Tyres blamed for Schumacher’s disappointing return to F1

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The narrower front tyres introduced to Formula One this season, are apparently being blamed for Formula One racing legend Michael Schumacher’s disappointing return to the sport.

The seven times world champion – admitted he’s not at the level he wants, partly because he’s unable to get the maximum out of the new narrower front tyres.

Apparently, the 2010 cars don’t suit the Mercedes driver’s more aggressive style of driving, where he prefers to turn in to a corner with massive front grip. Currently he’s not finding the downforce he needs. He’s losing out particularly in the slower corners, which require precision and technique under these new conditions.

Ross Brawn, his Mercedes team principal, has told BBC Sport: “He’s having to get used to feeling a tyre, controlling a tyre and finding the best way to get lap times from a tyre. He’s finding it pretty challenging and we’re not getting the results we expect.”

While another team source has told Jonathan Legard, the BBC’s Formula 1 commentator, that Schumacher can’t overload the tyres like he used to. It means he ends up fighting the car and over-driving to make up time which he can see he’s losing to his team-mate.

But with Schumacher revealing he is committed to racing for Mercedes in 2011, Legard adds that it may be the team will produce a more competitive car for 2011 and Pirelli, which takes over from Bridgestone, will produce tyres that Schumacher understands better.

Alex Kapadia, Operations Team

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