2011 Team mates comparison - #3 Mercedes GP


Not a Moderator
Valued Member
Continuing the team-by-team review, next up are the German team from leafy Brackley. Schumacher had promised us a much more competitive second season since his un-retirement: did he deliver?

For a full explanation of the chart, see the previous Force India thread.

Q2 times have been used for the qualifying comparisons in all cases. No time was recorded by Schumacher in any qualifying session in Belgium, while no time was recorded by Rosberg in Japan. The overall qualifying comparison therefore excludes Belgium and Japan, as well as the two wet races.

Here also are the actual qualifying and finishing positions:

Schumacher (Q)1111148105813109248881211810
Schumacher (R)R98126R498R55R6R5715
Rosberg (Q)7943776967597237776
Rosberg (R)R1255711116796R7108667

On the surface, then, Nico appears comfortably in charge of this battle. Retirement once again was the word on everyone's lips where Michael Schumacher was concerned, with collisions causing 3 DNFs and delaying him on other occasions. Nonetheless it should be borne in mind that over the course of the race the gap between the Mercedes drivers often closed, and Nico's big advantage in laps led is partially a reflection of his better qualifying performances.

Note that I have used Q2 comparisons in all cases, since the Mercedes drivers ran inconsistently in Q3, often on different tyre compounds and with differing degrees of enthusiasm. Using the available Q3 data would have moved the comparison only slightly towards Schumacher (around 0.996).


Valued Member
I really feel for Nico. Whichever statistic anyone looks at (and he is ahead for all of them) everyone looks for an excuse why Michael isn't ahead.

OK, Schumi was unlucky in Monaco, but he won the lottery in Canada, and wasn't eliminated at the first corner by a HRT coming from nowhere in Mercedes most competitive race of the second half of the season. Quite a lot of the "bad luck" Schumi had, however, was a result of him qualifying poorly and being in the unpredictable midfield where he could get hit by people. Rosberg didn't appear in this sector because he generally outperformed, rather than underperformed, the car in qualifying.

Sadly, the 'reward' Nico gets for all this in the public eye is having the cameras trained on him getting passed by Red Bulls, McLarens and Ferraris in DRS zones all year and no other action, while the Sunday viewers can say "wow" at Schumi passing Toro Rossos, Saubers and Force Indias.

Schumacher is a seven-times World Champion, and he has been outperformed. While his age has caught up with him, that is an insufficient explanation for the complete ignorance of Nico's talents we are starting to see.


Champion Elect
I think its too easy to overlook Schumacher actually had Jock Clear move over from Nico's side to become his race engineer after the mid season break when his form really picked up.

Also up until then he was involved in a lot of accidents or races where he kept tangling with others and breaking his wing too often whilst Nico was getting on with his own race


Champion Elect
D'you mean Schumacher was allowed to just demand Nico's race engineer? How did Nico feel about this? And Brawn? Did he sanction it? That doesnt sound a very fair way to treat your drivers.


Not a Moderator
Valued Member
As has been shown, Nico carried on beating Schumacher regardless of Jock Clear. Other than his qualifying problems at Suzuka and some very strange tyre strategy in India - I wouldn't class those results as being part of a trend. In qualifying, Schumi went backwards not forwards over the season.


Champion Elect
D'you mean Schumacher was allowed to just demand Nico's race engineer? How did Nico feel about this? And Brawn? Did he sanction it? That doesnt sound a very fair way to treat your drivers.

I cannot speculate whether it was a deliberate internal shuffle or Andrew Shovlin - Michael's former race engineer has moved on which has caused it

However it should be said whilst Schumacher still can;t get it right in quali. His race pace was much better and closer to Nico. Having an experienced engineer like Jock Clear who has been at Williams with JV and Hill would have helped. Previously Jock was Nico's engineer so you wonder its a bit ironic he moves across the garage and the performances from Michael are better


Points Scorer
If I remember correctly, both Jock and Andy took positions at base earlier in the season and this is why Nico lost him.


Race Winner
I have been really enjoying the Mercedes battle over the last 2 years, Nico Rosberg is such a good driver, I'm a big fan of his.

I hope (in no harsh way) he beats Schumacher again in 2012 and then Schumacher retires for good and Rosberg can become the undisputed team leader of Mercedes and really build the team around himself and take them forwards.


Nice article TBY.Christ, i love Nico like many,but i live Michael. At Michael's age i'm impressed. Who wins overall. MSC. Nico has the same toolbox as in the car. But the Old Master is more than a match for him in race pace and getting stronger ;)
Anyway 2012 here WE go.
Be using SKYGO to watch in 2012, thanx to the little brother, so up you BBC, Rupert Murdoch but mostly your wife, given half a chance that is:)
ps, lets see how Kimi fares in 2012, good stuff coming methinks.


Both drivers get equal treatment. Michael has proven it all in his previous F1 career. He's the perfect team mate for Nico, whose driving skills improved since he had the opportunity to drive alongside Michael. From 2013 onwards, Nico will drive a Ferrari, and has chances to become world champion for the red Scudderia. Michael enjoys driving F1, more than he did before. There's another focus when you are 43 years old and children to take care off.
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