Monday, January 25, 2010

And Hello to Mercedes GP, Schumacher and Rosberg

First, they teased us

And then they finally gave us what we wanted - a good lopk at the car and the drivers, for the 2010 season. As the launch was taking place, people were asking on Twitter what colour the car actually was. Was it white, or silver - and nobody mentioned the lovely splash of turquoise which is ironically and spookily similar to the shade used here. I love it when there's a bit of symmetry between all of my favourite worlds. I do hope that someone is going to have a word in the video commentator's ear though and remind him within an inch of his life that the team principal's name is Ross Brawn, not Brown, nor Braun.

We don't know what the 2010 car looks like, and won't until the test in Valencia next week. Even then, that's not going to be the car that ends up on the grid in Bahrain, because there will be a further aerodynamic upgrade before then. Well, you're not going to give all your secrets away in a test 6 weeks before the start of the season, are you? What we saw today was the 2009 car with a lick of paint on it.

I think the car is absolutely gorgeous. I love the simplicity and sleekness of it. I didn't expect to like it as much as Brawn's bright and sunny car from last year, but I do.

There's symmetry for Schumacher as well, ending his career at Mercedes where it began in sports car racing. This was a highly unusual way into F1 in those days but it turned out to be a good choice by Schumacher's manager Willi Weber.

I'm wondering how the relationship between Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher will pan out. Nico is a talented driver who's had a good grounding at Williams. Michael Schumacher is a legend. Ross Brawn says that both drivers will have equal status. Now, he lived up to that last year, but he has so much history with Michael that it may be hard for Nico to break into their close relationship. He certainly won't have a chance of ever getting on with Ross if he behaves like a brat, like Lewis Hamilton did to Alonso when he arrived at McLaren. I watched the DVD of the 2007 season and, sure, both drivers behaved appallingly, but you'd think that there would have to be some respect shown by a rookie to a double world champion.

I think, I hope, that Nico's more grown up than that. I hope he relishes the chance to work with one of the best drivers ever. Yes, he'll try his damnedest to beat him, which is fine, but I'm sure there's a lot he can learn from Michael's long experience. Interstingly, Nico's race engineer will be Jock Clear, who was Jacques Villeneuve's race engineer at the time when Villenueve was beating Schumacher.

I'm hoping that the new Mercedes website will have special features and more scope for interaction like the Brawn one did. They seem to have taken away most of the team biographies. They did really excellent race weekend coverage last year and I hope it continues. They need to keep the fans who came to them last season.

I like the photos they've put up from today, though. There's an especially lovely one of Michael and Corinna Schumacher.

I'm really looking forward to seeing how next week's test goes. And it's only 6 weeks on Friday until the first race in Bahrain.

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