Home > 2010 Season, Formula One > How Schumacher could win in Bahrain

How Schumacher could win in Bahrain

It is widely known that Mercedes did not appear as quick as Ferrari, McLaren, or Red Bull in preseason testing, but a few things of interest may render everyone’s perceptions of the Mercedes pace completely irrelevant.

In testing, the Mercedes were an average of three tenths of a second off of the pace of the other top three teams. Thi isn’t a lot, but it would normally be enough to solidify Mercedes as fourth best if these times came from an actual race weekend. A lot of people said that Mercedes didn’t seem to have it, and that they just didn’t have the speed that the other teams had. I agreed with everyone, and I began to feel slightly worried for Rosberg and Schumacher. It was then that Ross Brawn said something very interesting.

“We were running heavier in testing than the other front runners.”

This, without question, means that the Mercedes should have a little more pace to it. Whether it’s a tenth of a second or just a couple hundredths, there’s definitely more to the car and it can go quicker. This was music to my ears because, during the final days of testing, Mercedes confirmed that they will be using their definitive 2010 diffuser in Bahrain, which is said to certainly bring a few more tenths of pace.

What I have gotten from all of this is that Mercedes ran a heavier and more incomplete car than that of their rivals during testing, and they still looked fairly decent. Certainly capable of fighting for podium finishes. Now we are aware that the car can go faster and that the 2010 diffuser has not even made an appearance yet. Many are predicting that the diffuser alone will bring three tenths of a second to the Mercedes car. If they had these three tenths during testing, their drivers would have finished 1-2 overall. Even if the diffuser only brings two tenths, they’ll still be right up into the thick of things, and two tenths is a very possible and realistic number.

Here are some tables to show how things will be if the diffuser brings one tenth, two tenths, or three tenths. I won’t bother going higher, because three tenths alone is enough to put them on top. I used the best times set by each driver during testing in Barcelona to calcualte this.

And so that’s how it looks. With however many tenths the diffuser brings, on top of having lower fuel loads late in the race, Mercedes will be right up there and should be very competitive.

As for the title, I do believe that Schumacher can win the opening race. Unless his three year hiatus from Formula One has weakened his abilities, he should be able to beat Nico Rosberg. It is true that Rosberg is a bit of an unknown quantity even after four years in Formula One and could very well be a great driver, but this is Michael Schumacher we are talking about. He will be no pushover for Rosberg or the competition, and if the Mercedes is half as competitive this weekend as I think it will be, then we may very well see silver on the top step of the podium.

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  1. March 10, 2010 at 10:19 AM

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