Schumacher: Time to Quit?

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
With only three races gone in 2011 it seems a little premature to question the future of any driver. Mercedes have had well-documented problems with their car, and surely they will concentrate on getting their side of things sorted out before they scrutinise their drivers' performances too closely.

However it is clear to me that Michael has not made the improvement expected over the winter, and indeed Rosberg's advantage over him in terms of raw pace may be even bigger than last year.

Having kicked around a few qualifying numbers (intending to do an assessment of Nico's career, originally) I was surprised to see how Michael stacks up against Rosberg's previous team mates. In the chart, positive figures show an advantage for Rosberg. Schumacher fans may need to cover their eyes at this point...


Mean % difference in qualifying times between Nico Rosberg and team mates 2006-2011. Wet sessions and outlying results excluded in comparison. For 2006-08 Q1 and Q2 times have been used; 2009-2010 Q2 and Q3 only; 2011 Q2 only

Is Michael's only value now as a marketing tool for Mercedes' road cars? Three races is a small sample upon which to base a comparison, but surely things are moving in the wrong direction for him. Rosberg led in China on merit (more or less) - Schumacher hasn't looked getting near a podium once since he made his comeback. His race performances are as feisty as ever, but to little effect.

One can't help but wonder what Nico Hulkenberg could do in the second Mercedes? In Ross Brawn's shoes, what would you do?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
Not good reading at all.

I seem to recall when we had the original Schumacher thread that I stated a 40 year old man would never be able to compete on equal terms.
I say this with some knowledge to back up my claim as I've done sport pretty much all my life, since the age of 10 or so, and once I hit mid to late 30's, it became that much harder and I was nowhere near as fast, strong, etc.

Yes he has the skill and experience but his reactions will be slower, core strength weaker, stamina not as good, etc.
Not to mention his commitment with a growing family and more money than he knows what to do with.

I said it then and I'll say it again now, it was a mistake for Schumacher to come back to the sport.
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
Ross admitted last year, about 6-7 races in if i remember correctly, that if Schumacher wasn't Schumacher, he would be gone. I can't see that opinion changing, but he has had years of Schumacher delivering for him, so i should think he is more confused than anyone else!

If they want an all German team, i would have Hulkenberg and Heidfeld on a close leash.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I said it then and I'll say it again now, it was a mistake for Schumacher to come back to the sport.

It's getting very hard to disagree with that statement Bro. I was in favour of him returning, but to say it hasn't worked out would be an understatement.

As far as I can see, the longer it goes on, the more damage is done to both parties. So when to call it quits?
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
I would think that the team is pretty split right now on how to deal with that.... Those that value his past, and those that want to win races...
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
As far as I can see, the longer it goes on, the more damage is done to both parties. So when to call it quits?
Personally speaking I would have called it quits at the end of 2010.
He had 19 races to get back up to speed and although he improved marginally towards the end of the season, he was never close to Nico really.

The 2010 Head To Head says it all: http://cliptheapex.com/pages/2010-head-to-head/
This season just looks like more of the same: http://cliptheapex.com/pages/2011-head-to-head/

I expect it was a combination of pride and optimism which made both Michael and Ross give it another try this year.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I don't know if Hulk would be the solution. He lacks experience and, if the car is as problematic as it appears, experience is critical in the development process. As for Nick-- although I have long been a booster of his, he isn't being very impressive in RK's seat.

I think it all comes down to who they could replace MS with. There doesn't appear to be a glut of talent out there right now or Trulli wouldn't have a ride.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
While it is difficult to suppress the fear that Schumacher may just prove me wrong, I don't believe that Mercedes are getting anything from this arrangement, and it is incomprehensible what the man himself thinks he is achieving.

He's 42. These are not the days of Fangio. He may have come back to fight Fernando Alonso and Ferrari, but I doubt the prize being 7th place would satisfy his ambition.

Nico Hulkenburg is a much better long term prospect, whether they promote di Resta to Mercedes and give Hulkenburg the Force India seat or not.
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I too have reservations about Hulkenberg, but the noises coming out of Williams were more positive than you might expect, given the performances. So (given that it doesn't benefit them to lie when he's leaving them) perhaps they saw signs that weren't immediately apparent from the outside?

I think di Resta is very promising, and Heidfeld hasn't really had a clean run in two of the three races, but those are topics for another thread I daresay.
 

teabagyokel

#dejavu
Valued Member
I too have reservations about Hulkenberg, but the noises coming out of Williams were more positive than you might expect, given the performances. So (given that it doesn't benefit them to lie when he's leaving them) perhaps they saw signs that weren't immediately apparent from the outside?

There was a sign that was immediately apparent, in the wet at Interlagos, remember?
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
I too am not convinced that Nico Hülkenberg would be a particularly good replacement.
He was soundly beaten by Rubens last year and if he is as good as Williams are intimating, why did Maldonado get the drive?
Or is it simply another financial arrangement which got him the seat?
 

Galahad

Not a Moderator
Valued Member
I too am not convinced that Nico Hülkenberg would be a particularly good replacement.
He was soundly beaten by Rubens last year and if he is as good as Williams are intimating, why did Maldonado get the drive?
Or is it simply another financial arrangement which got him the seat?

By Williams' own admission, they would have liked to keep Nico but had to take a driver bringing a budget.
 

Puhoon

Podium Finisher
If things go like previously in Merc, I wouldn't be at all surprised if Schumi developed some neck pains during the season.
 

Brogan

🦶 Leg end
Staff Member
By Williams' own admission, they would have liked to keep Nico but had to take a driver bringing a budget.
Ah, what a shame.
Whilst this thread isn't about Williams, if they hired some decent drivers instead of mobile ATMs, they may even improve their results, which would have much longer term benefits.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
I think that the last two seasons have given Brawn's reputation as being a genius a rather thorough thrashing as well.
 

Grizzly

Bear
Contributor
I think that the last two seasons have given Brawn's reputation as being a genius a rather thorough thrashing as well.

The last two seasons? He smashed the opposition in 09 with no money!? They have not even got the 2011 car working yet, Ferrari are in the same position to be fair.
 

siffert_fan

Too old to watch the Asian races live.
Contributor
Grizzly,
That is exactly the point. 2009 is starting to look like it was a matter of being lucky more than anything. 2010 and this year haven't exactly burnished his infallability reputation have they?

To be fair to everyone, however, we really need the FIA to stop changing the rules every year. DRS, KERS etc. Leave the regs alone and allow all of the teams to develop their cars. Stop making each season a crap shoot.
 
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