Schumacher admits to lack of intermediate tyre knowledge

Michael Schumacher says his lack of experience with Bridgestone’s current intermediate tyres cost him performance in China.

The German says that the tyres have changed since 2006, and with his lack of knowledge relative to other front runners, it’s hard for him to judge how to get the best out of them. In China all drivers struggled to keep their tyres alive, losing performance when the rain eased and they began to grain.

“It’s a new condition and these intermediates are slightly different to what I obviously knew in the past,” he said. “You have to really pace yourself dramatically in order to keep them alive long enough. The difficulty with the weather was to predict how long is rain going to last, or not going to last, do we change back to dries, how quick we can push. It’s a new experience again for me.”

In China he tumbled down to 10th place, having spent much of his race fighting people off.

“I’m sure for spectators it’s been very exciting, but for me it’s one of those ones that you call frustrating, actually. As you can imagine there were some good emotions, but there were unfortunately too many bad emotions! Actually at the beginning I thought we were quite clever compared to some others when we changed onto intermediates, but it turned out to be the wrong decision.

“Honestly all weekend didn’t work out for myself. I think I have to compliment the ‘English team,’ and say congratulations to them, they’ve done a great job. I had a nice battle with Lewis at some point, some nice kissing to each other! But nevertheless they did it, and congratulations to Nico who made it onto the podium, so at least one of us scored good points.”

Apologies for lack of activity recently due to difficulty in accessing WordPress in China (they don’t like bloggers) and subsequent travel problems!

8 Comments

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8 responses to “Schumacher admits to lack of intermediate tyre knowledge

  1. tom baker

    I wonder if Michael’s vast experience can also be a hindrance to some extent. I can imagine how confusing it is when you draw upon past experiences and do not get the expected results. It’s easy to start doubting yourself in that situation.

    Michael, wipe the slate clean, take things as you find them, and let your natural talent and instincts take over.

  2. craig

    MS was the short sprint and qualifying master. Most of his F1 career was based on this and now the format has changed. Many drivers are very good at a certain scope of driving. Personally I do not see him progressing very far up the ladder this year. There is too little testing for him to gain the edge.

  3. dFresh

    Was anybody else suprised at the durability of the intermediates? My recollection of previous years was that as long as the circuit stayed wet they would last forever. I was amazed that so many drivers were coming in to change tires that had almost become slicks while driving in continuously wet conditions.

    Has Bridgestone made a change in the construction/materials to gain wet grip that has shortened the life significantly?

  4. Benny Wong

    It’s pretty much the same case as JV returned in 2005 after a year’s (almost) absence. He was under fire from the 3rd/4th race. The media expected him to be replace by middle of the year..

    But eventually he went on….Media needs sth to write….

    • I agree things will get better, and to be fair he would have been on the podium at least in Oz without that Button/Alonso nudge. The weird thing is he is making a lot of excuses, which I am sure are valid – but in the past he used to just drive around it comewhat may.

      • Journeyer

        Given how the order was shuffled with tyre choice, and how Alonso and co fought back, I don’t think a podium was guaranteed for Schumi. Points, for sure. But a podium was 50-50.

        That said, if things do get better, by how much, and by when? The goal of this comeback is to win a championship. The way I see it, anything less than that would be a failure. This isn’t JV, who peaked way too early in his F1 career. This is Michael Schumacher we’re talking about, so the expectations would be a touch higher.

  5. elephino

    Tyre knowledge sounds more like an excuse than a reason. Wasn’t there enough running on them in Australia and Malaysia already to get at least a reasonable knowledge? Both Hamilton and Webber (both generally considered hard on their tyres) did better on the rubber. Bridgestone have said the inter changed for this year to be softer so it’s new for everyone in a way.

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