Discontent looming at Mercedes?

Posted on May 8, 2010


Nico Rosberg has claimed Mercedes have taken a step back with their upgraded car in Barcelona – while Michael Schumacher professed his approval of the changes.

Rosberg said: “I came here thinking we could really put on a challenge but it hasn’t worked out. We have made a small step back.”

But Schumacher said: “I feel the car a lot more in my hands. I can work the car certainly better than I have been able to.”

The seven-time champion said he was disappointed to be a second off the pace of the Red Bull’s but he was already slow, especially in Shanghai, while Rosberg was doing fine, with second place in the overall standings despite some anonymous performances.

As I’ve posted a couple of times, Rosberg has every right to be furious if he finds Mercedes and Ross Brawn to be working around Schumacher. Rosberg has clearly been the more successful driver so far this year and development has to be even-handed. Everything I’ve heard from the team and in the media suggest the current changes have been aimed at making the car better for Schumacher’s driving style.

Schumacher is not the figure he was at Ferrari where a series of team mates were clearly second billing in the team. Rosberg was the first signing of Mercedes over the winter and he may well have arrived expecting to be the senior, if not favoured, driver. Schumacher arriving at the Brackley-based squad clearly changed the equation.

Clearly, the team will be bringing updates throughout the season – they have to, the car is nowhere near Red Bull at the moment and a fair step behind McLaren and Ferrari as well. Schumacher was always a brilliant development driver but Rosberg has to be given a fair crack of the whip, mainly because he may well be the team’s better bet for wins.

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