Tag Archives: Nico Rosberg

Heidfeld joins Mercedes as test driver

Nick Heidfeld

Nick Heidfeld

Former BMW Sauber driver Nick Heidfeld has joined Mercedes GP as a test driver. He joins the Germans of Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher.

Mercedes GP, already being referred to as “Team Germany”, will unveil Heidfeld on January 25th. His manager, Andre Theuerzeit, confirmed the move today to German magazine Bild, saying:

“Nick (Heidfeld) will fully concentrate on supporting the team’s main drivers as the team’s test and reserve driver. Nick focused on a seat with one of the top teams but unfortunately we were unable to sign him up.”

As relieved as I am to see him in F1, this is a waste of his talent. Test drivers will get practically no driving time this year thanks to the testing ban, and Nick could have moved to one of the newer teams or Renault instead.

I’m sure Mercedes will be delighted at having an all-German line-up, but it’s a hollow move, as a great talent has been wasted for too long.

Schumacher targeting both titles in 2010

Michael Schumacher in a GP2 car

Michael Schumacher in a GP2 car

Michael Schumacher has said that he and the Mercedes GP team are planning to win both world championships this year.

On his personal website, he wrote:

“The constellation we have here is pretty unique – with Ross and his world championship winning team, with the know-how of Mercedes, with the best engine at the moment and we want to use that. We have a clear aim: we want to win the championships. That’s what we will fight for from the beginning. That is my personal standard too.”

Also, he believes that, thanks to his 3-year break, he is stronger than ever before.

“After my retirement at the end of 2006 I was very happy,” he explained. “I felt relieved and free. It was good for me to be quiet for those three years. It really feels as if my batteries have been fully recharged. My energy is back completely. I have really noticed how the prickle has returned and how motivated I am, because I am looking forward to this competition so much.”

Clearly, he is well motivated ahead of this season, but can he do it? The Mercedes car, as we know, has taken all technical information off Brawn, who had started on their 2010 challenger as early as Silverstone (July) 2009. I suppose this all boils down to whether he has the machinery for the job or not.

Schuamcher takes #3 from Rosberg

Michael Schumacher has taken Nico Rosberg’s #3 at Mercedes GP for the upcoming season.

Schumacher said to German newspaper Bild: “Ross [Brawn] knows that I like odd numbers.”

A spokesperson told Reuters: “Michael has a preference for odd numbers. He asked if he could be the odd number and we were happy to accept.”

Utter rubbish, in my opinion. This is Schumacher already trying his old tricks, trying to get a phsychological edge over Rosberg, before the season has even started.

The important thing here is for Nico to not respond to this. Ross Brawn already has shown that he will prefer Schumacher, and Rosberg must accept this.

Mercedes’ driver status is Ross Brawn’s call

Michael Schumacher with Ross Brawn

Michael Schumacher with Ross Brawn

The Mercedes chief, Dieter Zetsche, has said that it is up to Ross Brawn whether Michael Schumacher will get number one status within the team.

Over his career, Schumacher has had a history of Ross Brawn favouring him over the second driver, most notably Rubens Barrichello. The fact that Schuamcher’s team mates could not compete with him gave him a significant advantage over his career.

In an interview with Gazetto dello Sport, Dieter Zetsche said:

“We have a team manager for this. Ross Brawn is one of the best. If he wasn’t he wouldn’t have won both titles last year, despite his team being in their debut. He will decide and it will be the best for the drivers and the constructor.”

He was then asked how he felt hiring a driver who had been retired for three years. He responded:

“We are convinced that Michael will do well and that he’ll win again. Maybe not immediately, let’s give him some time, but an ace never disappoints. I’ve been impressed by his enthusiasm. Rather than a return, it seems to me like a new debut.”

Michael Schumacher will race in the Mercedes team this year alongside fellow German Nico Rosberg.

Schumacher impressed by Mercedes

Michael Schumacher visiting the Mercedes GP factory in Brackley

Michael Schumacher visiting the Mercedes GP factory in Brackley

Michael Schumacher has said that he is impressed by the work of the people in Mercedes. He visited the Brackley factory for 2 days this week, as part of getting to know the team before the season starts.

He had visited the team factory in December also, as part of finalising his deal to drive with them next year.

On his personal website, he wrote:

“I have been in the factory in Brackley now for two days and spent the time to get to know the engineers and the structures a bit better, and I am extremely positive surprised about how motivated everbody was. This a world champion team but it does not seem to be spoilt by success at all; it seems to be hungry for more instead!”

The trip marked the start of his serious work with the team, as they prepare for the 2010 season.

“It is important for me to be informed about everything and it was very interesting to get to understand the engineers and their structures and the way they work. I was there already around the time of the signature of the contract and learned a lot, now I have seen much more about the team.”

Schumacher was also impressed by the many German-speaking people who worked at the factory. This will surely help him adapt to his new team.

Mercedes are set to launch their car on the 1st February, in Valencia, with Nico Rosberg driving the car first. It is unclear when Schumacher will get to drive, but it will probably be the 2nd or 3rd February.

Rosberg expects equality with Schumacher

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg

Nico Rosberg is confident that him and Michael Schumacher will be on “equal footing” in the Mercedes team next year.

Schumacher has a history of being favoured over his team-mate, most notably with Rubens Barrichello in Ferrari from 2000 to 2005. However, Nico does not believe such an occurence will happen in Mercedes. In an interview with Fox Sports, he said:

“We are on an equal footing, it’s always been like that at Mercedes – that’s their philosophy.”

“Your team-mate is the driver you always compare yourself to because he has the same car. That’s why my aim is to be in front of him as often as possible.”

However, he is certainly in a fighting mood, when he talked to Salzburger Nachrichten. He said: “Of course I want to beat any teammate, that’s the direct confrontation, the driver has the same equipment. A little egotism is involved here.”

Rosberg has yet to win a race, but has shown fine form in a sometimes poor Williams over the years. He was one of the first drivers to announce that he would be at the first test in Valencia.

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