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Posts tagged “Ross Brawn

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,”


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.


Mercedes To Launch Investigation Into Hungarian GP Pit Mistake

Mercedes Benz team principal Ross Brawn has said he will be launching a full investigation into the mistake in the pitlane at the Hungarian Grand Prix, which led to the rear tyre of Nico Rosberg’s car becoming detatched.

Rosberg came into the pits under the safety car, along with many others in a relatively standard move.  However the rear right hand side wheel change went totally wrong when the wheel nut flew off the car just before he was released.  While the rear gunner tried to scramble it back on, the lollipop man and rear jackman let Rosberg leave the pitbox, and the rear tyre subsequently became detatched and flow down the pitlane.

The loose tyre raced away, nearly knocking one Sauber mechanic over, before flying into the air after hitting a Williams mechanic who suffered cuts and bruises.  It was finally caught by a brave Sauber mechanic.

Mercedes were fined $50,000 for the incident.

“It appears that as the guy came off with the wheel gun, it spat the wheel nut but he didn’t see it disappear,” said Ross Brawn.

“He went back on, fired the gun and realised the nut was no longer there so came back out to grab the other gun and the rear jack guy thought he had finished, so he dropped the car and away he went.

“I think we understand what happened and we will clearly look at how we can prevent it happening again.”

He added: “When the gun went on to take the nut off, the gun hadn’t engaged properly so the nut was off the axle and it spat it out. The guns are so quick and powerful now you don’t see the nut travelling at the speed of light.”

Brawn Warns Mercedes Off Supplying More Teams

Ross Brawn the team principal of the Mercedes Benz team has warned the German manufacturer about supplying any more teams with customer engine units following Red Bull Racing’s interest in using the marques V8’s from next year.

Brawn believes the team, who supply engines not only to their works outfit but to Force India and McLaren too, are already at full stretch and that adding another supplier would weaken the works teams charge to a title.

“In my opinion, as constructors, we at Mercedes would need to think long and hard before adding another customer to our list,” Brawn told Autosprint magazine.

“I think we are on the limit as far as supplies are concerned. We must make sure there is always a Cosworth able to sell its engines, it’s not the duty of a car manufacturer.

“As for the power, I don’t know. The truth is that there is no procedure that determines precisely the parameters. We would be fine with placing all the engines on the bench under the FIA’s supervision.

“But measuring the power is only a part of the problem. There’s the cooling, the driveability, the fuel consumption. And just recently the boss of Renault’s engine guys has said that their V8 may not be the most powerful, but it’s the best from many other aspects…”

Team Principals Speak Out On Tyre Situation – Test Time Requested

Some of the top team principals in Formula One have spoken out about the current decision making process over the new tyre manufacturer for Formula One.  Bridgestone, the sole supplier for many season’s contract runs out at the end of 2010 and a new manufacturer needs to be selected.  Pirelli and Michelin are the final two manufacturers in the running for the contract.

Ross Brawn, the principal of Mercedes Benz and former owner of Brawn GP said that he feels the teams need a couple of test sessions with demo tyres from the new manufacturers.

“There has got to be some testing with the new tyre supplier, whoever it is, so I think late summer and early winter there will be some tests organised with the new tyre supplier,” said Brawn.

“But again, we must try and accommodate that within the teams we have. We can’t afford to go out and start rebuilding test teams again.”

Brawn re-itterated the point that the teams want to keep similar technical regulations with regard the tyres, a statement which almost confirms Pirelli not Michelin will be chosen as the Italian manufacturer wanted to stick with the current Bridgestone-spec tyres.

“The teams have together produced a technical specification of the tyre we want,” he said. “So there is a document that we have all contributed to which is a broad spec of the sort of tyre that we want which means there is a single directive to the new tyre supplier of the type of tyre that is needed.

“That means we can continue with the development of our cars. Our cars are being designed around the current tyres because we have no other information.

“So I think everybody wants a tyre to come in that has similar construction characteristics to the current tyre, whether the compounds are quite the same is another matter.”

Ross Brawn - No Messing

Meanwhile Swiss team boss Peter Sauber says he wants a decision sooner rather than later.

“I hope we have a solution before Canada,” Sauber said.

“It is not an easy situation this tyre situation, but it is important we have a tyre supplier for the next season and I think it is important to have a sole supplier tyre.”

Eric Boullier said while his team should theoretically favour the Michelin contract, his team were totally neutral in the decision.

“Let’s say historically Renault could prefer Michelin because they are both French companies, but I don’t think there is a preference for the Renault F1 team,” said Boullier.

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.

Valencia Testing: Alonso Keeps Ferrari Dominance Going On Final Day

Fernando Alonso jumped into a Ferrari F1 car for his first competitive running on this the final day of testing and was immediately quick.  The Spaniard, who is hoping to win his 3rd world title with the Scuderia set the fastest lap time of anyone all week, and even had some fun baiting Jenson Button in the McLaren during the closing stages of the day.

Button, the current world champion only went on to finish 5th on his first day of driving the McLaren.

Pedro de La Rosa continued to show that sponsorless Sauber were a good bet for the season, and Michael Schumacher another golden-oldie came in 3rd, with his doctor giving him the all clear on the neck front.

Jaime Alguersuari was very close to Schumacher’s time, a good performance in the Toro Rosso for the young Spaniard.

Ross Brawn was confident, despite seeing his team not dominating testing like they did to everyone’s surprise last season.

“It’s always very difficult to judge. On full tanks yesterday (Tuesday) we didn’t look too bad but we’re a little bit off on pace and (there are problems with) the handling and balance of the car which we can fix for (the next test in) Jerez,” he told the BBC. “We know what the problem is.

