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Rosberg: “I’ve nothing to lose” against Schumacher
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Rosberg: “I’ve nothing to lose” against Schumacher
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 Jan 2010   |  10:00 am GMT  |  117 comments

Nico Rosberg has come out strongly in a fantastic interview today by my colleague Frederic Ferret in L’Equipe sports newspaper in France, claiming that he is not afraid of going up against a driver he considers the “best driver ever”.

Rosberg targets Bahrain win (Photo: Darren Heath)

Rosberg targets Bahrain win (Photo: Darren Heath)


The 24 year old faces a very different season from the one he anticipated when he signed for Brawn last summer. Instead of Jenson Button alongside him, he has the seven times world champion Michael Schumacher and already, given Schumacher’s track record with team mates and approach to racing, there has been a lot of talk about how Rosberg will be put in the shade.

But Rosberg uses the interview to set the record straight on how he has had assurances from Ross Brawn of equal equipment and treatment from the team and on why he was happy to yield and let Schumacher have race number three.

“It’s (the winter) been…how shall I say this? Interesting.” said Rosberg. “But to tell you the truth it hasn’t been easy to live through. I signed with Brawn, but there remained the uncertainty over the Mercedes buyout. That was very important to me, it made the move from Williams make sense. I thought I was going to be Button’s team mate, then he went to McLaren and I was really surprised. At that time there was no talk of Michael.

“In motor sport you need a reference and this is unbelievable – I’ve got the very best there is next to me – you couldn’t dream for more. I’ve nothing to lose. I’ve got THE reference point in F1 – in ten, or even fifty years from now people will be talking about Michael Schumacher. And the most important thing is that we will have equal equipment.”

On this point Rosberg says he is certain. He’s had detailed discussions with Ross Brawn on the subject,
“I know he (Schumacher) is his friend and it was important to clarify the situation and erase all doubts which might fester in the team. I’ve got the weapons to fight against the best driver off all time.”

Rosberg also makes his first comment on the subject of Schumacher requesting a swap to take the ‘lead car’ number 3, for reasons of superstition. The younger man turns the situation around and says that he’s not the one with the superstitions, in other words there are no such chinks in his armour.

“When I win in Bahrain – that’s my goal – no-one will care any more about the numbers on the cars.”

Rosberg will be given the honour of being the first driver out of the garage to test the new Mercedes on February 1 in Valencia. After that they will both be given exactly equal time in the car before Bahrain.

Rosberg says that he has yet to speak to his new team mate, some four weeks after Schumacher was announced and that the last time they spoke was in 2006. The pair are not scheduled to meet until they are unveiled together on Monday at the official Mercedes launch in Stuttgart.

Although Nico has a sure footed PR touch here, no doubt the German media will be working on digging up the many uncomplimentary things Nico’s father Keke has said about Schumacher over the years. He has been one of his harshest critics.

Rosberg’s line today backs up the intervention from Mercedes boss Norbert Haug yesterday in the German media, where he said that Rosberg, “Has always wanted to drive the Silver Arrows in Formula One, and have Michael Schumacher as his teammate. That may sound like a fabulous PR statement, but it is precisely the truth.

“To be a team’s No.1 is done only through extraordinary effort, and I trust that both of our drivers will give this, especially if we give them a very good car.”

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117 Comments
  1. ARVI says:

    if mercedes is in front of others this season, I believe NICO is good for some race wins this year – but definetely not a championship material as yet!

    MS is in different level altogether!

  2. Gantsta says:

    If Brawn holds true to his word and gives both drivers the same level of service, I believe Rosberg can genuinely provide some stiff competition for Schumacher. Rosberg also has less pressure to perform on his shoulders as people are almost expecting him to be out-performed by Michael. Nico also has more experience in the the most recent spec F1 cars and the newer circuits than Michael. If I were a betting man, my money would be on Nico to out qualify Michael for the majority of the first half of the season.

    1. timem1 says:

      I’ll take your money. That bet is a no brainer. Schumi outqualified by Rosberg for 1/2 the season. Not in a million years.

      1. Alex Gant says:

        Post-Bahrain and I’m starting to wish I’d made that bet!

      2. timem1 says:

        One race does not a season make. I’ll take your money now, or later with interest. Let me know what suits. :)

    2. Antoine says:

      Rosberg outqualify schuey,… I don’t know how old u are but you must be really young and never had watched Schumacher from his early 90s. The guy had more energy then Hamilton and didn’t drop much when he retired. While I’ve Rosberg at his best,… He won’t beat Shuey not even on a bad day

  3. Andy C says:

    Michael is (or was) on a different level to most for quite a long time.

    Nico won’t descredit himself or his abilities if he gets close to ms. Michael will not be around forever, and if nico performs he could be a force for years to come.

    The problem may come if they try to bring in vettel later too.

    James, can you remind me how long vettel and nicos contracts run?

    Also have you ever considered an iPhone application for your news blog? Sure there are some developers out there that could help?

    1. James Allen says:

      Vettel until the end of 2011 I believe. Rosberg probably three years

      1. Mike says:

        I believe Vettel’s contract also has an option for 2012 but I don’t know if it is Red Bull’s or his.

