Schumacher already has de facto No.1 status?

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
An interesting comment from Ross Brawn today: "If I had to bet on any of them then it is clear that Michael will become world champion".

Poor Nico, he's already been relegated to support driver.

Should RB be saying stuff like this? Surely he has a duty to "big up" both of his drivers?
If this was happening at another particular team with Mercedes engines then people would be frothing at the mouth by now with claims of favouritism, bias, demanding that independent observers are installed in the garages, etc...

Schumacher will be champion - Brawn
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Something of an arrogant statement to make, really. Newey is apparently working on another radical design for Red Bull, McLaren were somewhat resurgent at the end of last season and I can't see Ferrari tolerating another poor season as also rans.

Pride comes before a fall, as the saying goes.
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Unfortunately for Nico, the Ross and Michael partnership have made it abundantly clear with their recent statements that this is a three year plan. They are actually not confident of winning Michael's 8th WDC this season. :disappointed:
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I fail to understand the uproar. Nico was never intended to be the lead driver. He was to be understudy to Button. Instead he apparently will be understudy to Schumacher. I frankly don't see a difference except that he will be learning from a 7 times WDC rather than a 1 timer. Realistically, Nico has won nothing during his time in F1 and so is not likely to be any team's main hope.
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
I have to slightly disagree with you, SF. If Heidfeld had been the other Mercedes driver, I think Nico would have been number 1 driver, or an equal pairing at worst. There's no way he will be anything other than a number 2 driver now. Unless Schumacher has dramatically changed over the last 3 years, he'll insist on being de facto number 1.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I don't know what Brawn is playing at tbh. He has a history of getting things right, I know, but it smacks of putting all your eggs in one basket that worked before, but may have become old and frayed by now.

siffert_fan said:
Realistically, Nico has won nothing during his time in F1 and so is not likely to be any team's main hope.

You could put any driver in the Williams' from the last 4 years and they'd have won nothing. Except the 2008 Singapore GP, which Rosberg is the rightful winner of. Mercedes are threatening to destroy a drivers' motivation before he gets in the car, which cannot be good for anyone since the Mercedes next year will not be as good as a Ferrari 2000-04!
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
It's a tough one to call because I imagine like most team managers you are going to favour your best hope of winning and Ross clearly sees that as being Schumacher and why wouldn't he? Nico is a great fall back option in so much as he has some speed and experience and should be an excellent yard stick for Schumacher to work from.

While Schuey (I presume) won't have a contract that will be as clear cut as his Ferrari days I imagine that he would have a bit more than just a nod and a wink from Ross when it comes to his position in the team.

You have to feel a bit sorry for Nico because when he signed on It was most likely going to be Button as his team mate and I'm sure given how Button faired against Rubens last season that Nico had high hopes of putting the new WDC under the cosh. As it is now, he is going to have to race against the "cult of Schuey" and not just a team mate. Is he up to the job? Perhaps. The question is will he receive the "Blah blah blah" treatment or will he be up for it mentally? (which was Rubens' biggest trouble last year). If Nico can cope with the workings inside the team and he believes he has the skills in the car he should do well.

As for Schuey being de facto number one. I think that's a given. You don't risk buying the golden goose if you think the chicken you've already got has a smarter arse and I think we'll see Schuey laying golden eggs for all he's worth.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
teabagyokel said:
Mercedes are threatening to destroy a drivers' motivation before he gets in the car
I think that's the angle I was aiming for on the thread.
I haven't heard any other team principle talk up one driver more than another so it's unfair of Brawn to treat Nico like this.

Why not just let them both drive and evaluate them after the first 5 or 6 races to see how they compare?

We've seen before what happens when a driver's motivation and confidence is ruined, although I suspect Nico is made of stronger stuff than that.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
cider_and_toast said:
You don't risk buying the golden goose if you think the chicken you've already got has a smarter arse
What does that say about McLaren going for Button then? ;)
 

fat jez

Race Winner
Valued Member
Brogan said:
What does that say about McLaren going for Button then? ;)

It says they thought they already had the golden goose and went for a chicken that can lay normal eggs consistently but occasionally chucks out a golden one. :)
 

cider_and_toast

Exulted Lord High Moderator of the Apex
Staff Member
Premium Contributor
It says they thought they already had the golden goose and went for a chicken that can lay normal eggs consistently but occasionally chucks out a golden one. :)

Exactly.

Mclaren have been down the wrong "goose" road before. They thought they'd bought the golden goose when they signed Alonso but it all went wrong when the reliable chicken they'd got to keep the coop warm hatched and that turned out to be a golden goose as well. Before long it was feathers flying and egg yolks everywhere. Culminating in one goose refusing to leave the coop so the other goose couldn't come in and get some seed before running around the farm yard.

Orwell was right, all animals are born equal but some are more equal than others ;)
 

snowy

Champion Elect
Retaining the slightly off topic McLaren theme...

Jenson isn't testing the McLaren until day three of the
Jerez :embarrassed:
Valencia test!!!

Does this mean Gary Paffett will be testing the car on day one or two? :embarrassed:
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
What is all this about eggs, baskets and chicken's arses?

Have I logged in to the Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall forum by mistake :s
 

GeoffP

Thank you and good night
Contributor
I get the feeling that there's a sudden attack of "believing every word a senior individual in F1 says" going on here...

What happens in the team and what happens in their communications to the press are two entirely different things.

I'm not convinced that Mercedes will be run as a two garage team, and so since MS has always been one of the best, if not the best driver in F1 at setting up a car, that would sort of make him No.1 as his settings will probably be shared with Nico.

Mainly I think we have the announcement because Ross Brawn knows how these things work and realises where the sponsorship money is going to come from.

But I also think that there will have been an actual conversation in the background telling Nico that Michael is used to the pressure, is going to get the attention anyway, but if Nico is half as good as Ross believes he is he should be snapping at Michael's heels by mid-season, but have got there in a relatively stress free environment to allow him to focus on the racing. Michael is not expected to drive for all of the three years, so use him to learn set up, media management and as a buffer to the press.

As had been said, Nico is not going to Mercedes with a rooms full of awards, but he is going there having impressed people with how he has coped with adversity - Ross does know how to bring people on and I think Nico is being groomed for a year or two's time.
 
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