Some unfinished business
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Schumacher and Rosberg’s head-to-head record at Mercedes
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Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Nov 2012   |  11:47 am GMT  |  174 comments

Following on from our analysis of the head-to-head record of Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button over three years as McLaren, here the second in the series, analysing Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg’s similar stint at Mercedes.

Schumacher brought the curtain down on his Formula 1 career for the second time at last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix and in doing so ended a three-year and 58 race relationship with Mercedes alongside fellow German Nico Rosberg.

It would be fair to say the seven-time world champion’s comeback with the Silver Arrow didn’t quite go to plan. Throughout his career, Schumacher has consistently beaten his team-mate, but in Rosberg he found a younger, more formidable competitor.

And the chances of the 43-year-old delivering on his aim of trying to add to his seven world championships looked bleak as Rosberg comprehensively him in his first full season back in 2010 by 142 points to 72.

In all three seasons, Rosberg finished ahead of Schumacher in the drivers’ championship and in 2010 and 2012, Rosberg came close to scoring double the number of points of his more decorated team-mate. Schumacher was just 13 points behind in 2010 but overall Rosberg held the advantage with 324 points to 197.

Though the German produced an impressive drive to finish seventh and score points in Brazil, having found himself last and a lap down after picking up a puncture, he still trails Rosberg in overall points finishes – 31 v 39.

However, Schumacher can take some comfort in the fact that his results suffered as a result of a number of retirements, the majority of them mechanical, throughout his time with Mercedes. The elder German suffered 15 retirements compared to seven for Rosberg.

Schumacher lost out in terms of overall best race results excluding DNFs with 15 to Rosberg’s 22. That gap increases from seven to 13 if you include retirements.

Schumacher scored points in 72% of races that he completed, but Rosberg pips him there too with 76%.

It becomes bleaker reading for Schumacher when we turn out attention to qualifying. Discounting grid penalties, Rosberg ended qualifying with the faster lap time on 41 occasions to Schumacher’s 17 which equates to 71% of the time.

Schumacher achieved the quickest overall time once, in Monaco 2012, though he started sixth after a grid penalty. The German only ever started on the front row once which was in China when he was promoted from third to second as a result of a penalty for Lewis Hamilton. Rosberg started on pole once in China, which he converted into victory, and had one other front row start.

As you will see from the statistics below, Rosberg beat Schumacher in every category expect for DNFs to show the elder German was comprehensively beaten by his team-mate for the first time in his glittering career.

Rosberg v Schumacher stats compared (highest respective tally in bold)

Qualifying
Faster qualifying time: Rosberg 41 / Schumacher 17
Poles: Rosberg 1 / Schumacher 
0
Front rows: Rosberg 2 / Schumacher 1

Races
Wins: Rosberg 1 / Schumacher 0
Podiums: Rosberg 5 / Schumacher 1
Points finishes: Rosberg 39 / Schumacher 31
DNFs: Rosberg 7 / Schumacher 15
Best race result (inc DNFs): Rosberg 35 / Schumacher 22
Ahead in two-car finish: Rosberg 22 / Schumacher 15

Championship
Overall points: Rosberg 324 / Schumacher 197
Seasons finished higher in standings: Rosberg 3 / Schumacher 0
Highest championship placing: Rosberg 7th (2010, 2011) / Schumacher 8th (2011)

You can read all about both Mercedes drivers’ seasons in the JA on F1 2012 yearbook – The Year of Living Dangerously, which is published on December 7th priced at £10.99; it’s a 256 page large format paperback with stunning Darren Heath images and signed copies are available to order via our online shop now.

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174 Comments
  1. Steve Ellis says:

    I think this says more about Schumacher’s decline than Rosberg’s talents.

    1. AndyFov says:

      I’m not so sure. Rosberg could have matured into one of the better drivers on the grid and it’s been missed because people think ‘that’s the very least I’d expect from one of Ross Brawn’s cars’.

      I suspect that Lewis, like Michael before him, could find himself less dominant than he’s expecting next year.

      1. Steve Ellis says:

        I have no doubt that without Schumacher’s mechanical problems at the beginning of the year when the car was better, he would have scored more points than Rosberg. He improved each year.

        I will be shocked if Hamilton doesn’t overwhelm Rosberg by the end of next year. I say this even though I personally don’t like Hamilton.

      2. Wu says:

        Merc figured out that without any retirements, Schumi would have led the championship after Monaco.

        Luck played a big part in Merc’s and especially Schumi’s misfortunes.

      3. Stato says:

        I guess statistics can say anything. On gut feeling I would Rosberg has done better than Schumacher, even this year.

        But looking at numbers, both Mercs finished in only 9 races this year, 7 of which Schumacher bet Rosberg. Does that mean Schu parks it when he can’t win? Or does he take unnecessary risks and crashes? Does he have worse luck and gets more mechanical failures?

        When Mercedes looked good in China and Monaco, Rosberg scored 43 points. Schumacher scored 0 by virtue of a loose wheel nut in China, then a loose nutter(Grosjean) in Monaco. Yet at the end of the year they were separated by 44 points.

        Break the season into halves and you find that Schumacher scores more points in the second half (20 vs 17), when the car had worse prospects. Do the same by dividing the year into quarters, and you find that in the last three-quarters of the season, Rosberg still beats Schumacher, but now only by 52 vs 47.

        2010 and 2011 were victories for Rosberg, but Schumacher lucked out this year.

        Cold numbers are cruel. Was Hamiliton only 2 points better than Button?

      4. Bruno says:

        I am glad Schumacher came back and gave us another 3 years of watching him race – even though the results were not as hoped for.

        His previous legacy still stands and has not been tarnished by a ‘dodgy’ car and some stupid regulation and rule changes.

        I’m also glad to have been able to see Senna, Prost and Mansell race and feel the same about Schumacher – all great and hard racers!

        The modern era of racing has been greatly diluted by constant rule changes that only manipulated matters to put on a good ‘show’.

        Lets hope real racing returns – and there is still hope with new drivers like kobyashi, Perez, Maldonado, and Grosjean around who are mostly youngish and flawed but who are racers.

        Raikkonen is also a great racer and I hope he or Alonso wins the title next year.

        Bruno

      5. bob says:

        @Stato

        I’m sorry, but blaming Grosjean for the accident in Monaco is just WRONG!

        How bout you watch the on board footage from Grosjeans car.

        Alonso is the one who caused that accident!

      6. JEZ Playense says:

        I agree with you. The car was a dog, but Rosberg dragged it around better than Schuey, and potentially as well as Lewis.

        Lewis was unable to consistently outscore Button much to the surprise of many. I don’t believe Lewis will be able to outscore Rosberg either.

      7. Matt W says:

        Unfortunately I agree with Steve. Whilst time and age have caught up with Schumacher, Rosberg has never really looked like a future champion in their time together. I think the sad thing for Rosberg is that he managed to beat Schumacher in the least convincing way possible!

        That isn’t to say Rosberg doesn’t have talent, I just feel it is unfortunate that thei time together showed Schumacher to be mostly past his best whilst showing that Rosberg wasn’t the breakthrough act so many of us thought he would be.

        Of course next season Rosberg has another chance at proving himself, this time against a driver very much in his prime.

      8. Elie says:

        I think Lewis will end even his first year with more points than Nico. Lewis was one of the best drivers this year & was a genuine title contender were it not for mechanical/ operational failures. Also he raced Nico in karting and lower categories and beat him most of the time. The good thing for Nico will be that Lewis will raise the bar dramatically ,and if the Mercedes is even slightly better- both will be fighting in the top 5 more regularly.

