Mr. Noble, over at AUTOSPORT, has done a great job of rounding up the coming upgrades for Mercedes GP in Spain. It seems that the tires for this year have thrown the crew a bit of a curve ball (or googlie for our European friends) that has caught them out on the balance issue.
“When we got to test these tyres we realised we didn’t have the correct weight distribution and we went to the limit with what we could achieve with this car. It is not the wheelbase as such, it is the weight distribution that is not what we wanted it.
“The tyres changed quite a bit… and we didn’t have the opportunity to test these tyres, and we didn’t have as good a guess of what was required as some of the other teams. So we will have a modification to the car at Barcelona which will give us a better range for the weight distribution that we can achieve.”
Michael Schumacher has been struggling in the W01 chassis this year with a large amount of understeer and it is believed that a new upgrade for Spain may help. The team will introduce a new chassis with a longer wheel base to distribute the weight and balance the car better.
you’ll recall Schumacher struggling to get the power down out of the corners which Brawn admitted was an unusual issue for the car. IT could be Schumacher’s driving style coupled with this lack of effective balance that has left the 7-time champion wanting as he has struggled to keep pace with his teammate Nico Rosberg.
Identifying Schumacher’s issues is crucial to Mercedes. Not just to save face for the German driver but to keep the team in the hint and prevent them from being overhauled by Renault who scored their first dual points finish of the year in China.
The most salient question is why is Rosberg not struggling with the same issues? The answer may very well be that the driving styles are drastically different and I say drastically because Schumacher has a reputation of being able to drive through adversity in a car. This adversity seems to be too much for the champion to handle while suiting Rosberg’s style better.
That is not to take anything away from Rosberg as perhaps the car is not to his liking as well and he is making the most of it. All of this to say that Mercedes GP is in good shape on the driver front and should the longer wheel-base chassis prove successful, they could be at the sharp end of the grid more frequently.
The truth is, Mercedes GP is not where they want to be and even further truth is that they feel stretching the car will help a large balance issue they are facing. Great scoop from Mr. Noble and very gracious of Brawn to share it in candor with AUTOSPORT.