Schumacher: It is certainly nothing to do with me being frustrated

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 on a scooter. Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 10 May 2012.

Michael Schumacher rides the Circuit de Catalunya on a scooter

May 11 (Reuters) Michael Schumacher has denied frustration lay behind his criticism of Formula One tyre supplier Pirelli and said he was happy to have opened a wider debate about where the sport was heading.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 signs autographs for the fans. Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Preparations, Barcelona, Spain, Thursday 10 May 2012.

Michael with fans in Barcelona

The seven time world champion has said the characteristics of the tyres had forced drivers to be more strategic and manage the rubber rather than being able to race flat out every lap.

“They are so peaky and so special that we don’t put the cars or ourselves to the limit,” he had complained after a test in Italy last week.

“We drive like on raw eggs and don’t want to stress the tyres at all,” added the 43-year-old German.

The Mercedes driver told reporters at the Spanish Grand Prix on Thursday that he wanted to open a broader debate about “the principle of how Formula One should be.

“I am quite happy that we have initiated a discussion about how much influence one or another part should have in Formula One,” he added.

“It is certainly nothing to do with me being ‘frustrated’ because I haven’t really been frustrated. I did a good race [in Bahrain] and came from 22nd and finished 10th which I think was a positive result.”

Motorsports: FIA Formula One World Championship 2012, Grand Prix of Bahrain,  #7 Michael Schumacher (GER, Mercedes AMG Petronas F1 Team),    *** Local Caption *** +++ +++ copyright: HOCH ZWEI +++

Michael in Bahrain

Schumacher, winner of 91 races and the most successful driver in the history of the sport, has not been on the podium since he started his comeback, with Mercedes, in 2010.

“It’s nothing to me, it’s a general discussion that I wanted clearly to start to happen,” he said.

Schumacher won his last five titles at Ferrari with Bridgestone, who were particularly close to the Italian team, at a time when races were more like a series of flat-out sprints between pitstops.

The Japanese manufacturer quit the sport at the end of 2010 and Pirelli returned as sole supplier.

The Italian tyres are very different, with Pirelli saying they were asked to make sure they degraded more quickly to liven up racing and add another strategic element to the mix.

With drivers having to use two different compounds in a race, and their pace slowed by wear at different stages of the grand prix, there is now a premium on tyre management.

When asked to comment about Schumacher’s statements, Fernando Alonso said, “I don’t agree that Michael has continually criticised Pirelli. Michael said one thing and what has been written in the press has maybe exaggerated what he said. I read what he said and I don’t see any big problem with that.”

  • Matthias O’keeffe

    Nobody likes the Pirelli tyres… Even I had to see them race in those tyres… Because of them, Michael is not even on the podium this year, although he has a good car.

  • usman

    WE fans hate pirelli

  • Sennauno

    good for alonso to side with schumi. bring michelin back or even goodyear if bridgestone can’t come back!

  • Yoda

    pirelli be gone. re-enter bridgestone.

  • wesley

    Pirelli thought that they had been doing a great job. quite a contrary in fact, they have been doing anti-marketing jobs. I used to use PZero in the 90s because of their good grip. Since 05′ I shifted to other high end products of Japs cos i find them could delivered more grip. Really bad for Pirellis

  • Andy – London

    China last year gave us our first, and quite shocking glimpse into exactly how much lap time you lose when these tyres have no rubber left. I have not used the phrase “cliff” because I don’t like it! Nor do I like “undercut” – these phrases weren’t in F1 3 years ago and it was just called pitting early!

    Us fans are hard to please aren’t we? Finding a happy medium within the rules of F1 has always been hard. I mean look at 2008 with Lewis and Massa – couldn’t have been closer, then they changed the rules. Just as all the teams get close, they implement major rule changes. 1998 was another year that saw Williams decline and McLarens dominating because they were the only ones that got it right.

    It’s not up to the strategists – they don’t know when the 2012 tyres are going to give up their grip, and just as they do, a driver loses 10 places doing 1/2 a lap back to the pits.

    Do we want Bridgestone? I think that was a bit processional but 2011 Pirelli tyres were good, it’s just that the engineers got on top of them after China ’11. I’d like to see drivers being able to defend with DRS when a car is 0.5 seconds behind them, and refuelling brought back.

  • usman fasih

    dont blame Pirelli dheads, BLAME FIA. Pirelli have delivered what was asked of them: to produce a tyre that is not durable and will create unpredictable races. What do all you dheads think? That pirelli are making the tyre with the best & most durable compund? why dont all you guys read a little before making dumb commentsThere’s no need for any other manufacturer the FIA would just need to change Pirelli’s memo

    Durable tyres, crap tyres, whatever. I’ll repeat the score:

    Rosberg 35 points Schumacher 2 points

    @Mathias o’Keefe, yes Schumacher has not achieved a podium yet in 2012 because of the Pirelli tyres. The same tyres that were on his team mates car when he won in china…that explains it all :)

  • Butterfly

    @usman fasih:

    That may be true, but when Rosberg scored 25 points, Schumacher had to retire his car with a mechanical problem – not his fault, so it’s not like Rosberg raced Schumacher for those 33 points diff.

  • usman fasih


    yeah its called ‘ formula 1’…sometimes you win sometimes you lose. Sometimes you win 7 world titles, sometimes you make a comeback at 43 years of age and dont win a race in 3 years…not to mention anyone :) the cold hard stats are there on the championship table whether schumacher had a problem in china, wether Hamilton has 14 fumbled pit stops or Vettel crashes into a cucumber IT ALL COMES OUT IN THE WASH