      2. Freespeech says:

        ‘Nico won’t discredit himself or his abilities’

        Unless he can match the old man he’ll never be considered top flight. I don’t agree that Schumacher was at a completely different level to others as unlike the others he had all the cards stacked in his favour and when things didn’t go his was we got Monaco and Dogems :!:

        Let’s judge him this season and I think many will change their minds,a great driver yes but the greatest, no way Ho-say :)

      3. GP says:

        I agree. Michael is a great driver but, in addition to Monaco and Dogems, he never accepted a top line driver with equal status as a team mate and that is a huge negative. His record will always miss a Senna/Prost-McLaren rivalry.

        As for Nico R., I find his approach both level headed and confident.

        This is going to be one hell of a season.

      4. timem1 says:

        Did you ever think that MS had “all the cards stacked in his favor” because he was winning? Not the other way around? F1 is full of shrewd operators and Schumi was a proven winner almost from his first run at Spa in that old Jordan. He was backed because he was (and still is) a huge talent and delivered consistently. It’s truly amazing how this meme about MS not being such a great driver but a driver who was favored. Any serious F1 knows that is pure rubbish. Get serious!

      5. Dermot Keelan says:

        One could compare the current F1 field to the field than schumi competed against for the best part of his career up until 2006 and say the field now is much stronger than pre 2006 and that schumacher was not as good as his seven titles suggest.
        However i would argue that without Schumacher’s presence Kimi would have 3 f1 titles instead of his one, Montoya might have been in a position to pick up a title, and so too Barrichello, none of these drivers are exactly slouches, and you can only beat whats put in front of you..also, lets not forget that Hakkinen would probably best most of the young guns today as well.. In my opinion Schumacher was head and shoulders above any of his peers.

        Schumacher was good value for every one of his titles, and while there will always be questions over his “sporting” side he is still the most complete driver in the history of F1 and in my eyes the best as well.

      6. Andy W says:

        Has Vettel expressed any desire to actually drive for Mercedes? I can’t for the life of me remember any mention from him regarding this. Is this just a media dream or is there any reality to it, well apart from the fact that he just signed a 2 year deal with Red Bull (I would assume with some nod to furthering the partnership).

    2. Antoine says:

      JA on F1 looks great on Android phones though u should try it out :-)

  4. Dave P says:

    He is deluding him self somewhat. It’s all very well for Ross and Norbert to say they will have equal equipment etc.. but Schumachers control is like wood rot, it starts with a number, then its about which way the car gets developed, then its about who gets the parts first, who gets to come in first (or last depending on the preference) who gets to go out last in qualifying, who gets the best engine from the dyno, and a thousand and one other things that add up to the advantage Scumacher gets. But most of all – as in Hamiltons case – its about who gets the morale support from the team, who gets the ear of Ross.

    At the end of the day Rosberg was always going to give an interview like that, he wasn’t going to say, ‘its not fair, why does he have to be hear,’. Yes it will be good to see how the master works, but did you ever hear Irvine or Rubens, who both said the same things at the start, say at the end it helped them in their F1 careers?

    Time will tell… not anything he says now.

    1. Pablo Rossi says:

      Very true but those are reasons why coupled with his talent he achieved what he achieved, so why shouldn’t he try to do the same again? Plus have a read of Irvine’s view on Schumacher’s approach to number 1 status – you might be surprised to hear it’s with respect and sheds an insiders view as to why he was number 1!

      http://en.espnf1.com/f1/motorsport/story/5796.html

      1. Nick H says:

        “Look at Nigel Mansell who was a big fat blob and he won the world championship in 1992 aged 39″

        I’d love to there when Mansell next bumps into Irvine!

      2. PaulL says:

        Mansell was actually the lightest and fittest he’d ever been in his life for 1992, despite having a bone spur in his foot.

        Although Murray Walker labelled Senna a “disgrace” for it, I wasn’t too unhappy that Senna dropped Irvine with a big right hand.

      3. NikiTheRat says:

        Senna was left-handed. I cannot confirm though whether he fought southpaw.

    2. Petition2DChicaneTamburello says:

      So, in other words, much like the treatment Hamilton got at Mclaren vis a vis Kovalainen?

    3. PaulL says:

      Yeah I consider what you wrote very valid points. I think it will be tough for Mercedes to deliver true equal status with Schumacher in the team and the friendship that exists between Ross and Michael.

    4. Freespeech says:

      I agree deluding himself and I fear that he will soon get a dose of realism 8)

  5. Eau Rouge says:

    Nico is a good driver and if the Merc is one of the front running cars he will take some victories. It is amazing what a win or two can do for a driver and this will improve him even further. To top it off he will be going up against one of the greatest drivers of all time so it could be a massive year for Nico to show what he has got. I do hope no team orders or #1 status are employed in favour of Michael early in the season. If it is, it could be the deathnail for Nico’s career. Michael for sure will win the battle of the team mates as he is just too good, but Nico has the chance now to prove himself as a potential future champ.

    1. Silverstoned says:

      Number 1?
      well, how easy was it for MS to take the 3 off Nico?

      Candy from a babe!

  6. jose says:

    bla bla bla. Just start winning, and that’s it.
    Show that you deserve to be in a top team showing some speed.

