About this season
It takes years of bone-hard work to get a construction with victory potential up and running. Stone must be carefully laid on stone, and even the experts are amazed again and again, which errors may be lurking, especially in the aerodynamic labyrinth, when it comes to make up for the last few tenths of a second.
Since his comeback year in 2010, Michael Schumacher had set to work with the aim of throwing his experience into the balance, to make the young F1 team more competitive and ultimately victorious. During the winter test drives he had already realized that he would be able to annoy the current “front runner” again and again a little bit, but he would not be able to ride the victory by his own admission.
Already at the season opener in Melbourne it was clear that the plain language of Rhineland was being spoken and his prognosis was by no means a diplomatic purposeless pessimism. After his eleventh place of the qualifying he admitted frankly: “It is surprising to find ourselves in this place.” In the race he had no chance after an early collision. Michael Schumacher did not make ends meet because, according to the seven-time former champion, “the underbody was damaged and the suspension also got a bit over.”
The Formula 1 record winner was “not amused”, but he had long learned in the course of his career, not to be irritated by poor results. Inevitably the motto was: It can only get better. And it got better. At the second WRC round of the year, the Mercedes driver opened his points account with the FIA.
In the further course of the season, a weak spot crystallized more and more clearly: The car of the type W02 was not a big rubber friend – the potential of the tires could not be optimally used. Nevertheless, the Silver Arrows – together with three other teams – are the first set of the starting field that can reliably settle on the hotly contested midfield.
Because the name Michael Schumacher is still synonymous with victory, there is a misunderstanding. As a result of misinterpreted statements, rumors circulated that Kerpener would retire at the end of the season from F1. Those who see more clearly include former GP driver Gerhard Berger. The Austrian said: “Let Michael drive, as long as he enjoys it!” The joke is, from his first days in karting “Schumi” had at no time any other motive for his activities on the race tracks …
Despite the handicap of having to live with certain technical weaknesses, Schumacher once again proved to be a true fighter, who would not give away a meter even if he could not compete for victory. Overall, he secured 76 championship points, despite some failures , which bring in the World Championship ranking of eighth place. One of the highlights of the season was certainly his appearance in the Royal Park of Monza, where he delivered a hard-fought duel with Lewis Hamilton. After a Safety Car phase due to a start-up crash, Schumacher caught the British in the first chicane and defended third place, until the tires force him to a pit stop. “It was a great duel,” said the German after the race on the record, “we both drove around at the extreme limit.” No, he does not hide behind the representatives of the young guard. He had not forgotten anything about his driving skills, but there was still a lack of a racing car that meets these qualities. Michael Schumacher reminded us of this on the extremely demanding circuit of Suzuka. On the Japanese roller coaster he had the edge for three laps. So he screwed his personal F1 “kilometres-lead” record to 23,864 kilometres.
In the third year of the Operation Schumacher comeback, new technical regulations, that were originally not included apply. Such rule changes could be expected to have a strong impact on the pecking order of the teams. In the first tests it became apparent that the cards were not mixed in to Michael Schumacher’s disadvantage in winter. After hard work, the team hoped to achieve a significantly better harvest than the last year.
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