US Grand Prix
Schumacher - 1:36.794
Difference - 1.134 sec
Brazilian Grand Prix
Rosberg - 1:13.489
Difference - 1.031 sec
Considering Brazil (interLagos) is a shorter lap that might account for the extra tenth or 2 tenths they trailed by in the US grand prix. I would say at the end of the season they were basically about 1.2-1.3 secs behind on the average track. this is without a decent exhaust solution, fancy front wing, tyre chewing, complex suspension and limitations of their DDRS design. so if its possible to get all these working then they might be able to claw back the deficit. Although as you mentioned , others are not standing still and I expect the other teams through refinement and all will be able to find another 5 tenths to 7 tenths of a second by Aus from their position at year end.
The issue is will Merc be able to claw an additional 5-6tenths before season opener....... all speculation of course!!!
Oh yeah that's completely false to judge the performance of the car because of two random qualifying sessions.
1.) In the US Michael used the coanda exhaust, had a perfect lap. In the race he was so slow he was eaten alive because he had to carry more than twenty kilos fuels than his opponents. Add his ability to excel at new tracks.
2.) Brazil is way shorter, as you mentioned, a driver can make a difference, and the times gaps are usually very small. Rosberg is magnificent driver around brazil. Watch his q2 from 2011 and you know what i am talking about.
3.) Nobody said they were not good in qualifying. in fact that was the only positive aspect that year. The main problem was their race pace. So I don't see how this speculation about clawing down some tenth (in qualifying) makes any sense. What Mercedes needs more than speed is a car that doesn't chew their tires in the first laps. A comparison between the cars only on basis of qualifying is not a good idea. In this scenario Ferrari would be down on the 4th or 5th place over the whole season.
Edited by 1Devil1, 11 February 2013 - 14:14.