    2. Alex says:

      I disagree, It’s a mix of the two Schumacher is obviously older now and a little less on the ball but Rosberg’s progress has been hidden by people saying “It’s caus schumacher’s old”

      1. Steve Ellis says:

        There is nothing hidden regarding Rosberg, especially his “progress”.

    3. madmax says:

      Guess we will know next year!

      1. kunteper says:

        Indeed. I’m looking forward to Lewis’ relative performance to Nico to have a clearer picture about Michael’s speed in his second career. I think Lewis will be the faster one by a slight margin while Nico being more consistent.

    4. Wayne says:

      Could not agree more. I don’t think that Rosberg is much (if at all) more ‘formidable than many of MSCH’s previous team mates.

      1. Luke Potter says:

        By the end of next year we’ll know if you’re right or not, Steve!

    5. Bjornar Simonsen says:

      I guess we’ll find out next season. If Rosberg can keep up with Hamilton who we know is currently very fast, then it says a lot of Rosberg.

      1. Sebee says:

        This is going to be by far the most interesting team mate war.

        This Nico guy is almost not visible during a GP. Yet here he is quietly getting the better of Schumi, and being entirely on the ball regarding new media. Likable, clean image, no drama. This is going to be very interesting indeed. Top 3 story line to watch for 2013 of course.

        As for Schumi – thanks! It’s been fun. He added to the show, the fun, the drama. Would have been awesome to see him challange and if that Mercedes suddenly does turn competitive, I’m going to be mightly p…..!!

      2. Cobus says:

        How could anybody think Rosberg should try and keep up with Hamilton? They are racing together against the other teams. No1 and No2 drivers of a team does not get voted but decided by the teamboss. Does anybody think that Michael was trying to keep up with Rosberg in 2012? Get real! Obviously most people have never taken part in motorracing and
        their oppinions show their lack of knowledge. It is still interresting to read though, it keeps the people talking.

    6. DMyers says:

      Well that’s just conjecture. ‘Schumacher’s decline’ (if it exists) hasn’t been measured, and comparisons with his previous team mates are invalid (particularly at Benetton) because they were disadvantaged in favour of Schumacher (Johnny Herbert especially). So your assertion does not hold much water.

      1. zombie says:

        Yes, Johnny Herbert,Brundle,Barrichello all went on to win several world titles once he quit being Schumacher’s teammates. And they are all widely considered to be some of the greatest drivers ever ! ( facepalm and rollseyes)

      2. Dan says:

        Actually Schumacher’s teammates over the course of his career have won 55 races between them.

        Barrichello was absolutely considered top-3 top-4 drivers in F1 in the late 1990s.

        He went to Honda where he has beaten and outqualified Button over a season and many times generally.

      3. Cobus says:

        Herbert, Brundle and Barrichello all to win several World titles?????? The difference is in the several and seven, and I would like to know more about their World Titles. If you don’t like Schummi, live with it even if it is difficult or rather go on Twitter. Hamilton and Button are No1 drivers, that is why they did not succeed as they should. Perez and Button? Can’t wait.

    7. Carlo_Carrera says:

      We will see next year when he is paired with Hamilton.

      1. Cobus says:

        Who is paired with who?

      2. Carlo_Carrera says:

        Rosberg and Hamilton.

    8. Martin Cicerchia says:

      So the pole Schumacher achieve in Monaco doesn’t count ?

  2. meg says:

    No worries for Hamilton here, he’s quicker than Rosberg even after a retirement.

    If it had been a fair fight Lewis would have won the WDC this year and last. I fully expect him to win next year too.

    1. flatspot says:

      Please, please, please Mr Brawn. Build a car that has a fighting chance, that’s all I ask…

      1. Mikey says:

        I don’t want a Fighting Car, I want a fighter Plane from Mr brawn , win Lewis, I know your sister, in Stevenage, she has done well in her field bro (((((((((((((Hugs))))))))))))))

    2. Captain LeChuck says:

      Whoa there. I’m great fan of Lewis – he’s the reason I started following F1 again – but I reckon it will be a struggle to get podiums next year, let alone wins.

      To think of him winning the WDC next year is … well, I think it’s ludicrous. The rules for next year have barely changed from this year’s, and Mercedes’ development went progessively packward as the season wore on. However, I’ll be more than happy to be proved wrong. Seriously.

      I just can’t see Mercedes having the car next year to really compete; I believe it’s 2014 that Ross Brawn and Norbert Haug have their eyes on. Next year will be all about Lewis and Mercedes’ engineers getting to know each other, and putting in place ideas to develop a car for a serious push in the 2014 and later seasons.

      1. Captain LeChuck says:

        Backward, not packward!!

      2. KRB says:

        Both work.

      3. Jon says:

        I’m sure that’s what people thought of Honda in 2009…

      4. Andrew M says:

        Of course no-one expected Honda/Brawn to leap to the front of the grid, but there were massive rule changes between 2008 and 2009, coupled with the fact that Honda had effectively written off the 2008 car almost as soon as it left the garage and focussed all their efforts on 2009. Also, McLaren and Ferrari were hamstrung by competing up until the very last race in 2008, and were both on the back foot for the first half of 2009.

        If Hamilton manages to win the title next year it would be a minor miracle. I’d be happy with them beating Lotus again in the constructors and challenging for the occasional race win.

      5. Brad says:

        When Jenson went to Mclaren every one said it was suicide…. Look how we’ll that went. I think Lewis will achieve No1 team status in performances. But let’s be honest, bar ( no pun intended ) the brawn, that team has never made a good car and even the brawn was rough around the edges, but damn fast!

      6. David Ryan says:

        The reputed $500m golden goodbye Honda gave to Brawn in order to buy themselves out of their obligations probably went some way towards that upturn in form…Also, had the double-diffuser ruling gone against them they would have been in serious trouble for the rest of the season so fortune played its part. Problem is, since 2010 Mercedes hasn’t shown the slightest hint of becoming a title contender and barring a true miracle over the winter I can’t see that changing for 2013. 2014 is a different story though.

    3. AuraF1 says:

      I can see an argument for Lewis having had a much better chance this year (his losses down to bad luck primarily) but last year? That’s nonsense. Lewis ruined his own season with his meltdown and crashes. If it had been a ‘fair fight’ last years most likely winner would have been Button since he comprehensively outscored Lewis.

      1. KRB says:

        It’s crazy b/c even if Hamilton drove last year like this year, it still wouldn’t have been enough, such was RBR’s advantage.

    4. array says:

      ” If it had been a fair fight Lewis would have won the WDC this year and last. I fully expect him to win next year too.”

      Whats constitutes a fair fight to you?

    5. 6 Wheeled Tyrrell says:

      What makes you think that it wasn’t a fair fight?…mechanical reliability and performance at the pits is all part of the game in F1 and all the contenders had their ups and downs, that doesn’t mean that there wasn’t a fair fight.

    6. Dave C says:

      Hamilton should have won this year and last year? Dont think so. Lewis Hamilton is overrated to the extreme, he’s fast but I think Rosberg on top form will give Lewis plenty to think about, and Mercedes wasn’t slow at the beginning of the year when they should have locked out the front row in Australia and they did win in China and also Schumi put the car on pole in monaco so if they’re good both drivers can have a chance at the title next year but ultimately its between Vettel and Alonso again, they’re the top drivers of F1.