“Of course the other teams will be progressing as well so we are reasonable, not as quick as Ferrari and Lewis looked quick yesterday. So it looks like we’ve got a bit of work to do.”

Testing continues soon in Jerez, stay posted on The F1Fanatics Blog, or check out our new Twitter page!

Pos  Driver        Team                       Time     Laps
 1.  Alonso        Ferrari              (B)   1:11.470  127
 2.  de la Rosa    BMW Sauber-Ferrari   (B)   1:12.094   80
 3.  M.Schumacher  Mercedes GP          (B)   1:12.438   82
 4.  Alguersuari   Toro Rosso-Ferrari   (B)   1:12.576   97
 5.  Button        McLaren-Mercedes     (B)   1:12.951   82
 6.  Petrov        Renault              (B)   1:13.097   75
 7.  Hulkenberg    Williams-Cosworth    (B)   1:13.669  126

Mickey Schu

Michael Schumacher’s GP2 Test Hampered By Wet Weather

Michael Schumacher got behind the wheel of a GP2 test car today as he begins preparations for his eagerly awaited Formula One comeback.

The seven time world champion signed a contract to drive with the Mercedes Benz team, reuniting him with the sport that delievered him so much success, and the man that helped him – Ross Brawn.

The multi-million pound, 3 year contract will see Michael race until the age of 44.

Since retiring in 2006 he worked as a consultant and occassional tester for the Ferrari team, and was set to replace Felipe Massa mid-way through last season when the Brazilian got injured in a massive accident, but was unable to do so due to a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident.  This test is designed to show he is now over that injury.

However, despite some good running and completing some 52 laps, his day was cut short by poor weather conditions.  He will pick up the action again tomorrow and Thursday.

“The day today was good especially because after a long time I could drive again in a car that came almost close to a current Formula 1. Despite the weather not being what we all would have liked all my senses were nevertheless on full alert – this alone was worth it,” he said.

“I felt comfortable out on the track from the very beginning, and naturally I’d like to thank our Team and the GP2 series very much for the opportunity to drive.”

Double Diffusers Banned From 2011

The contraversial “double diffuser” design which rocked the start of the 2009 season will be banned from the end of the 2010 season it has been revealed.

The FIA ruled that the design was legal after a major challenge to the double diffuser which was designed by Ross Brawn’s team, BrawnGP and then replicated.  Major players like Ferrari and McLaren said the contraversial advantage was what lost them the title challenge when the small Brawn team took easy early victories, and eventually the title.

It has also been said that the diffuser design un-did all of the work done by the technical working group in terms of stripping away aerodynamic pieces in order to combat the boring procession races that had been occuring.

Mike Gascoyne, of the Virgin Racing team enterting F1 this season was bouyant on the move.

“I think it is exactly right,” he said.

“It is what we should do, and it is what both FOTA and the FIA are looking at for 2011. I think it is very sensible and very easy to do – just tighten up the regulations and it is done.”

Brawn Denies Button Ousted So Schu Could Return

Ross Brawn jumped to defend the actions of Mercedes Benz in letting Jenson Button go to McLaren after he was accused to ousting the Briton to make way for Michael Schumacher.

Schumacher announced his return with Mercedes, the re-branded Brawn team with whom Button won the world title this morning.

And team principal Brawn says he would like to have kept Button but it was not to be.

“I don’t think that is the case [that Jenson went for Michael],” said Brawn. “We made a good effort to try to find a solution with Jenson and it didn’t work out. Jenson made his decision in the end not to stay. We made a big effort to keep him but it wasn’t possible in the end.

“It overlapped to be honest. I had a loyalty to Jenson but when that started to look difficult I started talking to Michael, and things developed from there.

“Michael and I kept very close over the years and I saw from his disappointment over the summer, when he couldn’t drive a Ferrari, how much passion he still has for the sport. We’re incredibly excited now about the prospect of Michael being part of the team.”

Full Story: Michael Schumacher Confirms F1 Return With Mercedes

Michael Schumacher’s Formula One return with Mercedes Benz has been confirmed today after an official announcement with the German driver.

Schumacher, who will be 41 at the season opener in Bahrain, has been signed on a three year deal.

He is known as the most successful F1 driver ever, with 7 titles and some 91 wins to his name and painted Formula One red with a highly successful period in the early 2000’s with Ferrari.

Ferrari as a team, and its fans will be bitterly disappointed on the announcement of Schumacher’s return with a rival team, and not with the Scuderia who make their 2010 title assault with Fernando Alonso and Felipe Massa.

“The motivation I think is pretty straightforward,” Schumacher said. “The call I got from Ross at the end of November concerning the chance to go racing, Mercedes being involved, I felt great.

“I never left the race track. I was tired of F1 by the end of 2006, but in three years of absence I got back all the energy that I am feeling right now. I played around with motorbikes and I feel ready for some serious stuff now.”

“It [Mercedes GP] is a team that has won both championships this year,” he said. “With Mercedes Benz as a strong partner, our aim can only be to fight for the championship.

“There will be strong competition, as we have seen, but I am thrilled to be back in this one.”

“I played around with motorbikes, and I feel ready for some serious stuff now.”

Schumacher returns to team up with Ross Brawn a man who helped mastermind many of his titles through the years with Benetton and Ferrari.

The unstoppable duo will be back, with German backing and Nico Rosberg too.  Ross was understandably delighted that Schumacher is back.

“I asked Michael that question and he is the best judge of what he can do,” Brawn said. “I trust him explicitly and he told me he can do it.

“He has always been his own best critic, the man himself knows what he is capable of. I am very comfortable and confident and put my trust in Michael, and it won’t be misplaced.”