Mercedes driver Nico Rosberg has said that the departure of seven time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher has given them a stronger voice within the team. He is hopeful that he will be able to convert this into victories in the season. The German has also said that his ultimate aim is to win the F1 world championship title. Schumacher has been one of the dominant voice in the sport over the last decade. Being significantly less experienced than the 43-year-old, Rosberg found it difficult to impart his views on the team.
Now, he has said that working alongside Lewis Hamilton, who is a good friend of him from a young age, is working to the benefit of the team. Mercedes have made a good start to the new season. Even though they still remain several points off the top of the table, the team has made certainly a lot of progress. They are in the position where they can hope to finish in the podium positions. Lewis Hamilton, who made the switch from McLaren at the end of last season, is 27 points behind leader Sebastian Vettel in the table.
Rosberg, meanwhile, is a couple of points further behind Hamilton, but he is confident of making up the difference from now till the end of the season.
“And to me that is a beautiful process in which I can help Mercedes become the best team. We want to improve in the direction of race wins. That is the big goal but for now I want to win races because success is the most fun. I don’t think it will make a big difference. But, if you are fast in Barcelona that is the benchmark for the rest of the summer,” said Rosberg after the Bahrain Grand Prix during the weekend.
McLaren are highly optimistic that they will have a good result at the Chinese Grand Prix. The team principal, Martin Whitmarsh, has said that he is extremely confident of further progress from the team, and he would be disappointed if it does not happen. McLaren had a poor start to the season in the first two races of the campaign. Even though they were in with a shout to win the Malaysian Grand Prix, a poor pitstop for the Brit, Jenson Button, ruined his chances to win the race.
Whitmarsh has said that the team has managed to collect a lot of data from the first two races of the campaign, which will help them make progress at the Chinese Grand Prix. He has also confirmed that the team has been making several experiments over the last few weeks in order to extract even more performance from the car. After losing the former world champion Lewis Hamilton to Mercedes, McLaren rely on the experience from Jenson Button in order to make the car fast.
McLaren said after the Australian Grand Prix that the bumpy nature of the Melbourne circuit was one of the reasons for their inability to show their pace. Whitmarsh expects McLaren to take advantage of the modern race tracks at China and Bahrain in the upcoming races.
“We’ve got some good data and I think we’ve now got an opportunity to go out there and improve upon it. We know what we had [in Malaysia] isn’t optimal for various reasons. We did some experiments, it responded to those experiments and I would be very disappointed if we don’t take another step in China and that’s what we’re going to do. Yeah, but we’ve got to get better; a good race car has got to be good on bumps or any kind of a circuit so we’ve just got to improve the car,” said Whitmarsh.
The Spaniard Fernando Alonso has said that he is extremely confident that the start to the 2013 F1 season will be much more positive than last time around. Ferrari suffered a lot of problems during the first half of the season, which led to Alonso struggling to get results early in the campaign. It ultimately proved to be the difference between winning and losing the title to Sebastian Vettel, as Alonso last narrowly by four points in the final Grand Prix. As a result, the wait for the first championship title since 2006 continues for the Spaniard.
Due to the lessons learned from last season, Ferrari have made a lot of changes to the staff. They have added in new staff within the aerodynamic department including the former McLaren driver Pedro de la Rosa. Alonso has said that he is extremely confident about the new season without the shadow of a doubt. Due to the fact that the rules in terms of the aerodynamic are very much similar to last season, Ferrari will be able to build on the impressive run of form in the final few races of the campaign. Ferrari also recently confirmed that this car will not be undergoing vast changes.
“I am more confident, no doubt. The rules are continuing more or less the same as last year in terms of aerodynamics. In the 2012 winter we changed completely the exhaust position compared to 2011, and it was a little bit of a guess what we found on the car. But this year everything should be much more normal and we are much more confident. We can be faster or slower [than the others] but not 1.5 or two seconds off the pace,” said Alonso, who has spoken about the importance of the role played by aerodynamics in the car.