      1. KRB says:

        They should’ve locked out the front row in Australia?!? That was the dumbest part of an overall dumb post.

  3. Paul L says:

    Technical question James, does Michael’s fastest qualifying lap count as a career pole despite the penalty?

    I thought I recall Raikkonen being credited a pole position for Monza 2005 despite taking a 10 place penalty for an engine change.

    I believe Schu’s final pole tally should read 69, not 68 – “unless I’m very much mistaken”

    1. Martin says:

      No it doesn’t count. Pole is based on the grid which is published on Sunday. Fastest on Saturday is a different matter. Schumacher would have 70 as he was fastest in Monaco in 2006 as well.

      1. Andrew says:

        well MS wouldnt of got pole in moncaco 2006. Alonso was on course to smash the pole time! hence why schumacher parked in the middle of the track lol

      2. Martin says:

        You’re right – when I wrote fastest I should’ve said he set the fastest time.

        As far as records go Schumacher’s percentage poles per start isn’t that great, but on the other hand his poles were generally more important than Senna’s as passing was more difficult, but less important than Vettel’s.

  4. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

    Rosberg had very ungrateful situation to have “comeback Schumacher” as teammate. It started with Schumacher demanding number 7 and choosing garage if I recall right? But more important, If Rosberg was beaten then everybody would say that he was beaten by old man, if he beat Schumi (as he did) then everybody would say that Schumacher is too old for Formula 1 anyway. Really loose loose situation for Rosberg and and not fair.

    1. dmojavensis says:

      lose (one “o”) :)

      1. Harrison Vrbanjac says:

        Haha, sorry for that! :)

    2. KRB says:

      Well, Rosberg’s got the lower number now … #9 Rosberg, #10 Hamilton. Both great numbers (in football).

    3. Cobus says:

      You almost seing the big picture. Rosberg was there to perform. Michael was not there to hurt but to get more spectators. Everybody gets measured to Michael. If Michael was racing with Webber for Red Bull and Vettel was racing with Rosberg for Mercedes, do you realy think that Vettel would have been 3x WC? Do you get a better idea of the bigger picture now, if not, carry on watching and enjoy.

  5. peter says:

    i think schuey this year qualifying wise did quite well. i think closer to rosberg. i thought it was pretty close for this year as a head to head.

  6. Alex says:

    In fairness to Schumacher I thought Rosberg was a top class driver.

    No shame in getting beaten by Nico.

    1. Cobus says:

      Anybody had a chance of beating the Mercedeses, no matter who the drivers were.

  7. Anil says:

    If Michael had a reliable car this season, he would’ve been right up there and probably even ahead of rosberg.

    Australia, China, Bahrain, Monaco were costly as was Grosjean hitting him in Malaysia.

    I’m glad he came back though, even though it wasn’t a success. For someone of his age to be so competitive is pretty inspirational.

  8. Adrian Setterfield says:

    Hi James,

    These head to head comparisons are interesting. Thanks for doing the statistical hard work for all of us. I’d be interested in seeing how other team-mates have compared over a similar period of time. We fans all have our perceptions of team-mate comparative performance but its good to see it from an objective point of view.

    Any chance you could put the numbers together for a few more team-mates? I’m thinking about Alonso/Massa, Vettel/Webber, Kovalainen/Petrov (smaller sample size). May be a few surprises…

    Thanks

  9. Stuart Harrison says:

    Many typos –
    1, Para #4 : “.. bleak as Rosberg comprehensively (beat?) him in ..”
    2, Para #5 : “.. Schumacher was just 13 points behind in 2010 ..” – I think you mean 2011?
    3, Para #6 : “Though the German produced..” – which German? :)
    4, Para #10 : “when we turn out attention..” – our, surely?
    5, Last para : “category expect for DNFs” – except? :)

    Great info other than that – let’s see how Lewis compares after three years ;)

    1. tim says:

      Holy passive aggressive. Smile faces? Great note, other than that.

    2. Chris says:

      its kind of obvious he’s talking about schumacher…

  10. MRB says:

    Interesting – also would be good to compare the number of crashes caused / penalties recieved …
    I also thought at sone stage this season if it wasn’t for Schumacher’s mechanical problems he might have been much closer to Rosberg?

    ButWho proof reads these?
    ‘Rosberg beat Schumacher in every category expect for DNFs’ – do you mean except?

    You also mention:
    ‘Rosberg comprehensively him in his first full season back in 2010 by 142 points to 72′
    But then also add:
    ‘Schumacher was just 13 points behind in 2010′

    And referring to a driver as ‘The German’ doesn’t really help when they are both German…

    1. lmdb says:

      You mean “some Stage” not “sone stage”!
      If you’re going to edit at least get your house in order.
      Anyone that edits should go away like Shumacher

      1. Trev says:

        “if you’re going to edit at least get your house in order.”

        Well said Sir!!

  11. chris says:

    There is no doubt that Schumacher was rusty in his first year back. 2012 however saw Schumacher equal Rosberg’s qualifying tally, and sometimes in trickier conditions – e.g Silverstone.
    It is so hard just to look at points this year for Schumacher. He had such a run of bad luck with the machinery. Who knows what might have happened. I don’t think it is actually possible or valid to compare Schumacher and Rosberg in 2012. Too many ifs and buts, not to mention the hugely under performing car and team.

  12. Spinodontosaurus says:

    Stats don’t show everything; the two were very evenly matched this season, if anything Schumacher being the better driver.

  13. Val from montreal says:

    You dont mention the fact that Schumacher continually improved year after year , that in 2011 if it werent for his lousy car and lousy team he would of end up in front of Rosberg in the championship ,or that in 2012 when he had a half decent competetive car at the beginning ,he should have been easily in the top 2 in the championship standings again IF it werent for his team’s incompetence and bad luck ! Was it Rosberg or MSC who qualified better in rainy conditions this year ? Was it Rosberg or Schumacher who had more front 2 rows qualifications this year ?? Which driver of the two was the most exciting to watch throughout these last 3 years ? Which driver had over all better race pace ? I think considering the curcumstances Schumacher was up against , he delivered better results in general … Driving for a MIDFIELD team at best , who btw , hated his guts and tried their best to ruin his 2012 season , I think MSC has nothing to be ashamed about …. He should be proud of his ” mercedes ” highlights …. Canada 2011 and Monza 2011 was vintage Michael Schumacher … Lewis Hamilton ( the English reincarnation wannabe Ayrton Senna ) will have alot of explainin to do in 2013 when he winds up behind Nico half of the time !!!!!!!!!! Go Michael !

  14. Tim says:

    “…glittering career.”
    Indeed!

    “All that glitters is not gold;
    Often have you heard that told:
    Many a man his life hath sold
    But my outside to behold:…”

    William Shakespeare,
    The Merchant of Venice

    Tim

  15. Tom says:

    Can’t help but feel Schumacher’s presence has been a bit a distraction at Mercedes for the past 3 years.

    1. Andrew says:

      100% agree.. I think Mercedes should of gone for Di resta as MS replacement until the car was good enough for someone like lewis or vettel.

      next year will be the same all over again only this time with Hamilton in the car.

  16. madmax says:

    From 3/4 way through 2010 Schumacher was faster in the races than Rosberg 90% of the time but kept getting caught up in incidents and penalties battling in the midfield.

    When Merc finally gave him a half decent car at the beginning of this year he was out-qualifying Rosberg and putting it in top grid positions but then his car mysteriously kept breaking down in the race.

