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F1 Mercedes GP

Leave Schumi alone!

During the last three years, the Formula 1 has witnessed numerous fundamental changes in terms of racing car design, tire specification and regulations, in addition to the absence of the possibility of performing tests during the race season.

After 10 seasons on grooved tires, Formula One racing returned to slick-tires in 2009, as part of moves to augment the focus on mechanical rather than aerodynamic grip. With no grooves, grip increased by around 20 percent, bringing a significant performance gain, which was offset by the vastly reduced down force levels of the revised aerodynamic regulations.

The overall effect targeted was reduced performance through high-speed corners. Drivers had the choice of two dry tire compounds and it was obligatory to use both compounds during a race.

Along with slick-tires, aerodynamics was the biggest area of change in 2009. Down force was dramatically reduced and the cars’ bodywork appeared much cleaner, thanks to new dimensional regulations that effectively outlaw extraneous items such as barge boards, winglets, turning vanes and chimneys.

Drivers were also allowed to make two wing adjustments per lap, altering the wing angle over a six-degree range.

Last but not least for the 2009, testing restrictions became even stricter, with no testing allowed for the duration of the race season.

The 2010 season however, witnessed the biggest change by banning of refueling during races for the first time since 1993. Drivers still have to use both dry-weather tire compounds during the complete distance of a Grand Prix, with pit stops possibly taking around four seconds.

Consequently, cars now possess a much larger fuel tank, which increased from 80 liters to something near the 250 liters. This crucial change affected the race strategy, forcing drivers to pay more attention to tire and brake conservation. As a result, the weight distribution was transformed in comparison to the 2009 Formula 1 car.

In 2010 front tire width was reduced from 270mm to 245mm. Also, the ban on refueling during a race meant cars will be around 100kg heavier at the start of a race than in 2009, making Bridgestone develop slightly harder tire compounds to compensate for the increased car weight.

The number of dry tires available for each driver has been decreased from 14 to 11 sets per weekend and any driver who participates in Q3 must start the race on the same tires he used to set his grid time.

With all the above-mentioned variables dramatically changing within the time of Michael Schumacher’s formula-free vacation, it was understandable from the beginning of the 2010 Formula 1 season, that the multiple record-holding German F1-racer will need time to become acquainted with the new car and regulations, before returning to his head-turning performance and killer-instinct.

Apparently, Michael Schumacher started to show his race craft during this season which could be seen, when McLaren Mercedes driver Jenson Button was taken by surprise by the German driver moving around the outside of the 2009 Formula 1 world champion as he rejoined the racetrack after his pit stop in the Spanish Grand Prix 2010.

Robert Kubica was also confronted with the Michael Schumacher’s nerves of steel, when he desperately tried to overtake the latter coming out of the pit lane during the Canadian Grand Prix. The Mercedes GP driver counter-attacked like he used during his acme of performance.

Even Mr. F1 himself, Bernie Ecclestone, has defended returning hero Michael Schumacher, saying the Mercedes driver has done an "excellent job".

He even added that the criticism of Michael Schumacher is unfair, as he has spent the last three years on holiday.

Frankly speaking, it is quite astonishing when looking at the calibre of people criticizing the former “Red Baron�. They are divided into two main categories. One of them is composed of current drivers who never won an internal team duel and/or a race against Michael Schumacher during his prime time, and suddenly woke up, when the performance of the German was taking a breathing space.

Some of these drivers even started their Formula 1 career in ready-made competitive cars whereas Michael Schumacher on the polar opposite helped developing the Benetton and Ferrari F1 cars he drove into World championship winning cars.

Michael Schumacher joined Benetton in the final stages of 1991 and scored three years later two successive world championships in 1994 and 1995. These were the only two F1 titles the Benetton F1 Racing team won in its history.

Then he moved to the Scuderia Ferrari in 1996 and brought the driver crown back to the Maranello-based team in 2000 after 21 years of absence. With Schumi, Ferrari entered a period of total domination, winning both drivers' and constructors' titles three years in a row.

Out of 15 drivers world championship crowns scored by Ferrari till present, 5 were won by Michael Schumacher.

The second group of anti- advocates Michael Schumacher is composed of ex-Formula One drivers who were sent to an early retirement due to their non-competitive and declining performance.

Secretly they are desperately dreaming of getting a second chance to drive and stand in the spotlight and get the attention they were getting when they were still active Formula 1 drivers. Now some of them work as moderators, without having the luxury to race for real.

If Michael Schumacher was such a horrible driver, like a lot of people who envy him claim, then how on earth was he able to drive the second fastest lap during the European GP, on the Valencia street circuit, although this was his first time on this circuit, despite racing with a car developing brake overheating problems early in the race?

Take a nap, Schumacher-critics! No other driver in history broke almost all present Formula 1 records since the beginning of this sport and re-wrote Formula 1 history. In addition to this, no other driver affected the TV-ratings of Formula 1 like this racing icon.

Give him time. Meanwhile get ready for him to strike back. Heavily.


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