  7. James says:

    I don’t think if MS outperforms Nico this year that it will exactly crush his career. In equal equipment, (which it will be, because Michael won’t be a long term bet for Mercedes) Nico should be able to beat him a few times, as even Barrichello managed to do when he was firmly the #2 at Ferrari. Nico has little to lose. The press and most of the fans don’t expect him to beat Michael anyway. But if he does hold his own, then it looks pretty good for his future at Mercedes.

    1. Skanda says:

      I hear this argument a lot of times. Can you please elaborate what MS’s #1 status in the team entailed him to? No Austria please. It happened once in his 10 year career with Ferrari unless I’m missing other such instances. MS would have had aggressive pit strategies favouring him but then again – I have never observed so obviouly a difference something alike Ham vs Kovi were running in 2009.

      1. Med says:

        Austria happened twice – it was the second time that it happened that it caused such a furore

      2. GP says:

        First, we can exclude Austria but only because it was so obvious; there are many other times when the same was done but in a more subtle fashion.

        Second, and this one is important and revealing, Michael had right of veto over his team mate. Unlike Senna who had Prost at McLaren, and Mansell Piquet at Williams. These four drivers had what was the best car of the time, which meant that the only proper way to measure each driver’s ability was against their own team mate. However, Michael, who also had the best car of the time, had no top flight driver as an equal-status team mate to be measured against. This means we really don’t know how good Michael really is. For instance, how would we rate Michael if Mika Hakkinen had been his team mate during Ferrari’s dominating years? Personally, I think Michael would probably have had the edge but there is no way he would have won five championships and so many races. Mika would have won his share and Micheal’s statistics wouldn’t be as spectacular.

      3. Raelene says:

        [quote]Second, and this one is important and revealing, Michael had right of veto over his team mate[/quote]

        I don’t believe that is true at all – it was DC and JV that were too scared to go to Ferrari ;)

      4. adam says:

        As Jean Todt says “Michael never demanded a slower driver than him in the other car. He demanded only that he should have special attention, as it is right that he should”

      5. Martin says:

        Getting to Skanda’s question, how did this ‘special attention’ manifest itself? The wind tunnel-test-race cycle that was allowed then would have contributed to the two cars having equal equipment most of the time. Schumacher could have had the pick of the engineering staff based on experience or perceived talent, but Irvine, Barrichello and Massa all had full garages.

      6. Harvey Yates says:

        Adam,

        A very telling quote from Todt.

        Johnny Herbert tells an interesting story of when he was MS’ number 2.

        JH was a quality driver and lost more than just use of his ankles in the Brands crash. When partnering MS he did the unforgivable – outqualified him. Things, it seemed, had to change. From then on he was refused access to any of MS’ technical information, including set-up, but MS still had access to all of his.

        As pointed out by an earlier poster, there is more to equal treatment than just the car. Certainly MS likes the car built in one particular way so that was the way Ferrari went. The number II just had to cope with it. All tactics went towards an MS win.

        But I have to say you could see why. Ferrari were, I all honesty, a bit of a joke in the pitlane. They were the richest team, and by some distance at times, but they never performed to their potential. At the time of active suspension Williams, and one would assume all other teams bar one, used to have the reservoir refurbished between races. This was expensive in manpower but far, far cheaper than new ones each race. Ferrari, however, went for new ones.

        They were poorly managed and that cost them.

        They then had a plan, which include RB, RB, JT and MS. The arguments will come and go on about whether MS was the best driver in F1 but I think there can be few who would disagree that as a team, Ferrari was the best there has ever been. The only argument there was whether it was the best team in any sport.

        Everything about it, from PR to legal enforcement, from efficiency to protecting their logo, was quality. There was no real weakspot although I’ll come back to this later. They could not have been better if they had access to FIAT’s resources and to oodles of money from them.

        Their tactics included disinformation, spin and, some have said, toadying up to the FIA president. Who could forget the television interview in the office supplied by Ferrari with a model of the current F1 car in picture. Mosley was never the subtlest of people. I had the image of him running it around his desk, going ‘vroom vroom’ once the cameras had left.

        And talking of models, the organisation of Team Ferrari could be used as one for any management organisation. It was totally single-minded. Many other teams enjoyed the sport, Ferrari, under the new regime, enjoyed winning.

        They had just the one driver. That was an essential in their plan, as it has been in other teams. It was hardly an original thought. But they took it to another level. Everything revolved around MS’ needs and desires. What was good for MS was good for the team.

        And that was their biggest weakness. They took a risk as one mistake, like late braking along Hanger Straight, and their season was over.

        So the argument as to whether Mika, Senna or whoever could have beaten MS in identical cars is rather disingenuous. It would not have been an identical car as such because it would have been designed around MS.

        What goes on on the circuit is only part of F1, and not the most important as far as winning is concerned. The Ferrari team produced the perfect package. The only real question is whether Mika, Senna et al would have won as many championships as MS.

        The similarities between Senna and MS were very apparent and I felt they were all but interchangeable. But it was the differences that were remarkable. I always wondered who would have won out of Prost and MS if the latter had replaced Senna in the McLaren years. We’ll never know of course.

        Brawn has only one desire: to see his team win. If he thinks it will require concentrating on just the one driver – and managers generally like sticking with what they know and what has been good for them before – then the choice between MS and NR will come down to which is more likely to give him what he wants.