    Test driver Sam Bird said on one of the practice session 5live commentary’s the Merc team worked out if Schumacher had of finished all the races in the position he broke down in them first races he would have been leading the championship at some certain point.

    It’s a shame he never had a good car them 3 years to see how he would have done.

    1. Martin says:

      While Schumacher was out qualifying Rosberg, there were many examples of Rosberg making a mess of things with brake lock ups. Schumi wasn’t slow, but initially neither driver was maximising the car in qualifying. About the only time we saw it happen was Rosberg in China. Rosberg knew that he was on for a lap a couple of tenths better than what Schumacher delivered in Monaco, but stuffed up and gave Webber the win. Then the car went down hill. Schumacher’s wet qualifying was a high point, as was Austin.

      Schumacher had the best car in China. Rosberg was beating him when the wheel fell off. He had it in Monaco too, but running into Senna didn’t help and then the car failed anyway – possibly a good thing given he probably would have been leading.

      1. madmax says:

        You can’t start micro analyzing qualifying laps saying if he didn’t lock up or whatever because the reason he messed up was because he was pushing it too much.

        While the other driver didn’t push to the limit so much but kept it clean throughout and got the faster time.

        Rosberg was beating him in China because as shown many times over the season the lead car has as a massive tyre wear advantage. How many other times in the season was Rosberg quicker in the race?

  17. John says:

    “Rosberg comprehensively (outscored? you need to fill this bit in Jmaes) him in his first full season back in 2010 by 142 points to 72.”

  18. PK says:

    Driver circuits of Spa, Monaco and Suzuka painted a different picture to the statistics.

    But what packaged that picture was this. When the rain drops fell (like Silverstone and Hockenheim this year), MIchael destroyed Rosberg.

    With the same reliability record as Rosberg at the beginning of the season (and without being hit by Romain multiple times) Michael would have finished ahead in the standings this year as well. That wouldn’t have read well for Rosberg.

    How would that

  19. Tank says:

    At least Schumi’s name was first in the title of the article…

  20. T Nelan Esq says:

    I can’t bring myself to read articles like that about Schumacher…. it’s not libel… it’s blasphemy!

    1. Mitchel says:

      Ha, ha, you can prove anything with facts, can’t you?

      …to quote Stewart Lee…

  21. bruno menilli says:

    A fair fight would have seen them battling together after Rosberg had been out of competition for getting on for 4 years and if he hadn’t been driving the Mercedes car previously.

    As that wasn’t the case the stats are interesting but don’t really tell the full truth and the assumptions made are very weakened by that fact.

    Of course Schumacher was not as good as he was before – but let’s wait and see how Rosberg performs when he is 40+, and how many championships he has won in the meantime ?

    Bruno

    1. Dave says:

      Bruno,

      You seem to try to define “fair” as “equal”. You list all of the factors that may have disadvantaged Michael but do not mention any that work in his favour: having the support of the owners / team / principle; having years of experience above that of Nico etc etc.

      It seems that by your definition of “fair” everything must be equal and, given the ages of the drives alone, this is an impossibility. You then suggest waiting until Nico is 40+ in order to make a “fair” comparison but, by doing so, you make all other factors in the comparison (even more) unequal: opponents, technology, circuits etc.

      I think you’re missing the point. It’s not “would Michael be able to beat Nico in the same circumstances” it’s “can he outperform the “upstart” now?

      BTW – to compare the two at the height of Michael’s prowess how about we base it on 2000 (when Nico was 15)? :-)

      1. bruno says:

        Dave hi – my intended definition of ‘fair’ was nearer to ‘be accurate’ or to have stats that would give a better indication of their relative merits, as I noted when I said “As that wasn’t the case the stats are interesting but don’t really tell the full truth…”
        There were so many variables this year such as the the reliability issues which seemed to settle much more on Michael’s car than Nico’s, as a example, that the stats alone will never provide a basis for an accurate comparison.

        I don’t think, what you state as fact eg:
        I think you’re missing the point. It’s not “would Michael be able to beat Nico in the same circumstances” it’s “can he outperform the “upstart” now?, was the point of James’ article, which is what I was commenting on.

        Your last suggestion would be just as inaccurate and in the end meaningless, as is comparing the 2 drivers over the last 3 years.

        What has happened, has happened, but that doesn’t mean that a worthwhile conclusion could be based on the stats from those 3 years only.and that was all I was suggesting.

        Regards
        Bruno

  22. Phil says:

    James, how did Jock Clear and Schumacher end up getting along in the end? I remember at the start Ross Brawn tried to keep them clear, but then midway in 2011 I think they worked together and short term there were good results. Long term did they get on/respect each other?

      1. Paul says:

        Nice statistics James. It would be nice to see how the gap in qualifying, between Schu and Rosberg, changed over the 3 years of his comeback. My feeling is that we would see a big gap initially, which continued to get smaller until they were pretty much equal.

    1. James Clayton says:

      Why would there have been an issue?

      1. James Clayton says:

        Thanks for that.

  23. Nick_F1 says:

    Ok, how about the following statistic for 2012:

    1) races where both drivers finished , and here the score is 7:2 in Schumi favor ! In other word: 49 vs 25 points (Schimi took all his 49 point “fair”, no a single point when Rosberg had retired from 3 races)

    Driver Year Where Race_pos_MS Driver Race_pos_NR
    Schumacher 2012 Malaysia 10 Rosberg 13
    Schumacher 2012 Bahrain 10 Rosberg 5
    Schumacher 2012 Europe 3 Rosberg 6
    Schumacher 2012 Great Britain 7 Rosberg 15
    Schumacher 2012 Germany 7 Rosberg 10
    Schumacher 2012 Belgium 7 Rosberg 11
    Schumacher 2012 Italy 6 Rosberg 7
    Schumacher 2012 United States 16 Rosberg 13
    Schumacher 2012 Brazil 7 Rosberg 15

    2) classification result is 10:10 – the result is equal

    3) if we take pure statistic for race finish (even when Schu or Ros had retired from races) – then the result is 10:10 – it’s equal as well

    - Another interesting fact that starting from Europe and until Brasil (13 races) Schumacher took 47 points and Rosberg only 26 !

    - Moreover, Rosberg took 68 points when Schumacher had to retire – 8 times from races !

    Driver Year Where Race_pos_MS Points_MS Driver PointsNR
    Schumacher 2012 Australia Ret 0 Rosberg 0
    Schumacher 2012 China Ret 0 Rosberg 25
    Schumacher 2012 Spain Ret 0 Rosberg 6
    Schumacher 2012 Monaco Ret 0 Rosberg 18
    Schumacher 2012 Canada Ret 0 Rosberg 8
    Schumacher 2012 Hungary Ret 0 Rosberg 1
    Schumacher 2012 Singapore Ret 0 Rosberg 10
    Schumacher 2012 India Ret 0 Rosberg 0

    1. Nick_F1 says:

      I think it’s pretty clear, from my previous post, that Schumacher has raised his game constanly and Rosberg was just lucky to take more points …

  24. AuraF1 says:

    If the comments in this article are anything like the drivel in the last one on Hamilton versus Button – it won’t really matter what the stats say – some people will just scream that one driver is infallible and the other is the worst of the worst…

    Though I think even Schumacher’s legion of fans might be a tad more worldly than the ‘my hero is both saint and superstar’ Lewis fanbois…;)

    I think Schumacher proved that like ANY driver – (yes, even Senna if it’d been the same) – you can’t put a driver in a bad car and expect the same results as in a good one. No driver is a magician. They can have insanely quick reactions, racing instincts that defy logic and strategic nous that a battlefield commander would be awed by – but at the end of the day if the car is breaking down – they are just guys sat in a million-pound junk box of carbon fibre bits.

