I agree with you, Mansell was faster regardless but I just pointed out that the imense gaps were in 92 where in some ocasions it was around 2 seconds, something which only Schumacher imposed to Patrese in 93 as well. Even though Nigel was faster than Ricardo, I suspect, something with the 92 really streched the gap.
Yes it's true, the gap became bigger in 92' because Patrese was uncomfortable with the active suspension system, and lacked faith in it. He was afraid of losing control in the car in case something went wrong with the system unexpectedly in middle of a corner.
Some days ago, I watched the 2nd qualifying for Silverstone in 93 again and Schumacher damaged his car and couldn't use the spare one so he had to wait Patrese do his 12 laps to use his car to qualify. Despite using Patrese's car, Schumacher qualified 2 seconds ahead of Ricardo which was a proof for me that the fight was fair, they were not boycottng Ricardo's car and the gap was really that big.
Patrese was not a bad driver, though. I think his 39 years, at the time, were making him maybe a second slower than his peak.
IMO Schumacher's dominance at Benetton in 93 really came down to a few main factors: 1. His extraordinary talent
. One of the most valued qualities he displayed during his first career was the ability to extract maximum performance from a tricky car to handle. He would work around the shortcomings of the car, in the cockpit. A few years ago Patrese commented on it, how he had pointed out to the Benetton staff the various problems of the B193; however he had been dismissed(wrongfully) since they had seen Schumi as a mirror to the quality of the car! When the car was less than stellar and below, the gap between Michael and his teammates would seem larger than normal. 2. The B193B featured an active suspension from the European GP onward(Donington)
. And as we know, Patrese never liked the active type. In addition, as I understood, the system was inferior to the Williams's thus I suspect it made his experience in the car far from perfect. 3. Flavio Briatore
. No need to explain the questionable pattern of how has he treats his drivers whom are not considered the "favourite-son". Here are Riccardo's words regarding this matter:
4. As you correctly mentioned, Patrese's age affected his performance by that stage
"...When I came to the end of my career I was a little bit tired. My last season had not been very good because of Mr Briatore and I do not have a very good opinion of him. Of course, the last part of his F1 career has seen his reputation go down and it is not for me to make any more comment."
. A driver aged 39 against a 24 year old is a bit too much to handle. Reflexes, fitness degrades over time. That is why I find it admirable how Schumi at 43 of age handles himself well against Rosberg. It proves his mental strength and his greatness in my view.
Edited by MarioKart, 06 February 2012 - 02:09.