he is still a champion. N He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender,”

BUT

Its not all going in Schumacher’s favour.   Michael is a lot older than any of the other title contenders now, and that could be his downfall.  Not suggesting he isn’t fit, he is probably more athletic now than he was before – but age is still a factor.  Red Bull are not suddenly going to be slow, they just aren’t.  Not with Vettel and Newey onboard.  Ferrari and Alonso will be desperate for the title.  McLaren have two world champions driving for them.  Oh and there’s the small matter of the fact Nico Rosberg was better than Michael last season.

Nevertheless, as an outside bet – you could do a lot worse than Michael.

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Mercedes To Run Radical Engine Cover

Mercedes Benz have unveiled their radical new engine cover which they hope will propel them to the top of the podium in Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix.

The German car manufacturer has been struggling with its car against the likes of Ferrari and Red Bull Racing, however weeks of hard work and technical advancement have led to the team launching swathes of upgrades including an extended wheelbase and this new engine cover.

The cover has a very thin roll bar, and two large ducts on either side as opposed to the normal circular engine duct seen where the roll hoop is.  It will also be used in conjunction with an F-Duct.

Michael Schumacher shook down the new car in a filming event last week and will be looking to get more comfortable following a difficult return to F1.


McLaren Regain Mercedes Share Holding In Team

McLaren boss Martin Whitmarsh has announced that McLaren Autmotive Holdings have purchased back a significant amount of the shares owned by Mercedes Benz in the McLaren F1 Team.

Prior to buying Brawn GP and turning it into a works Mercedes Benz outfit, the German car manufacturer bought up a significant portion of the team during their close partnership between 1997 and 2009, approximately 40% of the team was owned by them at the end of last year.

Ron Dennis, the former team principal owns 15% and is now in charge of their road car division, which launched the eagerly anticipated MP4-12C yesterday, a 200mph supercar designed to compete with the Ferrari 458 Italia and Aston Martin DBS.

Mansour Ojjeh, a Saudi Arabian businessman owns another 15% portion, and Mumtalakat, a Bahrain investor owns 30%.

“I think it is about 11 per cent that is still owned by Mercedes, but it’s not an important or significant number,” Whitmarsh was quoted as saying by Reuters.

McLaren and Mercedes on the divorce road


Mercedes To Launch New Car In Stuttgart

Mercedes Benz will launch their car at the end of January in a mega cermony in Stuttgart, German newspaper Bild reports.

In the revelation article, the Bild, says that the show will take place in the Mercedes Benz area of the German city, around Unterturkheim.  Mercedes recently built their new museum there, next to their factory.

Dubbed the “Schumi Show” the cost of the event is unknown.  Plans for a joint launch ceremony between teams was dropped earlier this week as smaller teams were concerned they would not recieve enough coverage.

Michael Schumacher will take his first drive in the new Mercedes in early February at the first proper test session.


Mercedes Benz Buy Controlling Stake In Brawn GP

Mercedes Benz have announced that they have purchased a controlling 75% stake in the Brawn GP team.

The German automobile giant had been speculated with a move to Ross Brawn’s championship winning team, which it supplied engines too in 2009, since September and today’s announcement seeked to tidy up the paddock thoughts ahead of 2010 preparations.

It is now likely that Brawn, who won both titles in their maiden season, will be re-named Mercedes Benz Grand Prix however Ross Brawn will stay on as Team Principal alognside Norbert Haug of Mercedes Motorsport.

Mercedes Benz will also be pulling out of McLaren with the team having to buy back the 40% shares over 2 years, but remain with the German’s as an engine supplier until 2015.

Jenson Button is now set to go to McLaren to race alongside Lewis Hamilton, the Briton visited the factory earlier this week.  He claims not to be motivated by cash in the move, however his salary is likely to be greater than the £3.5million Brawn offered him.

With Nico Rosberg looking ever more likely to head to the new Mercedes GP team, Nick Heidfeld is a suprise team mate choice, Norberg Haug says he has held various meetings with the perennial underperformer ousted from BMW this season.

“We are speaking with Nick Heidfeld as well,” Haug told DPA.

“Mercedes-Benz supports the idea of signing an experienced and capable German driver. There is however no reason to finalise the driver situation too hastily.”

More news this evening.


Engine De-Freeze Possible At End Of 2009 Season

An engine de-freeze allowing manufacturers to create more competitive and faster engines could be in place at the end of the current 2009 season according to the Ferrari team boss Stefano Domenicali.

At the end of 2008, Renault were allowed a temporary de-freeze to allow them to catch up in terms of engine pace.  With mercedes Benz becoming so dominant this season, other rival manufacturers could be allowed to change their engines with Toyota especially becoming slow on top end horsepower and speed.

With Cosworth coming into the sport as well as an engine manufacturer to Manor, Campos and USF1, there is a possibility the engine freeze restriction could be abandoned altogether.