    Rosberg is quick. No-one doubts that. I think a lot of people doubt that he has quite the killer instinct of the top racers. I can see him giving Lewis more of a qualifying challenge than Button – but if it comes to a head to head fight, I think Button will prove to be the tougher teammate in Lewis’ recent years.

  25. Steve says:

    the only conclusion one can draw from this article is that a 27 years old Rosberg is better than a 43 years old Schumacher. However, I am sure a 27 years old Rosberg could not even get close to a 27 years old Schumacher.

  26. joshua says:

    Fyi – you mention mclaren drivers in the bold type at the end…..4th paragraph 5th line missing the word “beat”

    Fantastic post James really love all the facts. Very interesting reading. Cheers

  27. Irish con says:

    Michael in his prime wipes the floor with rosberg. A 43 year old Michael wipes the floor with a 43 year old Rosberg also. How many of the grid would u say would get a pole at 43 like Michael did this year. Michael from 1994- 2006 brought a level of performance that no one has ever done for that amount of time before. Was the most complete relentless SOB ever. Legend.

    1. madmax says:

      And if you take into account Ross Brawn admitting Schumacher lost 70-80 points this year through unreliability then a 43 yr old Schumacher wipes the floor with Rosberg.

      10-10 in qualifying
      7-3 to Schumacher in races both finished.

    2. Benny says:

      It’s getting a pole at 63 that’s the real challenge, right guys.

  28. Dave Aston says:

    It’s pretty clear cut, Rosberg smashed him. But, I guess Michael never got it together. I reckon the lack of testing probably hurt him the most… that, and his age. It’s hard to be the best in such a competitive category for 20 years!

    As for Nico, I think he’s good, but… there’s something missing. I’m not sure how to put this, but he seems too smart to go all the way. I think the very best are animals, they have a paranoia, an insecurity and need to prove themselves that is missing in a guy who seems very calm and accomplished, as if he could have achieved at a high level in other careers.

    But, he did beat Michael, and he won a race this year… Only 90 to go…

    At the start of the year I really thought it was going to happen for that team, and seeing them running at and near the front for a while was exciting. For me the highlights of the Michael S comeback were Canada and Monza 2011, the Monaco pole, and, to a degree, just seeing him racing in the pack. I’m glad he came back. I agree with Andretti, his comeback was great to see because of his passion for racing.

  29. Bruno menilli says:

    Why has my previous post been removed ??

    Talk about freedom of expression !

    bruno

    1. Seán Craddock says:

      are you talking about comment number 21 above???

      1. Bruno says:

        Sean hi

        When I was responding I couldn’t find my original post – then After I posted the question it appeared again, such is life !

        bruno

  30. McmIck says:

    Six podiums in three years says it all about that lousy car! Poor Hamilton, hope he gets tons of money for his move.

  31. Rang says:

    MSC has faced more issues from the car. He has been unlucky bcoz of cars reliability issues ! Nico has been average and has been able to get into points whenever MSC had to retire, that shows the difference !

  32. Seán Craddock says:

    Did the fastest lap in Monaco this year not count as a pole for Schumacher? It was a grid penalty wasn’t it?

  33. Lawrence says:

    Schumacher got trounced. Would have loved to have seen him in a decent car.

  34. F1racer says:

    Simply put this way, anyone remember memorable drives from Rosberg?

    Nico Rosberg – China 2012 pole to race win.

    Schumacher – Opportunistic last lap overtake of Alonso at monaca 2010, Canada 2011 in the wet drove like the reminiscent old reign master only to be denied a podium by drs, Monza 2011 keeping a very fast Hamilton for most of the race, Spa 2011 a classic drive to fifth from last place, Monaco 2012 a classic pole, Valencia 2012 a sublime podium keeping fast webber at bay, Silverstone 2012 stunning qualifying lap in inters in one lap, Austin 2012 another out of the bag qualifying lap, and Brazil 2012 finishing 7th being dropped to last place and one lap down.

    Agreed, a 40 something Schumacher was comprehensively beaten by his team mate, but the above drives make that man a legend, and hence fans around the world will still miss him, even if mercedes failed him on their promise to provide a championship contender car colossally!

    1. Martin says:

      You’re right, Rosberg tended to be a bit boring apart from his defending in Bahrain.

      Schumacher did add to the excitement by running into people, such as Senna and Vergne. He crashed in quite a few practice sessions this year too.

      Schumacher’s Hungary effort this year would be a contender for the worst performance over a weekend by any driver.

      But yes much more of an event than Rosberg.

  35. Paul J says:

    I think we shouldn’t diminish Rosbergs performance here. Admittedly, the Merc era Schumacher is not the one who dominated in the Ferrari years, but Nico has been incredibly consistent – one of his great strengths, even back in his Williams days. I’m sure when Nico moved to Mercedes and heard that his new team mate would be Schumacher – the most successful man in the hisotry of F1 – he was more than a little concerned for his own reputation! But he knuckled down and got on with it, and has proven how good he really is.

  36. JL says:

    doesn’t bode well for Lewis unfortunately – if Schumacher was able to turn Ferrari around with the success we all know, and unable to move this Mercedes truck forward, it will be tough time for Lewis

    And when Mercedes says they have concentrated on 2013 for a while, it doesn’t seem to make any sense to me given that 2013 will just be an evolution vs. 2012

    It could be that they are already focusing on 2014… if Ferrari or Mcl or RBR does better in 2014, poor Lewis will be in a mid field car for another 3 years…

    1. James Clayton says:

      “And when Mercedes says they have concentrated on 2013 for a while, it doesn’t seem to make any sense to me given that 2013 will just be an evolution vs. 2012″

      Not rocket science. Look up double DRS and tyre ware issues. They will NOT be evolving this car for 2013 – they are designing a totally new one.

      1. JL says:

        sure i get that, but not sure designing a totally new one increases their chance against ferrari, mclaren and RBR that only need to improve a better car…

        but let’s hope for Lewis (and the chanpionship) they do get their act together – would be nice to have 4 drivers fighting for the championship

      2. James Clayton says:

        If you get that, then it should make sense to you why the fact they’ve been working on next years car for some time is an important one.

        Also, I don’t see Ferrari evolving that car, either. They’ll need to be starting pretty much afresh – and they had a championship battle to deal with in 2012, something Merc haven’t had distracting them!

  37. kova says:

    i don’t rate rosberg, and he beat, fair and square, the 7 times world champion. So there is nothing more to be said.
    The question tha james need to ask is. Has schumacher tarnished his legacy with the poor come back? The fans opinions would be very interesting to hear.

    1. madmax says:

      He is 43 and if you still don’t get it, he is now the oldest to lead a race and be on the podium this year since 1970.

      Do you see many other sports stars even remotely competitive at anywhere near that age?

      An old man beat all the supposedly best generation of drivers on the grid at the ultimate drivers circuit at Monaco. Hardly tarnishing his reputation.

      1. kova says:

        if he is an old man, then take him to an old people’s home, not into an f1 car. Taking a spot, that could be uses by a young more on form pilot.
        He had his time, but it was past in 2010 already, and got into f1, not on merit, but on the past sucess, that couldn’t match for diferent reasons, being one of them not being young again.

      2. F1racer says:

        Would you say the same thing about Mohammad Ali?? No, He is still the greatest of all time and so is Michael Schumacher!

