Schumacher and Rosberg’s head-to-head record at Mercedes
Posted By: James Allen  |  30 Nov 2012   |  11:47 am GMT  |  176 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)

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

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

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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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.



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.



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 …


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.


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


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.


@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.


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….


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.


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


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.


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?


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


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,


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.


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! 😉


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.


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.


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.


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.


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..


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


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.


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.


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.


Keep us posted…

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

Maybe some exciting races from Perez.


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! 🙂


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.


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!


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.


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!!!

Tornillo Amarillo

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…


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.


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

Bye Bye.


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.


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


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


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.



Will you be analyze the bulls ?


Would be good to see your tabulation by year.


31 year old Vettel wipes floor with 31 year old Alonso.

We made this arguement and since that will never play

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