        I would assume, and more than that bet on, the team already drifting towards MS. His acquisition of the number is a classic example of the drip, drip, drip concessions. We all know, don’t we, that the Mercedes is already more ‘pointy’ than it was planned to be. But I can’t see Brawn being put off winning by the risk of losing face if MS doesn’t perform. If he sees NR as the one to support then the car will be his design.

        It is going to be an interesting season in Mercedes. Well worth following them. I can see all sorts of in-fighting going on. If MS doesn’t perform or Nico fulfils his promise then there could well be a bit of a fight for control between Brawn and Merc. Should be fun.

  8. Chris says:

    Fighting talk from Nico, but he’s right. I thought the general consensus was that he was due a better car, but there’s just been a lot of negativity. If he can make a strong start then Mercedes can’t possibly favour Schumacher, or there could be something of a public backlash as there was in 2002.

  9. Sandu says:

    May be they (Nico and Schumi) will have equal equipment, but how about equal treatment?…

    1. Tim Lamkin says:

      Equal equipment mens MS will get all the new updates….easy for RB to say MS has more time in a car and we need to know if the updates are worth keeping….that means MS will always be in a different spec car…..does that mean #1.

      1. Raelene says:

        and when Nico gets the new parts first, will you then claim he’s only trying them out for Schumacher to make sure they don’t fail…..

      2. Tim Lamkin says:

        ..for some reason you think I care about MS and this…and parts…..no I have followed MS his entire career, there is know one… who knows and understands him……thinks this situation will be any different then at any other time in the past…NR does not know that yet. There will be a number 1 driver. PERIOD….and he is already there :)

  10. Mike Dawson says:

    I’m sure they will get equal equipment. However, some people are more equal than others.

  11. Oliver Knight says:

    Sounds like it could be a interesting story developing between shumi and rosberg. I do feel that nico has what it takes to beat shumi and if mercedes can give him a good car he has a great chgance at the drivers title, ive just stuck a tenner at 16/1 for rosberg to win the WDC, surely he is in with a shout.

    1. Silverstoned says:

      something about the way he screwed that pit lane exit at Singapore tells me to hang on to my tenner, at least for the time being…

  12. Paul Mc says:

    The jury is out on Nico , it remains to be seen whether he can be a consistent race winner. Once he gets his first win under his belt we will see what he is made of.

  13. three4three says:

    Good fighting talk from Rosberg there, hope he keeps strong. I’m not entirely confident Brawn will provide a truly equal equipment and opportunity for Nico, but IF he gets it Rosberg has a good chance of at least equalling Schumacher. This is his chance to bolster his standing and esteem in the paddock.
    I will definitely be rooting for Nico.

  14. Ben says:

    I feel that Rosberg is a solid, consistent driver – but not a great driver. 2009 was a deceptive performance over Nakajima – whilst he did score all of the points and performed better in the races there was not a significant speed differential and came down more to Nakajima’s poor race craft.

    Rosberg is certainly not a bad driver to have in your team, his consistency is second to none. However he does not have what it takes to challenge for a title against any of the championship contenders over the last decade given equivalent machinery.

    His position of number 2 in the team will be achieved by default, and not via a chain of command.

    1. Chris says:

      How do you know? There was often 10 positions separating them on the grid. That is quite a differential. Rosberg has never had a race-winning car. The least everyone can do is see what he does with one first.

      1. Med says:

        He had a potentially race winning car in Sinapore last season; all he did with it was totally mess up his race by jumping the white line after his pitstop.

        Long term Williams fan – still bitter over that

      2. Chris says:

        He made a mistake, that’s it. He would still have got a good result but got unlucky with the safety car. You can’t possibly say as a defining statement that Rosberg will be a definite number two and won’t make much of an impression. The simple truth is that we don’t know how he will compare.

        I guess we will have to see how Barrichello, a proven winner, gets on at Williams. I suspect no better than Rosberg did.

      3. Spencer says:

        Whilst I hope Nico gives MS a run for his money, he has always been beaten by Hamilton in the Junior ranks when they were in equal machinery.

        If Michaels new team mate was LH, I think he would be under much more pressure

    2. jose says:

      He sure looks like a good number two driver. Very much in coulthart’s mold. We’ll see if he can match his results though.

  15. George says:

    Nico will be a good yardstick to measure Schumi’s performance by, no doubt. He’s the type of driver Michael has destroyed many times over the years.
    I didn’t realise was that he’s only 24, it seems as though he’s been in F1 for ages already.

  16. enzofan says:

    The fact is people forget the only time any of Schumachers team mate’s ever beat him was when he had issues in qualifying or in the race. I challenge anyone to produce race were either Rubens or Massa beat Schumacher for pace? I have followed every race for over 30 years and I promise you wont find it. Massa was calculated to be over half a second per lap fuel corrected on average thought the season slower than Schumacher which is massive. Every time he out qualified Schumacher he was fuel corrected slower or Schumacher had reliability issues.

    The fact is Rosberg should beat Schumacher a few times as Schumacher is far past his best and has not been driving for years, however there has never been a driver in F1 with raw speed with the [possible exception of Senna that Schumacher has had, his team-mates could not get anywhere near him as stated many times by Ross Brawn so Nico might have his work cut-out against a past his best Schumacher.