  38. ferggsa says:

    I do think Nico is a better driver than most people think and has improved over the years, better than MS?, I doubt any serious follower thinks that, not even Nico himself, but he should be proud of these last 3 years and give Lewis a run for his money in the next 3

    I am no fan, but MS is “the” yardstick (milestone) all F1 drivers are and will be measured against
    Conditions are different, age, reliability, tyres, practice time, Tilkedromes, running midfield against less experienced drivers
    Also, he came back (I think) to have fun, which he could not do when he was expected to win everything

    What the Mercedes years show is how dependent results are on car/team combination, and how close all drivers are in overall performance, meaning if MS had driven a RedBull this season he probably would have been champ and if SV had driven a Merc, he would have been around 8th or 10th

    This season KR, NR and FA drove better than their cars, while MW, FM and MS underperformed, the rest are pretty much where their cars allow them to be

  39. Richard says:

    Well like any other sport it’s a young man’s game, and Schumacher was starting to be beaten at the end of his first career by one Fernando Alonso. On top of that with a three year gap it really is asking too much at his age. – And beyond that the bar has been raised quite significantly as there is so much competition of a very high order arguably it is more competitive today than it’s ever been so teams do really have to be superb in all areas to compete at the front. I happen to think Nico Rosberg is one of the most underrated drivers around, furthermore given a competitive car he will without doubt be challenging at the front. As to comparisons between him and Lewis let’s wait and see.

  40. Henrik says:

    Hasn’t Rosberg been on the front row three times? 2010 Malaysia, 2012 China and Monaco.

  41. Robin says:

    Like most fans, I got bored by the MS-Ferrari domination years, but always admired his skill. When his coming out of retirement was announced for the 2010 season, I invested in an expensive ticket for the (processional) Spanish GP just to see him live in action again. OK, so he’s not been brilliant these three years, but many will miss him.

  42. In his first career, the strongest teammate Schumacher had was Patrese, who finished the year only 21 finishing positions behind him. In second place was Martin Brundle, finishing 24 positions behind. Both beat schumacher 7 times, and lost 9 times, in their season.

    Very close!

    In all likelihood, if MB hadn’t messed up the first few Benetton races, he would have been the only teammate in schumachers first career to beat him for a year, he was way better in the second half of that season.

    1. Alex W says:

      Not true, MS only ever had 2 top quality team-mates in his entire career, and they BOTH beat MS! The one that did it in his first career was an aging Nelson Piquet.

      1. zombie says:

        The aging Piquet was 39 yrs old when Michael joined Benetton for the last 5 races – yet outscored Piquet a whooping 4 to 1 in qualifying, with Piquet outscoring Michael in races by 3:2, out of which one had Michael in front of Piquet until hit by mechanical problem and retiring. Oh ! Did i also mention this was Michael first five races – ever ?

      2. Dan says:

        I would add that Piquet was only *just* 39, and had won a race earlier that year, and the one race where Piquet did outqualify Schumacher was in Adelaide where Schumacher had a gearbox problem. Also in the wet race at Adelaide Schumacher was much faster than Piquet, and set fastest lap after fastest lap before colliding with Berger while trying to pass him for 3rd.

    2. Martin says:

      Michael,

      you need to look beyond basics stats. In the races Brundle and Schumacher were generally close. With Patrese, there was no contest. It was 16-0 in qualifying to Schumacher, on many occasions a 1 or even 2 second margin. Patrese never finished ahead of Schumacher in a race that Schumacher finished. Patrese could not get a handle on the feel off the active suspension cars in fast corners. Look at the qualifying margins Schmuchaer and Mansell had at Silverstone, Spa and Suzuka as examples. The 93 points table had Schumacher 4th on 52 points and Patrese 5th on 20.

      Despite coming 5th in the points, Patrese was told by August that he wouldn’t be needed. Brundle left Bennetton in the hope of a Williams drive that didn’t come

      Regards,

      Martin

  43. shri says:

    The stats are definitely favouring Rosberg who is a good driver. Most likely at this age Michael was not as good on a consistent basis and Rosberg was much better than Michael (at this stage in his career).

    However in tough and extraordinary racing situations Michael was able to bring better results than Rosberg.

    Hard to say for sure but Rosberg it seems, did not excel above the level of the car regularly and I still feel Rosberg is good but not extra-ordinary.

  44. Tristan Bayless says:

    James, how about fastest race laps? Who won out there?

    1. Martin says:

      In my view this isn’t a particularly good measure. Wearing out your tyres and needing an additional stop gives a tyre advantage that easily gives better lap times.

      The winning cars tend to make their final stops relatively early, and if they are truly racing all the way, the degradation and wear is likely to mean that while the overall race time is fast, the peak lap time is compromised by pushing all the time.

  45. richardc says:

    As a;ways I am amazed by the comments. Shummi has a great pedigree but could not cut it! That is a fact and that is why Merc are letting him go out to pasture. Of course Nico will be quick against LH, but will he beat him??I think not. Lewis,s qually speed is awesome and I think that could be a telling fact.Like it or not that was the biggest differance to Button and Vettel/webber and of course Alonso.I prey Merc are saving something good for next season, if they are not I can see heads rolling as the Merc board will not let another bad season go un-noticed!!

  46. DANNY says:

    Schumacher and all his fans were ‘humbled’ by the ‘bleak’ results. Schumacher was talking of wins and championships when he signed up. Utter failure. The fans were gloating about Schumacher ‘destroying’ Rosberg. Utter failure. Mercedes GP ended up signing a journeyman driver in Schumacher. A driver who had lost the passion for F1.

    1. zombie says:

      The “Journeyman” brought with him countless fans and made new fans who cheered their guts out for the old chap and his team. Ask a general joe in the Austin parking lot what was synonymous for them with F1 and the answer was “Schumacher”. At nearly 44, he proved in 2012 that he was still a match for the best out there in a car that was a trashbin on wheels. More than anything else, the Schumacher v2 proved that he is a living,breathing human being and not a bionic winning machine that people thought he was.

      Utter failure ? Sure, lets see if you remember Rosberg the day after he retires.

  47. Tay says:

    I think a lot of Schumacher’s challenges came from having to learn to manage tire degradation. Schumacher became great by driving his car to its limit on every lap, and that’s not conducive to success in a world wear tire management is important. I think there have been a lot of greats that wouldn’t do well now with the artificial wild cards like weak tires and DRS the sport has introduced for cheap entertainment. Likewise, I think there are a lot of successful drivers today that would be scared off the course if they were thrown into the mix with drivers of the past who made their own passes by driving the car on the edge of its limits every lap.

  48. Sebee says:

    31 year old Vettel wipes floor with 31 year old Alonso.
    We made this arguement and since that will never play

  49. anon says:

    Would be good to see your tabulation by year.

  50. Dufus says:

    James,
    Will you be analyze the bulls ?

  51. Desmond says:

    Mercedes need to target a WDC position of at least 5 for Lewis in 2013.

    In 2009, with what was described as a ‘dog of a car’ and drew smirks and sneers from the pit lane; Hamilton still won 2 races and finished 5th in that year’s WDC. His team mate HK finished 12th. That shows what a difference that LH can make.

    Mercedes have no excuse for producing a car as bad as the 2009 Mclaren since, they have not challenged for the title this year.

