Michael Schumacher?s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive. The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion. He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career. So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time? It?s […]
Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel celebrate with Red Bull boss Christian Horner on the podium © Getty Images
Sections of the international media have questioned Red Bull’s strategic approach to the world championship. After Sebastian Vettel won the Brazilian Grand Prix from the team’s points leader Mark Webber at Interlagos, Der Spiegel noted: “Red Bull gives (Fernando) Alonso wings”. Not switching the places means that Spaniard Alonso can take his Ferrari to just second place this weekend in Abu Dhabi and be champion, whereas the alternative strategy would have set up Webber for a straight fight. “It is not easy for Webber to drive in a team that considers him a burden to be up against Vettel,” said La Gazzetta dello Sport. Tuttosport noted that it seems “the Austrian team would be happier to lose than to see Webber beat Vettel”. “No team orders at Red Bull. Another own goal,” headlined La Repubblica. Joan Villadelprat wrote in his El Pais column: “Had Red Bull opted for Webber a few races ago, the Australian would probably now be champion.” Red Bull, however, is unrepentant. Team owner Dietrich Mateschitz told Salzburger Nachrichten newspaper that “second under proper conditions can often be more valuable than a first”. But there is a feeling that the team is not simply giving up the fight for the drivers’ title. One columnist in Brazil’s Globo wondered if Vettel’s radio message in Abu Dhabi might sound something like ‘So … Mark is faster than you’. “I’m always in favour of leaving the fight on the track with equal chances for both sides,” said Rubens Barrichello. “But I wonder if they would do that if the situation was in reverse. ?Mark has done a great job this year and he has been told by his team what position he is in,” said Lewis Hamilton. “Against adversity he has kept at it. I want to see Mark win.” Webber believes that, if a strategy is deployed, it will only be on the “last lap” of the season this weekend. “Sebastian is part of a team,” said Niki Lauda, who believes Webber should be backed fully by Red Bull. “If he does anything it should be helping Webber and not just on the last lap.” Webber is quoted by Bild newspaper: “It makes sense. Otherwise it would mean that Ferrari’s team orders would have paid off for Fernando.” Red Bull team boss Christian Horner hints that sense will ultimately prevail. “We have already given too many presents to Fernando this year,” he is quoted by Autosprint.
After confirming Vitantonio Liuzzi as their second starter for the 2011 campaign, and therefore completing their lineup for the new season, the Spanish team unveiled their F111 challenger in front of reporters on Friday (11th of March), in the penultimate day of testing this off-season.
Images(C) MotionCompany, toilef1.com
Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg revealed their 2011 challenger, the Mercedes MGP W02 on Tuesday 1st February 2011, shortly before the first test session of the year began in Valencia.
The car?s livery is an evolution from its predecessor with a striking high-gloss airbrush effect highlighting the shape of the car. The interaction between the Silver Arrows heritage and the green shading representing the team?s title partner PETRONAS evokes memories of the first Silver Arrow car of 1934 with a modern touch added by 3D partner logos.
The car hasn?t only had an attractive re-spray, it is more of a revolutionary car which has little in common with its predecessor, the Mercedes W01.
Mercedes GP had switched focus on the development of their new car ever since midway last season, when team boss Ross Brawn realized the W01 challenger was not going to make any championship statements in 2010.
?The new Silver Arrow for the 2011 season has little in common with its immediate predecessor. Our chassis engineers have taken a fairly ruthless approach and were determined to shave off every superfluous gram and millimetre. What emerged from this process is a compact and exquisitely shaped vehicle that introduces a host of sophisticated solutions and truly reflects the enormous dedication of its constructors.?
– Norbert Haug
Confident Mercedes set ambitious targets for MGP W02 ( The Official F1)
“A confident-looking Mercedes GP launched their 2011 car in the Valencia pit lane on Tuesday. After their championship-winning success as Brawn in 2009, the team endured a hit and miss 2010 season and are now targeting a return to their winning ways with the new MGP W02, which will once again be driven by Nico Rosberg and seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher.”
Mercedes MGP W02 Launch pictures
Photos © Mercedes GP/LAT