I think he is very much capable of getting the best out of the car. I think he is already doing that in terms of race pace. Rosberg is definitely managing qualifying better than MSC. No question there at all. However MSC has the better starts and first laps. He also takes more risks and you get the feeling he is racing. Somehow with Rosberg, with all due respect and he deserves that, it seems he is driving more than racing. But that does give Nico more points than MSC but is maybe not as exciting to watch. Watch his first lap move on Button a few days ago ! The old man still has it and I really believe that.
In 1996, the Ferrari wasn't as bad as the Mercedes 2011 in comparison to the cars ahead. Unable to make top 5 ? No. Unreliable ? Yes. Eddie has close to 10 retirements that year !! In 2011, it's reversed. Cars are generally much more reliable today and Merc struggles to make the Top 5. In Germany, the Merc's fastest lap was a second slower than the big three. That is a lot and both drivers need a good car first in order to fight the three teams in front.
Nico said his car wasn't handeling as well as qualifying, if it was, he'll be a podium man, but that has been the case this year, Nico's quali pace hasn't reflected the pace we expect to see in the race, but Michael is the opposite, Michael's race pace is perhaps the reason why his qualifying is slightly less, he has missed out on beating Nico in some sessions by thousanths of a second, not tenths! So he's been very close at times, and then backed up with stronger race pace, so i think Nicol's qualifying , or whatever he's doing with the car/driving with the car/set up is actually making him far more stronger sometimes in qualifying, but the opposite effect is, race pace is cut. This reminds me alot of Jarno Trulli a bit, but I would rate Rosberg higher then trulli, but the pattern I'm seeing is similar this year especially.
If you look at Spain/Monaco, in Spain Michael decided to not even run in Q3-smart move, although he outqualified Nico there in 2010, and Monaco in 2010/2011 Schumacher looked strong all weekend, his DNF at Monaco was a shame, while Rosberg didn't do much in comparison.
With DRS/Kiers, Michael has every right to concentrate on race set up, drivers can now overtake, qualifying means less, but I also do think Nico is actually flattering his race day expectations on everyone by always qualifying higher and losing positions alot of the time, it's not what the car should do, and maybe they need to look into that, and Michael might actually start to outqualify him more, not that it's the most important thing with these rules, but we've seen qualifying and race pace ratio is not always on song, if one is better, the other is slightly less, and that's what were seeing with Michael and Nico.
Maybe it's the set up and limited options they have to change things after qualifying, that not all f1 cars can be flexiable from qualifying to race, maybe Nico is risking race pace a bit for qualifying, because he knows Michael is going to attack race set up anyway, who knows, maybe it's the way they drive the car, the tyres, there's so many factors, on some tracks Nico will be strong all weekend regardness like at China/Valencia this year, clearly strong all sessions, but other weekends, inconsistent, China/Valencia are of alot of slow/tricky/micky mouse corners, this is Rosberg's advantage, as Michael can only try to equal slow corner pace, but faster corners is where Michael gets his laptimes in.
The overall picture is a mess of many sessions, but I can see the pattern developing, last year, I had doubts, but with f duct not working at times last year, and mercedes having general problems, it wasn't the ideal year for a returning driver like Michael, this year everything is in place more to learn, the only thing missing is a faster car ,and or more rain lol, and the FIA allowing drivers to go for it, Canada 2011 should of been a Mercedes 2nd place at least for Michael, and who knows maybe a win, vettel spun later in the race-less rain, for me that was the what if situation of the year, Michael Schumacher back on the attack in the rain, showing that Spa 98/95/97 grit, FIA let the track dry out too much, which isn't what teams like mercedes and drivers like MS need in the rain, they let it dry out so much, that wet tyres didn't need to be brought to the race lol That was horriable, I think clearly a 2nd place was robbed from Michael there, and the opportunity to keep Vettel honest at the end.
We need more raiin races, Michael was up for it at the nurburgring, it didn't come.
Edited by SeanValen, 26 July 2011 - 11:53.