  52. Bullish says:

    What about the following stats:
    1. Sponsorship – Schu wins
    2. Inceasing interest in the sport – Schu wins
    3. Gives hope for everyone over 40 yo – Schu wins
    4. Number of spectacular incidents – Schu wins

  53. Wu says:

    And yet Schumacher left about equal to Rosberg in just about all but bad luck and a tendancy to crash more often.

  54. Denim Dream says:

    One thing is statistics, but the impression he made is another matter. This is where Schuey loses the most to Rosberg.

    He was often quite a bit slower than his teammate. The qualifying sessions is the prime example. Well, at least Micheal usually admitted it, when he could not get a lap together(which was not too rare, sadly for him).

    Additionally, Rosberg never got into stupid tangles like Micheal did, while Schumacher had tonnes of self-induced embarrassing moments throughout all these years.
    Even if it is clear that Schumacher was not so terribly slow anymore in 2012, Rosberg was still cleaner and better.

    Nevertheless it was worth trying for Michael. How could he know, without trying out.

  55. David Morton says:

    Interestingly in 2012 we had six world champions on the grid, and five won races……only the guy retiring did not win.
    Bye Bye.

  56. Elie says:

    I must say Im still not impressed at all with Rosberg. If you consider the extra races MS retired from this year alone where Nico got points- Michael would be ahead. Okay I know Michaels crashes are not what you expect from top drivers. What gets me is how easily Nico gets beaten even by comparably paced cars on track fighting for position- with Michael he manages to hold faster cars out for many laps. Only once did we see any real mongrel in Nico- that was at Bahrain and that was bordering on illegal .

    He might win in the stats but he has much more to prove next year and he better find another level because believe me he will need it.

  57. Tornillo Amarillo says:

    Schumi I think was one of the more dangerous drivers lately, I think is unacceptable, I remember squeezing against Barrichelo and also recently with another one… you remember? Not a race incident there…

  58. Schumi fan says:

    It is embarrassing to see the head-to-head figures overall for the last 3 years. But James, you can’t deny that since 2011 Schumi has raised his game consistently. When the Mercedes were helped by the DDRS in qualifying and when the car was comparatively better in the first half of this season, Schumi’s qualifying performance was very strong in the first few races, but he was caught up by the mechanical failures and team errors, and that was the time where Nico scored the majority of the points for this season.

    Another point is, I think not only Schumi, as multiple time World Champions no drivers would like to battle in the midfield and I believe Schumi might had lost the “incentives” to “drive” to perform in some races. These combined with his errors in some races caused him dearly in terms of points finish, remember how many times he got grid penalties and get back to the end of the grid and then fight hardly but still finish only at 11th.

    No matter how, I don’t believe a driver who can score the fastest time in Monaco at the age of 43 (with his left hand lifted in an fast corner) should be written off as he has lost it!!!

  59. Tifosi90 says:

    One nice statistic to consider for this season, is how after the first 7 races, when Michael car became somewhat reliable, he outscored Rosberg 47 to 26 in points in the remaining 13 races. Just a shame by the time the car became reliable for Michael, it had lost all of it’s pace.

  60. Dave says:

    As it says in para 2:

    Schumacher brought the curtain down on his Formula 1 career for the second time at last weekend’s Brazilian Grand Prix and in doing so ended a three-year and 58 race relationship with Mercedes alongside fellow German Nico Rosberg.

    The stats quoted above (where it’s split between the Mercedes drivers):
    ————————————————————————
    Faster qualifying time:
    Rosberg 41 Schumacher 17

    Best race result (inc DNFs):
    Rosberg 35 Schumacher 22

    Seasons finished higher in standings:
    Rosberg 3 Schumacher 0

    Highest championship placing:
    Rosberg 7th (2010, 2011) Schumacher 8th (2011)

    Now my questions is who’s stolen the missing Best Race Result?
    “58 race relationship”
    “41+17=?” 58
    “35+22=?” 57

    So there we have it! Conculive proof that the numbers are conclusive proof that the numbers don’t add up. Seems we have proved that we have proved an error! :-)

    1. KRB says:

      I would guess that they both DNF’d out of one race?

      And indeed, looking it up on StatsF1, you can see that they both DNF’d out of Australia 2011.

      1. Dave says:

        KRB – thanks for the reply. I see what you mean but I think I stand by my post.

        This is mainly because the category was “Best race result (inc DNFs)” so the DNFs cannot just be ignored (as they haven’t elsewhere).

        So the question is: how do you split the race results if they’re equal? Well (apart from the fact that it is very unlikely to happen if both finish – ask Schumi and Rubinio :-) ) how would you normally address a tie? Split the “points” of course.

        That’s would be Rosberg 35.5 Schumacher 22.5 then which gives us the 58.

        Final conclusive incontrovertible proof: the numbers WERE wrong!

  61. David H says:

    merc have bob bell who designed Alonsos renault title winning car. He is over-seeing the technical/design side. 2014 will be all abut the engine more so than the chasis and merc have something great in place for that.

    Basically hamilton is set to dominate from 2014-2016. He will win 3 races in 2013 as well. Watch this space.

    1. JEZ Playense says:

      Keep us posted…

      I will be watching Alonso, Vettel and Kimi compete for the championship.

      Maybe some exciting races from Perez.

    2. Truth or Lies says:

      Hamilton will be faster than Rosberg and might snatch a few wins. But it’s incredibly unlikely that he’ll dominate F1 in a Mercedes works car. I don’t understand the logic for such a prediction.

  62. jeff says:

    One thing the stats can never show is the complete driving lesson Micheal gave Hamilton at Monza last year..

    1. Paul Hallett says:

      Really? When he consistently changed lines into braking zones, against all known agreements between drivers? A tactic so controversial, it was decided to enshrine it in regulation rather than be policed by the drivers, as it always has? He was lucky not to be given punishments for his driving at Monza.

  63. Charalampos says:

    I believe Schumacher, was adapting slower to changes than Rosberg. However while he was adapting much slower at the beginning of his first year with Mercedes, he started to adapt quicker and quicker with time. MSC was clearly improving with time. I think at the end of last year and at the beginning of this year, he was many times quicker than Rosberg. And I believe next year he could outpace Nico consistently. If someone checks the 2 driver’s learning curve I believe it is clear. As the time passed, Schu keept doing a better and better job. While Rosberg stayed still and did not improve. If that trend continued and there is no reason to think otherwise, Schu would iron his mistakes, he would stop causing accidents next year and he would for once outscore Rosberg. Pity his bosses forgot to check the learning curve of the 2 drivers. I do not blame them, but it is a pity.

    1. Schumi fan says:

      You raised a good point I think…
      Schumi was still learning and kept improving even as a much older driver than the others in the field..
      some people said he retired for good after 3 years.. I think he made a right decision coz the Mercedes car never got it right.. consider what Alonso said (no offense to his fans) and complained that the Ferrari car could cost him the title.. it’s clear that no World Champions would like to keep sitting in a car that lose out even after 3 years of development.. sometimes.. no matter what you do, once you lose your motivation then there is no reason to continue any more..

  64. Anon says:

    Driving lesson? Oh you mean he had a much faster car in a straight line, Hamilton went on to set the fastest lap in that race once Michael had stopped wasting time and stepped aside.

  65. Vic W. S. says:

    Win or lose, love him or hate him, blame his 7 titles on machinery or talent. Doesn’t matter, in my eyes he was and still is a legend.

    I started watching F1 as a kid in 1996, and I couldn’t help but admire what the guy done with his Ferrari against superior machinery. The Spanish GP in the rain where he almost lapped everyone on the grid was very memorable.