    1. jose says:

      they are on different leages. His self confidence it’s going to be badly damaged, if he starts loosing, so he needs to show some speed in the first races, because after that schumacher is going to be a nut very hard to crack.

    2. Ben says:

      Turkey 2006, Austria 2002 – however instances are very very rare.

    3. Schmidt says:

      Very well said.
      Excellent comments.

      1. enzofan says:

        Turkey 2006 Schumacher was over half a second fuel corrected faster than Massa, and was held up behind Massa during a safety car period pit stop, lets not forget he was far quicker during the race too.

    4. Prancer says:

      I don’t think its right to say the only time Schumi’s team-mates beat him was when he had issues.For example I was at Silverstone in 2003 and if I remember right Rubens was faster in Free Practice 1, Free Practice 2, Free Practice 3, Saturday qualifying and the race.
      Schumi’s only problem that day was he wasn’t quick enough! But I readily accept it didn’t happen very often in the past.
      And I’m yet to be convinced Nico is as good as Rubens…

  17. Irish conor says:

    I’m sure that schumi and nico will b a good partnership. At the minute michael is better but nico is good enough to win if schumi drops the ball. So still Ross will have to dictate if things get tight at the end of season as it’s sure to be a total dogfight this year for the title.

  18. Vic says:

    I cant see Nico being treated unfairly, surely he is Mercedes long term bet compared to Schumacher being a short term bet. In fact if Schumacher wins the title in ’10 and even ’11 does anyone really see him staying for ’12?

    1. jose says:

      i doubt he’ll win those titles. He is good, but not that good. And there is some stiff competition.
      We’ll see how he does his first season. If he wins, he’ll stay, if it becomes harder than usual, he’ll start having some doubts.

  19. Robert says:

    I think rosberg is more of the heidfeld mould than of the Hamilton / Schumacher mould.. Consistent, yes. But I will be very surprised if he can beat Schumacher consistently… Michael didn’t have a bogey track and if he wasn’t winning he was always close to it… He is so complete aside from Alonso I have not seen anything close to him.. Maybe hakkinen, but even he was simply a spell.. 3 good seasons?Michael was at the top for 13 or 14 yrs.. the very top always challenging. Good luck Nico equal treatment even i fear may not be enough!

    1. Ati says:

      u call hakkinen a spell of ‘just’ 3 seasons, while alonso, which u put higher ahd 2 seasons and he wasnt as impressive in the end of each of those seasons, was he?

      and then look at what he did with renault the last 2 years…where are his alleged skills to make a car better? car went from bad to worse every race.

      this year, people will finally see what kind of a fraud alonso is.

      1. fausta says:

        You do not know what you are talking about. It is ok not to like a driver, but please just don’t make things up, you’ll embarrass yourself.

      2. David says:

        Dude, Alonso won races at Renault when he returned.

  20. Pablo Rossi says:

    My personal opinion is that Michael Schumacher will consistently beat Nico and deserve number one status by midway through the season. But more importantly for Nico, I believe, will be his approach to such a situation.

    In my eyes he should follow Massa’s approach to working with the great man – don’t fight him, just observe, study and learn as much as he can. I don’t think many people truly thought Massa would have turned out as good as he has early days and I don’t believe its any coincidence that he progressed so much whilst a teammate of Schuey’s, even so far as rallying the team around him!

    I’ve been impressed on occasion with Nico however I’ve never really seen that extra push or desire to lay everything on the line for a race win. Maybe I’m being slightly harsh but I see it in Kubica and Vettel, the two others from the same class. I believe that Nico can benefit from having MS as a teammate but that the line between benefiting and being demoralised is VERY close in Nico’s case and depends on his maturity and psychological strengths (as well as not listening to his bitter and disrespectful father).

    1. simon says:

      Spot on.

      1. Rudy Pyatt says:

        yup

  21. Gareth says:

    I’m using the iPhone right now and James’ site has a “mobile theme”.

    All iPhone apps really are (most of the time) are links to sites.

    All you need to do is add his page to the home screeen, which I myself have done.

    Great site James!

  22. chairmanmeow says:

    Seriously though… should a driver with 0 wins expect equal footing with a 7 times world champion?

    1. jose says:

      i agree. He is a second driver. he should earn his spot in the team with speed. We’ll see soon enough what he’s got.

    2. Pablo Rossi says:

      Nail…Head…

  23. Ati says:

    brawn knows exactly what kind of car suits schumacher, what he needs to get the most out of a car…and they are busy building the car that way.

    so rosberg cannot do anything else then follow what the car dictates, which will be built to suit schumacher’s style.

    so yes, they will get the same material….which suits schumacher better :P

    and all i saw from rosberg was him beating very average teammates and being beaten by webber. is he really that good? reminds me of those rocky movies where they would put a weaker boxer in front of an average one and he would win…

    1. James Allen says:

      Given that he signed in late December and the car is being launched on Monday I don’t think there has been time to build a car around Schumacher’s requirements!

      1. smellyden says:

        So would that mean given how late in the day Button moved to Mclaren, the car is more suited to him?

      2. Silverstoned says:

        beg to differ, James, with respect.
        Brawn has been planning the MS move for some time. Kimi seems to have known about it back in November and mentioned to the press that Merc were after “2 germans”.

        Must add, the way Brawn got rid of Button was a brilliant bit of engineering in itself!!