“This is for sure something that we will be discussing in the engine working group because today we have seen a really great performance from the Mercedes engine and before we make a final decision we have to see the numbers connected to that.” Domenicali said after the Italian GP

“It is a point that is on the table to discuss among the teams, as it is something that we need to understand,” he added.

Mercedes Benz Engines have been dominant this season

Mercedes Benz Engines have been dominant this season


Mercedes Benz Look To Purchase Part Of Brawn GP Team

Plans for Mercedes Benz to buy in to the Brawn GP team have emerged today in well respected British newspaper The Daily Telegraph.

The newspaper suggests that Mercedes will not complete a full buy-out of the team, and instead purchase a percentage of it in a similar way to McLaren.  Then use their stake, of probably around 20% to assist the team with equity and a certain engine and development deal.

Brawn get this news on the back of a positive few weeks in terms of sorting things out for next season, with Nick Fry telling the media that Brawn have a confirmed big name sponsor for 2010 which could be Emirates Airlines.

Mercedes Benz didn’t comment with much as always, but their other big investment team McLaren did, seemingly they are not concerned Mercedes Benz could leave the Woking based squad for Brawn’s new rockets.

“Mercedes-Benz’s engine supply contract with McLaren is a very long-standing one – it’s in its 15th consecutive year, in fact – and it will continue to run for many years to come,” said the McLaren spokesman.

“However, we’re supportive of our partner’s plans regarding engine supply of other teams in Formula 1, and we were delighted earlier this year that a Mercedes-Benz engine supply deal was able to be done with Brawn, thereby saving that team from likely extinction.”


Mercedes Benz F1 Commitment Back Under Spotlight

Mercedes Benz’s commitment to Formula One is once again under the spotlight today after a German station Subwestrundfunk discussed the possibility that F1 could be something the group cut in a meeting this week.

The German marques directors are meeting in Stuttgart to discuss the future of the company, which is currently losing around $1billion per month.

Drastic cost saving measures will be discussed, with directors pay and bonuses already the first announced cuts. However, with problems such as Lie-Gate, and now with the engine supply to 3 teams, the company could be looking to cut down on their supply, or even drop out altogether.

“If you’re asking me ‘are we here for the next ten years?’ then everybody who is honest, and I am honest, cannot give you an answer about how the world, the car industry, the economical surroundings will develop,” he is quoted as saying by GP Week.

“I hope it changes.  It’s not easy for anybody but I hope it changes.” Haug added

Lie-Gate won’t have helped McLaren’s chances of keeping the engine deal, with Brawn GP standing on the top step of the podium for the first two races of the season, it would be little suprise to see a cut down contract from the company only covering the small Brackley based team.

Lets not forget McLaren have only had Mercedes Benz engines since 1997, it is no guarantee for the team to run the 3 pointed star on the nosecone.

“Victories would be better than having discussions like these,” the German said about Lewis Hamilton and McLaren’s lie to the FIA. “But we are clearly unhappy with the situation, as it is right now.”



Hamilton’s Test Comes To Early End With Big Fire

Lewis Hamilton might be cut out of today’s testing completely in Jerez after he retired to the pits this morning with flames puring out of the back of his McLaren.

The British driver had completed just 7 laps of the circuit before he returned to the pitlane.

Mechanics were quick to put out the flames, but this is not the first time a Mercedes engine has given up during the pre-season tests with the 2009 MP4-24.  Could McLaren be returning to the unreliability that plagued them between 2004-6?

Hamilton was quick to play down the incident…;

“We had an issue, but I think they’re fixing it and we’ll be back out as soon as possible,” he told reporters.

“But the car was good this morning. I didn’t get many laps, but I’m looking forward to getting back out.”

An engine in the MP4-24 exploded on Sunday too...

An engine in the MP4-24 exploded on Sunday too...


Brawn Buys Out Honda And Team Is Saved!

Rumours leaking from the Honda Motor Company in Japan are suggesting that former Honda team principal and Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn has successfully bought out the Honda F1 Team.

Leaks are coming thick and fast from Japan, but no official word has been heard yet and it could be a few days before a statement is released.

Brawn will be joined by an as yet un-named person as part of the buy-out, but it is unlikely to be Brawn’s former protege dirver Michael Schumacher whose boss denied claims of cash injections to the team yesterday.

Jenson Button will be on track next Thursday in a blank 2009 car, and apparantly his job has been saved and he will be the teams #1 driver.  Rubens Barrichello is also rumoured to have kept his race seat for one more season, after Swiss newspaper Blick reported that Bruno Senna has got a seat in DTM “The young Brazilian will drive in the DTM championship (in 2009).”their correspondent said.

The team will be hitting the track for another 2 official tests in Spain, likely with power from Mercedes Benz engines.

The team will have to be renamed, and it could possibly be called “Brackley F1” but that is completely unconfirmed rumour.

MORE NEWS AS AND WHEN IT HAPPENS.