Ross Brawn, the magnificent one, an individual involved in numerous Formula 1 championships — including last year under his own name — is insisting that the Mercedes team of Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg is not out of the 2010 title hunt.
My question. Is Ross mad? Or is he, you know, “mad”?
His comments come in the team’s preview. One thing I do know, I’m pretty “mad” because I simply cannot find it at the team’s website, and so I have to humbly direct you to Autosport for the quotes:
“With the new points system this year, we are still within striking distance of the championship leaders and we will continue with our efforts to become more competitive.
“We have a number of the basics right and the difference between winning and losing is small. We need to close that difference.”
“Our car was well suited to the circuit in Montreal and our pace during the race was encouraging. Unfortunately qualifying was a disappointment and we placed well below our potential which compromised our weekend.
“Nico was clearly one of the quickest cars during the race and his climb from the midfield to sixth place was a very impressive performance. Michael showed good promise but damage to his front wing on the first lap and then the puncture put him out of the running and we were too ambitious with the use of the option tyres which left him struggling for pace.
“Looking ahead to Valencia, the circuit is similar to Montreal in many ways with long straights connected by slow corners which should suit our car. We have an upgrade package which will be another good step in our development towards competing at the front of the field.”
First off, haven’t we all pretty much agreed that the new points systems hasn’t really made that much of a difference? It all balances out. But you do have to finish on the podium — or, even better, at the front — to score the points that really matter. And Mercedes hasn’t shown itself capable of that, yet.
There, of course, is my caveat. “Yet.” We all know not to doubt Ross Brawn. But this year, does it really seem that Mercedes can get back into the fight? Especially with rumors that the team is all but looking at 2011 already and maybe even has just about run down the budget for 2010?
It sure seems unlikely. But, again, this is Ross Brawn.
Not to mention Michael Schumacher. But let’s not even start on him!