      3. James Allen says:

        Yes..but November was after the season ended. Rosberg signed long before that

      4. Tim Lamkin says:

        You are SPOT ON…I think it was before that….

      5. Flintelli says:

        Lets not forget it does not take Schey long to be able to drive round an issue if the car is not to his liking!

        James, do you have any time off, your dedication to your blog is commendable….

  24. Richard Bell says:

    Nico knows Lewis Hamilton is quicker than him so here’s a possible conversation between him and Norbert Haug last year.

    Haug: “Sign with us Nico, being German you’ll be very popular”
    Nico: “Ok, but I don’t want to be team-mates with Hamilton”
    Haug: “That’s fine, you can drive for Brawn”
    Nico: “Great, I’ll sign”

    Followed by -

    Haug: “I want you to know you’re a great asset to this team, I’m telling you this because there’s a good chance we can sign-
    Nico: “It’s ok I already know, the rumour’s been around for a while, I’m fine with it, anyway two German drivers is ideal for Mercedes, it’ll be great to have all his experience to use, plus I reckon I can have him.”
    Haug: “Oh, that’s the spirit, I’m glad you’re happy, I assure you he won’t be the number one driver and get preferable treatment.”
    Nico: “I should hope not, blimey, that’s the sort of unfair advantage Michael Schumacher gets not Nick Heifeld.”
    Haug: …….errr

    1. Spencer says:

      Love it :)

  25. Andrew Scadden says:

    If equal treatment/equipment was not an issue then no ne would mention it (same goes for any comments Lewis and/or Jenson may make on the subject)

    Nico isnt right, in my opinion, if he is spanked by MS then it will damage him as he is a young gun and the future of F1 – if he cannot beat MS then it will say a lot about him – Alonso has beaten MS twice (winning WDC) and is the only one on the track that will have nothing to fear.

    1. Jason C says:

      Yes, indeed. Alonso had 2 cracks at beating Schumi with a competitive car, and did so on both occasions. These days, Alonso is even better and Schumi is very likely not as good. Still just as wily, but I question whether his body and mind will be fully up to it after having 3 years out.

      Changing the subject, is anyone offering odds of Schumi and Hamilton knocking each other out of races? Irresistable force, immovable object.

      1. lip_iceman says:

        In Schumacher’s years from ’94 onwards he was beaten to championships by: Hill, Villeneuve, Hakkinen, Alonso. Alonso is the only one he hasn’t beaten back yet. In all but 1999 and 2006 he had vastly inferior equipment, incidentally the years he had some pretty bad luck at crucial points. I wouldn’t put Alonso on a pedistal, especially considering his temper flares – he’s possibly as talented as Schumacher, but no way is as rounded.

        Schumacher is greatly critical of himself and his abilities so I don’t believe he would come back if he has a chance to win. He may be 41 in years, but by way of finance he has access to the best doctors in the world, who have told him that he has the fitness of a 25 year old.

        As for a Hamilton/Schumacher scrap, highly likely… I’m banking on a Hamilton/Schumacher/Vettel fight to the wire this year. Alonso will be in an uncompetitive Ferrari, watch.

      2. Jason C says:

        I agree with most of what you’re saying, but my point was that Alonso beat him in 06, and that year they both had competitive cars. Since then, I believe Alonso has improved yet I also believe that 3 years out will have blunted Schumacher somewhat. I do wonder about how well Ferrari will do. It would be a great shame to see one of the best drivers in the field unable to compete, but let’s all wait until the season starts to see if Ferrari have managed to pull their finger out and get a competitive car and improve their fuel efficiency. And how much McLaren have improved.

      3. dejabrew says:

        Going by Alonso’s results post 2006 he may as well have sat out the past three years like Schumi. On that note I’d call it a draw.

  26. Meeklo says:

    2009 proved Brawn will provide his drivers with equal equipment. But it was the human side, the drivers ability to setup and driver the car, as well as race tactics that determined the championship. I think 2010 the same, Schumacher will be favorite to win even with equal equipment. The tell tale sign is always when one driver starts getting racecar updates before the other, which Brawn didn’t do in 2009, good on him.

    I get from the interview that Rosberg has no intentions of being friends with, or work as closely together as with Schumacher & Massa. Even Felipe and Alonso have already started communicating to put their difference behind them so politics won’t hamper the team during the season. The old problem of having employee’s wanting to work together vs not wanting to work together.

  27. simon says:

    D’you know, that’s about the most coherent interview with a driver I’ve read so far. While Massa, Button et al are wandering around, hands stuffed in pockets telling anyone who’ll listen that they are, in fact, just as fast as their team mate, Rosberg has the common decency to admit that he has nothing to lose. He does sound as if he’s trying to embrace all the benefits of racing in the same team as Schu, of which I imagine there are many. Look how well Massa came on when he sought the advice of Schu instead of making a battle out of it. History has proven that Schu is bigger than any team mate he’s had and there’s a reason for that. You can either treat it as a fantastic tutoring opportunity that will bear fruit later in your career, or fail comprehensively to fit in. It would be like not bothering to listening to how to take a penalty from Beckham. No brainer.

    1. Jason C says:

      I see what you’re saying, but neither Hamilton nor Alonso have the same “doyenne-like” status as MS and so their team-mates would seem… well, a bit weak if they took the same tack.

