Brawn: tyres and car to blame for Schumacher malaise

Mercedes GP team principal Ross Brawn says that tyres and the recalcitrant car are to blame for Michael Schumacher’s poor performances this year.

By his own high standards Schumacher has not impressed this season, often even failing to have the measure of team-mate Nico Rosberg.

But Brawn suggested today that the maestro had lost none of his old skill.

“If you take the telemetry data in fast corners or his reaction time when the car breaks away, I don’t see any difference [to before his retirement]. There he’s still the old Michael,” Brawn told the official Formula 1 website.

“But in the slow corners he cannot make full use of the tyres as Nico can. Nico has put the bar very high in this respect. But I guess that’s okay for Michael as he clearly sees where he has to improve. I predict that in 2011 we will again see the true Michael – when we’ve delivered him a better car.”

Brawn went on to say that it was these particular Bridgestones that Schumacher was uncomfortable with.

“Michael’s driving style depends on a strong front tyre that can withstand his hard braking and the steering manoeuvres that he prefers,” Brawn explained. “Nico has simply understood better how to handle these front tyres.

“I have to say that this year’s front tyre is very uncommon. That stems from the fact that the FIA wanted to promote KERS and had asked Bridgestone to develop tyres that would fit a certain weight distribution and thus create a specific tyre characteristic.”