A lot of the talk heading into next weekend’s Spanish GP is about what major upgrades Mercedes will be bringing in order to turn around the fortunes of seven-time champ Michael Schumacher.
Todd summed everything up nicely here.
I’ll even be so bold as to quote from ourselves:
It seems that Mercedes GP still have their oil tanks behind the cockpit and this doesnâ€™t give the most flexibility for ballast placement or low center of gravity pursuits. Given this challenge, it seems that Mercedes has opted to try the longer wheelbase car for Spain as it will allow just that much more weight distribution and improved balance. This characteristic coupled with the new upgrades could help Schumacher but it remains to be seen if it is the silver bullet needed to win.
A longer car also lends itself to more room for aerodynamic benefits such as negative lift as well as better weight distribution. The concept here is to lower the center of gravity as the teams have added an additional 120 litres of fuel weight in 2010 and while the more fuel efficient cars will benefit form needing less fuel/weight, they too have looked at a longer wheelbase.
It may be that the shorter wheelbase car, while lighter and more agile, is actually less effective as the aero and weight distribution is more limited and this outweighs the benefits gained for a driver like Schumacher.
Lost in all this shuffle is the fact that Schumacher’s young team mate, Nico Rosberg, who has been handing the great elder driver his hat all season, is second in the drivers championship. Jenson Button leads with 60 points, followed by Rosberg’s 50. Fernando Alonso and Lewis Hamilton are right on his tail pipes at 49, with Mr. Unlucky, Sebastian Vettel, at 45 points.
Schumacher is in 10th place, with 10 points.
That’s the horse Mercedes is going to bet on at this point? Really?
So, the first Your View leading into a week when there actually will be a race is: Should Mercedes be making changes that could throw off Nico Rosberg and put his championship run at risk — all for Schumacher’s sake?
I also like to think of it as: Should Mercedes throw Nico out with the bathwater?