  28. Nick H says:

    Rosberg given equal status and equipment in a team containing Michael Schumacher?
    It wont happen……Schumacher has never allowed that to happen during the whole of his F1 carear!

    1. Silverelise says:

      Im not so sure, I seem to remember the student teacher thing schumi and massa had during 2006, he isnt starting out in his career, so will be more willing to help develop the car/team as i think he will take up a more consulting role with merc as he did with ferrari when the time comes. i believe he is doing this as one more go just to see what will happen! But then i still could be very wrong!!

  29. Zobra Wambleska says:

    When looking at Nico’s career we need to keep in mind that he’s yet to be in a truly competitive car, so really has had no chance to win, yet he’s done well with it. He’s also, in my opinion, at least as intelligent as MS and will play the game well. He doesn’t get rattled under pressure, as we’ve seen Michael do, and this year Michael will get more than a little pressure from the rest of the field and this could well play to Nico’s advantage. It’s going to be a long and very interesting season friends.

    1. lip_iceman says:

      Rubbish. As intelligent as Schumacher? where did you get that from?

      Doesn’t get rattled under pressure? Like Singapore when he jumped the pit exit line?

      Never in a truly competitive car? Why is that? If he was one of the best, the engineers would have noticed and got him signed to a good team.

      One thing agreed on, it will be an interesting season.

      1. Zobra Wambleska says:

        I don’t classify missing the pit exit line in the same category as parking it on the track in Monaco, or instinctively trying to crash into a competitor. As far as Nico in a competitive car, he’s been with Williams from the start of his career and he wouldn’t be at Mercedes now if the “engineers” hadn’t noticed his talent.

  30. Michael Nichol says:

    How did Mercedes Benz go from wanting only to provide engines to the Sauber team some years ago to wanting to be a ‘German Superteam’ with 3 German drivers in 2010?

    What has caused the change?

    Is Nico Rosberg ‘German’ enough, having a Finnish father?

    How long will Englishman Ross Brawn be welcome at Mercedes?

    1. lip_iceman says:

      Keep in mind, Ferrari (fiercely Italian) wanted to keep Brawn. This after how many years of service? I think Germans know a good deal when they see one.

  31. Craig says:

    What Nico needs to do is become a sponge and take in as much as he can from the time he has MS as his team mate. It shows with Massa how being mentored by the great one can turn you from a mediocre driver into a championship contender. If I was him, I would be watching everything he does, how he gets the team to work with him and the way the man operates. Many of us saw how he did it at Ferrari so Nico just needs to learn and put it into effect. Opportunities like this are a once in a lifetime dream

  32. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

    In 2000 Barrichello came to the team announcing that he was not a number two to Schuey, which many people found hard to believe.

    In confident style Michael stated that the driver who proved fastest would be team number one.

    Di Montezemolo clarified the situation by stating that the team had a number “1A” and a number “1B” driver.

  33. Anssi says:

    When Mika Häkkinen and Michael Schumacher were fighting for the F1 Championship, Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine were giving controversial statements to the press about Häkkinen – they were trying to rattle him.

    Keke was there to protect Mika from that so it is natural he would have set his words to protect Mika and say a few nasty words about Schumacher. One thing I remember Keke pointing out was that Mika doesn’t understand German and doesn’t read the German newspapers so anything they put out in the German newspapers is useless. The German newspapers were the main outlet for the controversial statements the Ferrari drivers were making of Mika.

    Against that background it is understandable that Keke has criticised Schumacher – he had every right to do so. I am pretty sure Michael Schumacher would agree. So no problem there. Michael must know what he said about Mika and what he did to Mika on the track and so he should understand Mika’s manager coming out and saying a few nasty things about Michael in return and leaving Mika to respond on the race tracks.

    1. Anssi says:

      Oh yeah… and Mika won. It was Michael who was rattled.

      Michael was rattled in 2003 as well and almost lost to a driver who only won 1 race during the season – that would have been very embarrassing to such great driver as Michael Schumacher.

      Maybe it was Michael Schumacher rattling himself – he may well be his biggest enemy judging by the many examples we have seen of how he has lost his nerves when put in a tough situation.

  34. Peter says:

    If Schumacher beats Rosberg then the same old disillusioned anti Schumacher individuals will say ‘he’s quite clearly got the better car’. No – like when he was team mate to Barrichello, Herbert etc, it was merely because he was a much better driver than them.

  35. timem1 says:

    In all honesty, who cares what Nico Rosberg has to say? Has he ever won a race? He seems like a nice enough bloke. He has a reasonable amount of talent as well. But he has alot to prove before he can be considered a top flight driver. Best of luck to him this season but he has nothing in the way of true accomplishments to warrant any serious consideration at the moment.

