At a time when some people are attempting to take the stuffing out of Michael Schumacher and scuttle his return, Scuderia Toro Rosso’s Jaime Alguersuari is thanking the German for his crash-course in F1 driving.
While the locals were making off with disparaging words regarding Schumacher’s battle with Algeursuari in Australia and suggesting its indicative of the veteran’s loss of skill due to age, it seems the situation is not as unusual as it first seemed.
Equally in Malaysia, Felipe Massa had a difficult time attempting to get around Algeursuari as well. In fact, several people found it difficult to pass Algeursuari. Part of the reason? Schumacher himself.
It seems that battling with Schumacher in the Australian GP was a real crash-course in how to drive an F1 car for Algeursuari and he, wisely, learned from the situation and re-applied it to the Malaysian GP with good results–the best results of the year for the youngest man in F1. Did Schumacher lessons help him in Malaysia?
“Definitely,” Alguersuari told AUTOSPORT
“Michael showed me the way to drive a Formula 1 car on the limit, with other drivers. This was very important. To finish the Australian Grand Prix and to fight against him showed me the way – like how to be aggressive with other people.
“The race in Malaysia worked out like that with [Vitaly] Petrov and Nico [Hulkenberg]. They were amazing fights, both were clean, and that is the way to do it in Formula 1.”
Ultimately Algeursuari is still learning and while the lessons learned from Schumacher saw a resurgent performance for the Toro Rosso this weekend, Algeursuari admits it make take some time to start offering consistent results:
“There is still a lot to come from my side,” he said. “To know how the tyres degrade â€“ how the option and prime behave. You come to a new track, you do the qualifying and everything is different, very difficult.
“But I am really expecting a lot when I come to the European track and I go to the places I know because I will be able to show my performance at 100 per cent. My knowledge of the car will be much higher, so I am expecting a lot for the second half of the season.”
Admittedly, Algeursuari did seem much improved this weekend and I believe I may have seen a smile on team boss Franz Tost’s face. While Mercedes GP dirver and Schumacher teammate has less to learn about the art of driving an F1 car, I suspect there is still a lot he too could learn by watching the veteran work.
Rosberg was conciliatory in interviews this weekend about his relationship and team effort with Schumacher and hopefully they have began to develop a working relationship that will benefit both.