May 19th before the start of the 24-hour race around the Nürburgring
In Nico Rosberg’s hands, the W02 was quickest of all on Thursday, just as it had been when Michael Schumacher was driving earlier.
Alongside step noses, clever exhausts and Lotus’ surprise pace, another point of interest in the Jerez paddock this week is Mercedes’ radical front wing. Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport said the German team, albeit still running its 2011 car, tested a new front wing featuring a passive F-duct style system.
Ross Brawn will turn his attention to Michael Schumacher’s expiring contract in the middle of next season.
Mercedes’ other driver Nico Rosberg has already inked a new deal beyond next year, but there have been questions about Schumacher’s desire to keep racing and also speculation linking Kimi Raikkonen to the seat in 2013.
It would be “very strange” if Sebastian Vettel did not go on to win his second drivers’ title in 2011.
The signs are growing stronger that Mercedes are turning their winning ambitions towards the 2012 season.
Although the German squad has not given up on the current W02 car, team boss Ross Brawn said recently Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg will need to wait until next season to have truly “excellent” machinery in their hands.
The Mercedes is the loudest formula one car in 2011.
That is the finding of the German newspaper Bild am Sonntag, after testing the volume of this year’s field trackside in Monaco just over a week ago. The silver W02 registered 127.8 decibels, which is louder than the average human pain threshold, and nearly as loud as a military jet aircraft take-off with afterburner at 50 feet.
“We have all the elements we need to have an excellent car next season”
Nico Rosberg might have to wait until 2012 for an “excellent” car, Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has admitted. Within the next few races, the 25-year-old German will clock up the unenviable statistic of having competed in 100 grands prix without a single win.
Whoever wants to pass, must pass” – Norbert Haug
Michael Schumacher was happy with his step forward in Barcelona, while his teammate Nico Rosberg rued a step backwards. After the “big joy” saga following Schumacher’s poor showing in Turkey two weeks ago, Rosberg was narrowly beaten to sixth place in the Spanish grand prix by his famous teammate.
“He is and remains the most successful racing driver of all time”
Nico Rosberg insists he is not getting complacent after proving stronger than his famous Mercedes teammate in the past two seasons. Ever since seven time world champion Michael Schumacher returned from retirement in 2010, it has been 25-year-old Rosberg regularly setting the pace at the wheel of the Silver Arrows.
“We need to keep pushing to try to get closer to Red Bull” – Rosberg
After appearing to have podium-winning pace in China three weeks ago, Mercedes could be set to make another major step towards the front this weekend. Bild newspaper reports that Nico Rosberg tried the W02 car’s Istanbul upgrade in the Brackley simulator last week.
Overtaking aid could be “dangerous” on the famously tight barrier-lined streets
Heikki Kovalainen agrees that the moveable rear wing ‘DRS’ systems should be banned in Monaco later this month. His Team Lotus teammate Jarno Trulli said the overtaking aid could be “dangerous” and also ineffective on the famously tight barrier-lined streets.
25-year-old Rosberg swallowed his frustration with a post-race visit to a fast food outlet
Nico Rosberg drowned his sorrows with a double-cheeseburger in China, albeit mindful that Mercedes may now be on the right track to victory. The German was reportedly angry after the Shanghai race when, with potentially race-winning pace in the W02 for the first time, the team asked him to drive slowly to avoid running out of fuel.
“On Easter Sunday I’m doing a triathlon with some friends in Nice, which is exciting” – Rosberg
Nico Rosberg will put the disappointment of his missed Chinese grand prix podium behind him by taking part in a triathlon. The Mercedes driver was reportedly angry after the Shanghai race when, in a strong position at the wheel of a resurgent W02, he was told to conserve fuel.
“Our drivers don’t quit when it gets difficult.”
Norbert Haug has ruled out suggestions Nico Rosberg or Michael Schumacher could tire of Mercedes’ push for pace and quit the German team. The Brackley based outfit expected a better season in 2011 but is instead working to make the W02 car much more competitive.
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