  36. The Limit says:

    Although it is very true that Fernando Alonso defeated Schumacher both in 2005 and 2006, he did not do so driving a Ferrari. He did not do so driving in the same team as Michael at the same time, and that is very important.
    Schumacher has always managed to dominate his past team mates, despite their best efforts, both on the circuit and through mind games. These are the challenges that Nico Rosberg faces, challenges that have stumped men like Rubens Barrichello and Eddie Irvine for instance, and they are both proven race winners.
    That in itself is Rosberg’s biggest dilemma. He has yet to win a grands prix, and that is very important. The longer he goes without winning in Formula One, the more his confidence will erode, and the more people will doubt his talent.
    The positive in all of this is that no one expects Rosberg to succeed against Schumacher. There are some who predict that atleast Button will push Hamilton, or that Massa will test Alonso, but Rosberg? He has been fed to the wolves ever since Michael put pen to Mercedes Benz paper.
    The cruel irony, is that this is supposed to be Rosberg’s big break. Three years with Williams produced meagre results, a car that was often just not quick enough, nowhere near as good as it was during the Montoya/Ralf Schumacher years. And now that ‘break’ has been overshadowed totally, and far from being a move up the ladder now seems as if he is back where he started.
    I agree that he does have nothing to lose. If he caves to Schumacher easily, will that be too much of a shock to everybody in the pitlane? I seriously doubt to see too many people fussing over it, not as much as say Hamilton getting beat by Button or Alonso to Massa.
    However, if Rosberg does have success, then the pundits will take notice. To be honest, I think he will perform better this year than most give him credit. The onus is on Michael Schumacher to come back out of retirement and win the 2010 world championship, a feet some make sound so easy its as if the German has already won the title.
    Lets remember that every season there is a surprise. A driver and a team that grabs everybody’s attention and upsets the sports natural balance of power.

  37. RON says:

    Rosburg is toast… there is nothing he’s done in the past to indicate he is any better then a Kimi or a Webber… very sub par, consistently…

    Michael will destroy him…

  38. Sam says:

    You know sometimes common sense isn’t very common.
    At the end of the day efforts go where the pace is.
    Lewis gets better treatment because he IS better than Kova.
    MS or Nico will gets better treatment if they are better than their teammate.
    In the world of business, people hire people for results. Friendship goes where the results come from.
    If MS isn’t up to the job (which I doubt), Brawn will say “thanks Michael, with your vast experience, you can help and coach Nico to win the title.”
    Ohh and the car set ups blur blur build around x-y driver, drivers like Lewis or Schumi do not have a problem with adapting different cars.
    Some of the people here live in a town called hypocrisy.
    They talk about fairness but it isn’t exactly fair to degrade certain drivers who are so good and earned No1 status on the track.

    1. Crom says:

      Agreed 100%. Results and achievements are what’s important. Rosberg must be positive and learn as much as he can, like Massa did.

  39. Lee Gilbert says:

    If Nico plays his cards right – he could have a good season this year learning to win from MS. In the same way Massa did in MS last year or so at Ferrari

    Nico will be good to beat MS this year also – I am not 100% convinced MS will be “on it”

    But the main point is Nico should see the big picture here and have a serious go at the title in 2011 (before Vettel arrives)

  40. Robert says:

    Can’t agree with you on that Ati. In 2008 the car clearly was alot better by the end of the season.. Whether or not you can attribute that improvement to Alonso I don’t know… 2009 the car started a pig and simply never got any better.. Again is it really the driver who can affect aerodynamic changes to a car? No doubt information from the driver is important but needs to be translated then into improvements made by engineers and aero experts. The main point I was making however in terms of the subject is that Rosberg… A driver who has not to this point after four full seasons in the sport shown anything extraordinary will not be able to defeat a man who was consistently the best. From the moment of his first grand prix to his last, Schumacher was always if not the best at least equal to the best.. Rosberg surely won’t have a chance.

  41. Andy says:

    How can Nico say he has nothing to lose? anyone who does not beat his team mate is going to lose credibility. For him the season can end in 2 ways.

    Beat a 7 times world champ (past his prime)

    or

    Got beat by a Pensioner.

    My money is on the F1 Pensioner being slower until he gets his feet under the table and then showing Nico how it is done

  42. Andy C says:

    Gareth
    I didn’t know you could add web links onto your home screen.
    Thanks!

  43. Ian Blackwell says:

    I certainly hope he gets a fair chance at Schumacher. While I was certain Mercedes would have a good car for the new season, now I am not so sure. With the double diffusers being banned again and with them being so central to the performance of last years’ car do you see them having some issues with this?

    1. Spencer says:

      Double Decker Diffusers are banned from 2011 not this year.

      Everyone is assuming that Merc will have a good car but we really don’t know until we see them on track. Who would have put their money on Brawn and Redbull last year.

      Even with a dog of a McLaren in last years winter testing, people were still speculating that there was some sandbagging going on

  44. Silverstoned says:

    Sorry to sound a slightly sceptic note, but…
    Has Nico found out what Schumacher’s secret advantage will be? Can Schumacher really be pitting himself against Ham, Alo, Vit, Kub, and Rosby with only his great racing prowess to fight with?

  45. Pawel says:

    I wonder whether Mercedes intended Schumacher to score points and Rosberg-good-looking for marketing purposes?

  46. john g says:

    i think the guy printing out the compares in the merc garage will be very busy!!

    still, as mentioned, it’s a win-win for rosberg. no-one expects him to be able to beat schumacher, he has the best team mate for his own development and he’s acknowledged that rather than doing a kimi, and if he does beat schumacher, then people will really start to rate him.

    i think rosberg has faded a little bit at wiliams, i remember his first race at bahrain when he really shone. hopefully for his sake he can perform at that level again or he’ll quickly be left behind.

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