    In my opinion, the most significant degradation in his skill set for his second career was his ability to driver around a problem (a poor car).

    Also with the current regulations I think it didn’t help that it is in his DNA to drive on the limit.

    I also think the blown diffuser’s might not have helped, I distinctly remember a documentary analysing his driving style, where he supposedly controlled the car through the corners by constantly adjusting the throttle. Hence from my understanding of the blown diffusers the throttle is open on entry to the corners (when they were not banned). I don’t know if James can give some input into this as it is just my opinion, I may be wrong.

    Anyway, it didn’t work out for him. Schumacher doesn’t seem to be making excuses, so neither should anyone else. My biggest disappointment is not being able to see what he could do in a competitive car during his second stint of his career.

    Wish you all the best Schumacher, it was a joy to watch you in F1.

  66. Alejandro W. says:

    Its sad to see him go! Its a real shame that Merc failed to privide a decent car during these 3 years. I do think that towards the end of the season, MS destroyed Nico who seemed to give up was satisfied with just finishing the race in front of the new teams! Nico should take on that relentless approach that Michael showed during thier time together or Lewis will destroy him,

    1. DANNY says:

      Actually, it was Rosberg who ‘destroyed’ Schumacher. Schumacher hadn’t scored any points in the previous six races. He was spared further embarrassment because Rosberg had a string of six straight, faultless, race incidents to close out the season. He even trounced Schumacher with the old spec car in Austin.

      1. F1racer says:

        That had to do with the fact the mercedes car just ate up all the tyres in Austin (why dont u ask ross brawn?). Did u see his quali performance? guess you just want to net pick your cherries in accusations. Get a broader perspective and respect the legend! ;)

      2. DANNY says:

        The old guy went for a glory run in Austin instead of setting up the car for the race. He was desperate to salvage a bright spot for his comeback. A new generation of F1 fans were left with a horrible impression of a former champ. A fitting end.

  67. Adrian Newey Jnr says:

    James – with so many driver options available in the current market, do you think Mercedes were a bit quick in locking in Nico for next year?

    1. James Allen says:

      Not really, he’s not peaked yet, he works well for them in marketing terms and he showed he can win a race.

      If they produce a good car, he’ll have to up his game significantly against Lewis. That will be the acid test. I think he’s a bit short of what’s needed at the very top, but let’s wait and see, He could surprise us

  68. Paul Hallett says:

    Button is regarded as being very fast, yet Ham has been on average 0.3/0.4 seconds quicker in Q3. That’s a country mile, if we’re being honest. If Ham can bring 0.4 seconds to the Mercedes, then that’s second and third rows for them, if you’re looking at the car that finished in Brazil. If that car is improved, well, who knows.

    Personally, I think Schumacher made a mistake by coming back, mainly down to the new tyres. He took an age to come to terms with them, as have a lot of current drivers, but once he did, he was regularly doing better than Rosberg. I actually think Hamilton will consistently out perform Rosberg. Using School ground metrics, Rosberg didn’t set fire to Webber as team mates, yet he’s consistently slower than Vettel, and Hamilton has been consistently quicker than all team mates.

    It’s going to be interesting, and less than 11 weeks now….

    1. Ryan Eckford says:

      Yes, I agree. I think that Schumacher actually performed better than Rosberg throughout 2012.

      In terms of driver rankings in 2012, Schumacher was 11th in my eyes, and Rosberg was 15th.

      Hamilton was 5th in my driver rankings, and will destroy Rosberg in 2013.

      1. Paul Hallett says:

        5th for Hamilton? I think that’s overly harsh. For me it’s been his best season, and if I were honest, I would have had him as WDC this year were it not for his team or car letting him down; I think Ham drove as good as he can this season

      2. KRB says:

        I agree. I don’t think he put a foot wrong all season, but was horribly let down by his team and the car, and just bad luck (Germany, Belgium, Brazil). The only driver to make every Q3. I actually think his reputation might’ve played a part in the collision with Hulkenberg in Brazil. While Hulkenberg felt comfortable within himself to be able to pass Button, it seems he overdrove the car to try to pass Hamilton, possibly b/c he was thinking that Hamilton was a harder pass to make.

  69. adam says:

    Balance is one of the senses that declines rapidly past 35.
    Simple test to do at home: stand on one leg with your eyes closed.Sounds easy but if your Michaels age you are likely to be shocked how little time you can manage compared to a 20 year old.

    1. Paul Hallett says:

      @69 Nasser Hussain said the thing with being a professional sportsman, is that one day, you wake up, and realise you’re not the same; the eyes are not the same, the balance and that it sometimes doesn’t happen over a period of time, that it can happen overnight. I think Schumi still had it, but the tyres issue hurt him a lot (lets not forget he had bridgestone at his back and call in his heyday).

      Hey ho.

  70. Dan says:

    I think on the “overall” approach Nico undoubtedly wins. Michael was well beaten by Nico in 2010 and that advantage remains in the numbers if you add them up over 3 years.

    The fact that year by year Schumacher has been getting better relative to Nico, when Schumacher and Nico have gone from age 41 to 43 and from age 25 to 27 respectively, suggests that Michael has improved a lot over his comeback.

    The finished ahead year by year reflects this:
    Nico 14-3 Michael (2010)
    Nico 6-5 Michael (2011)
    Nico 2-7 Michael (2012)

    The 7-2 to Michael seems a bit extreme, but it does reflect a great improvement. He has also been 10-10 in qualifying compared to Nico, by the way, and on average has been slightly faster compared to the race leading pace in the races, as he was in 2011.

    You also have his improvement in the wet, where he now constantly beats Rosberg. At first in 2010 Rosberg was much faster there.

    The problem of totting up totals is that it linearises everything. However Schumacher’s performance since his comeback has been changing a lot.

    1. Nick_F1 says:

      Yes, I completely agree, I spotted the same in my previous post, for 2012:
      - the finish ahead: 7-2 (in Michael favour)
      - qualifying: 10-10

      These say a lot how he had improved! If Mercedes could have been improved in the same manner

  71. Sikhumbuzo says:

    James

    My gut tells me there is people at Mercedes that just did not want Micheal to succeed.

    Had it been different he would have gone on for a couple of years.

    Thomo

    1. Nick_F1 says:

      Interesting to know some insider’s opinion why all Schumacher’s mechanicals problem were only on his car and not on Rosberg’s one. It reminds me the same with Barrichello vs Button in 2009.

      Although, I don’t believe to conspirancy theory …

  72. Faizan says:

    4 races into the season and I think some analyisinh should be done .. Rosberg in my eyes has been a clear match for hamilton so far in terms of performance (especiay over a single lap)

    1 pole each for the pair while both have been let down by the cars tire deg problems in failing to convert the poles into win

    Although the points are handed out on a sunday .. I think some serious consideration should be taken into quali performances to determine who really is the quicker driver because I feel the race has too many variables which hide the true pace of the driver and rather restricts them to who can drive at a consistent pace rather than driving at the ultimate pace.

    Schumi in 2012 matches rosberg in quali FACT 10-10. I also believe he had more quali results in the top two rows than rosberg too. And both drivers had a fastest time in quali at seperate GP’s. Now if Rosberg can be up there after 4 races trading blows with hamilton and Schumacher in quali was matching rosberg too .. What do you think that says about the raw pace of a 7 times world champion at the age of 44 three years into his comeback ?? You decide. Ant davidson on the skypad mirrored this point too to my delight and even though his word may not be gospel .. I’m sure others feel this too.

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