Schumacher hopeful of race wins

Michael Schumacher is hopeful that he and team-mate Nico Rosberg will be in a position to fight for races wins this season after getting a glimpse of Mercedes GP's true potential in the final test last week

Schumacher hopeful of race wins

The Brackley-based team's decision to hold back on a final update package until the Barcelona test meant its form was hard to predict, but a major overhaul of the W02 that helped Schumacher top the times on the final dry day of running has lifted hopes on the eve of the campaign.

And although Schumacher thinks that the full picture of the team's competitiveness will only become clear in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix, he says he has already seen enough to be confident about a successful 2011 campaign.

"My feeling is a good one," he said in an interview with the official Mercedes GP website. "The team has been working very hard over the winter to shape our car in all of the areas which had been identified by us as needing improvement.

"The data I have seen over the winter had been quite encouraging, but then we all know that the realities of data and the race track can be quite different. As a driver, you obviously hope for a good step forward and I think this is what we have achieved.

"I am confident that we can compete for podium finishes, and I am hopeful we can fight for victories at some of the races. Saying that, we will only see the truth once the season gets underway, so I can hardly wait to go to Melbourne to finally see what the real picture is."

As well as progress on the car front, Schumacher believes he will also do a better job in the cockpit after a sometimes difficult 2010 return.

"This year feels very different indeed," he said. "Last year everything was new again; the testing situation, the car, the team, the structures. It was very exciting but it was still something you had to find your way through.

"Now, one year later, I know much better which areas to work in. I am much more familiar with the team and we have a great group of very skilled and dedicated people. I enjoy what I do, I enjoy working with Mercedes, and I have never regretted my decision to return... if that is what you wanted to ask next!"

Rosberg is equally bullish about the progress that Mercedes GP has made, and was not ruling out the W02 helping him secure his maiden F1 victory.

"We've made good progress over the four tests. It's perhaps been a more difficult winter than we expected but everyone has worked really hard and pushed on with the new upgrades so that we have the car that we want for the start of the season," he said.

"We haven't got the fastest car yet but we are going in the right direction. The handling is better, the car has more grip, and is generally more fun to drive.

He added: "We are certainly looking much better this year and our main target is to improve on our performances from last year. We have a good platform to do that."

shares
comments
Ecclestone against eco-friendly engines

Previous article

Ecclestone against eco-friendly engines

Next article

Q & A with Michael Schumacher

Q & A with Michael Schumacher
Load comments
The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen Plus

The six critical factors that could hand F1 2021 glory to Hamilton or Verstappen

The 2021 Formula 1 title battle is finely poised with six races remaining, as just six points separate championship leader Max Verstappen from seven-time champion Lewis Hamilton. In such a closely-fought season, the outcome could hinge on several small factors playing the way of Red Bull or Mercedes

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed? Plus

Can Whitmarsh appointment help Aston succeed where its F1 rivals failed?

Aston Martin owner Lawrence Stroll is determined to make the group a billion-dollar business. MARK GALLAGHER analyses his latest play – bringing former McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh into the fold

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner Plus

Remembering Switzerland’s first F1 winner

Stepping up to F1 in 1962, Jo Siffert shone with Rob Walker Racing Team and BRM before his career was abruptly ended in a fatal crash at Brands Hatch in 1971. Kevin Turner looked back at the life of Switzerland's first F1 winner on the 50th anniversary of his death

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat Plus

What Verstappen is risking with his current stance on 2021 F1 world title defeat

OPINION: Max Verstappen is back in the lead of the 2021 Formula 1 drivers’ championship, with the season’s final flyaway events set to get underway in the USA this weekend. But a defensive stance he’s recently adopted could have a lasting impact for the Red Bull driver when it comes to his chances of defeating Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes

Formula 1
Oct 21, 2021
The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest Plus

The hidden Ferrari struggle that Sainz’s recent charge put to rest

Despite appearing to adjust to life as a Ferrari driver with relative ease, it was far from straightforward under the surface for Carlos Sainz Jr. But, having made breakthroughs in rather different routes at the Russian and Turkish races, he’s now targeting even greater feats for the rest of the Formula 1 season

Formula 1
Oct 20, 2021
The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team Plus

The final throes of Brazil's fleetingly successful F1 team

Emerson Fittipaldi is better remembered for his Formula 1 world championships and Indianapolis 500 successes than for the spell running his eponymous F1 team. Despite a hugely talented roll call of staff, it was a period of internal strife, limited funding and few results - as remembered by Autosport's technical consultant

Formula 1
Oct 18, 2021
Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence Plus

Why McLaren's expanding agenda will benefit its F1 resurgence

In the 1960s and 1970s, McLaren juggled works entries in F1, sportscars and the Indy 500 while building cars for F3 and F2. Now it’s returning to its roots, expanding 
into IndyCars and Extreme E while continuing its F1 renaissance. There’s talk of Formula E and WEC entries too. But is this all too much, too soon? STUART CODLING talks to the man in charge

Formula 1
Oct 17, 2021
How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential Plus

How Tsunoda plans to achieve his F1 potential

Yuki Tsunoda arrived in grand prix racing amid a whirlwind of hype, which only increased after his first race impressed the biggest wigs in Formula 1. His road since has been rocky and crash-filled, and OLEG KARPOV asks why Red Bull maintains faith in a driver who admits he isn’t really that big a fan of F1?

Formula 1
Oct 15, 2021