Brawn: Schumacher back where he left off

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Ross Brawn says working with Michael Schumacher at Mercedes feels just the same as it did when the two were at Ferrari together.

Speaking at the Circuit de Catalunya today he said:

Obviously [Schumacher] stopped because he was a little bit tired of Formula 1. That’s gone now and he’s very passionate about racing again. He’s working very hard with Nico to improve the car so he’s pretty much where he left off.

He’ll find more time in himself because, for example, today was the first time he’s run low fuel – or low-ish fuel – so there’s those things he’s got to start getting back into. But I don’t think Michael will be the issue: we’ve got to get the car a little bit better.
Ross Brawn

Schumacher said earlier this week he feels the car might be able to challenge for wins from the first race and Brawn agrees:

I think we might be able to. We should be close enough to have a go. But obviously we’re not enjoying the situation we had last year [at Brawn]. No-one is.

We’re just a little bit off where we want to be. But we’re about close enough to be within reach.

We’re getting some mileage done now, I think you saw this morning we had some people trying lower fuel levels and we’re not a long way off, we’re just a few tenths off where we want to be. We have a new package for Bahrain and we think that’s going to make the difference.

The aero package we’re bringing is predominantly an efficiency improvement and therefore, we hope, a performance improvement.

It seems OK on high fuel but the difficulty with high fuel is you don’t know what other people are running. From the race runs we’ve done so far we seem to be there or thereabouts. In the run we did yesterday with Nico we looked quite competitive.

Today with Michael and yesterday with Nico was the first time we’ve run with low fuel so we’ve got some useful data now on how we can approach the set-up with low fuel.
Ross Brawn

At the end of the morning’s running at the Circuti de Catalunya Schumacher’s Mercedes was fourth, 0.273s off the fastest time, set by Lewis Hamilton in the McLaren.

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Keith Collantine
Lifelong motor sport fan Keith set up RaceFans in 2005 - when it was originally called F1 Fanatic. Having previously worked as a motoring...

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9 comments on “Brawn: Schumacher back where he left off”

  1. Well this bodes well for the championship, though I still don’t see Michael winning in his first year. Mercedes is going to be a much more potent force in the development race then last year, with that all important comglomerate backing.

    I think Michael will really challenge for the title in 2011. Lauda sets the best example if you ask me. There was a driver capable of winning championships on his return but it takes a year or two. Especially with the testing ban.

  2. I’m just going to post basically what I said on anf1blog form because my opinion hasn’t changed and I’m completely lazy…
    Even if the car isn’t quite there yet the team still has Schumi and Brawn and even though tactics will feature less this is a very strong partnership. However, Schumi may feel like he misses Ferrari at times if this team isn’t as sharp.
    If it’s true that they are still one of the top teams but slightly behind Mc, Fer and RBR I still think they have a good chance. I see RBR as struggling more this year if I’m honest; the Renault engine is good for fuel but lacks relaibility, the car supposedly is heavy on its tyres and their line up isn’t as strong as the other teams -both drivers are good and Seb is brilliant but he made far too many mistakes last year just fighting Webber, Rubens and Jenson-and the Mclaren is probably just as fast as them too.
    I don’t really know how long I see Schuey staying but if he does see this season out then I reckon they have a good shot but my money will be on Ferrari.

  3. Why not compare Schumacher’s return to that of Alain Prost? Both were succesful (and the best) drivers in their first shot at F1. In Alain’s case, when he came back to race for Williams, he was driving for the team who had won both championships the previous year. This is a parralel with Schumacher’s comeback. Micheal will be driving for the team that won both of last years titles. If Mercedes provide a competitive car, I can see no reason why it is not possible for Schumacher to replicate Prost and win on his first year back.

    1. Yeah but Prost came back to drive a totally dominant car. Prost came back to collect a title, which was there for the taking, Michael is comming back into a grid with less than 3 tenths differance 1st and 4th.

      His team has also had a major overhaul, wheras the Williams of Prosts day where settling into a position where they would be the top team of Formula 1’s 90’s.

  4. So it’s Brawn & Schumacher again, I won’t be surprise if they pull out something again.

  5. I think it’s terribly nice of Ross to say what he said. Of course, it is also the corporately-correct thing to say at this point, so you choose your reason for believing it. If you believe it.

    Mercedes is not the same Brawn team, and Michael has been out of the seat for several years. And these cars are far different from what he last drove. I don’t expect Michael to start winning right from the gate.

    I think Michael will drive well, and very possibly win some races, but I don’t see him winning the WDC in 2010.

    I also don’t think Mercedes have a stong enough second driver—what was that kid’s name again?(naughty smirk)–to capture the WCC in 2010.

    And if they don’t get at least one of the titles, I’m quite prepared to see Mercedes bugger off to supply engines again and forget having a works team. They got along fine without an F1 works team for 50 years, I can’t see it being the most important thing in their life now. I believe they are there now only because it was an easy buy-in…they paid off Ross Brawn’s debts to Honda, put some cash in Ross’s wallet besides and made Ross the team principal. Good deal for all. I don’t think they will stay in it, though, if they don’t get at least one title in 2010.

  6. Well, its Old Schuey and Brawn together again, but will they be able to be strategic enough when every team will be aiming for as quick a tyre-change as they are? The days of low fuel starts and splash-and-dash final sprints have gone, I think even Schuey will have a wake-up call in the first races….. :-)

  7. Not long to wait and see now…

  8. Firstly I say WELCOME BACK to F1’s playground to M.Schumacher the 7 x F1 champions , just go out there have fun doing it as you had done it 7x before and strive to do one self better prove it to yourself , i,m glad to see your’re back and team up with old friend teamboss mr.R Brawn and i,ve been following your progress since your debut to F1 circuit . I’ve been waiting and hoping to see you race on a tight street-circuit of Singapore’s Nightrace and winning a couples of races of this season 2010 GOOD LUCK…SCHUMI….. HEY THE MAN IS BACK…

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