Tyrrell – now that’s a name synonymous with Grand Prix – a name that was around for 30years until during a low point in the team’s otherwise impressive history where BAR came in with some financial muscle and massive promise. BAR did well, at one point Jenson Button finished the championship 3rd behind the all too dominant Ferrari. Things went a bit wrong and then the team became Honda. They did pretty well and then that too went pretty wrong until the magic happened in 2009 under the Brawn name and they blew the rest of the field away. Now, with the team on a high, they have become Mercedes Grand Prix – but will this squad’s second year pick up from where the first left off?
One person certainly hopes so and his name is Michael Schumacher. The every fact that he’s back in the sport is said to be worth $30m to the value of the Mercedes brand, and as for Schumacher well we’re all pretty sure he’ll be making a sweet penny or two out of his comeback. There isn’t much to be said that hasn’t been said already, the man is the modern grand prix legend – loved and loathed equally for his racing and his ‘tactics’ respectively. As for his teammate Nico Rosberg, well he’s almost an unknown quantity after spending the last few years at Williams with some steller performances and some not – he has hardly set the world on fire, but at the same time he’s never been criticised.. sounds a bit like Barrichello, who also partnered the mighty Schumacher. Rubens even said to the press after the line up was announced that he’d advise Nico to get out while he can.
Whatever happens, the return of Michael Schumacher has given the new season another level of interest. Schumacher won’t want to be in F1 trundling around in 12th, he’ll only be interested in winning, so it will be very interesting to see what happens when the lights go out in Bahrain. Rosberg on the other hand will be doing everything he can to ensure he isn’t eclipsed by the seven times world champion, especially at the start of the season – the last thing he needs is to fill the role previously occupied by Irvine, Barrichello and Massa.
As for the car, it looks ok, sure it’s not the prettiest thing out there, but nonetheless it looks as though it could do the business. Throughout winter testing there have been some contradicting statements where one day Ross Brawn has said he’s excited by the promising pace to head to Bahrain and win… only to then say the next day that McLaren are strong and then Ferrari are the team to beat. It’s all just talk. Either way, there is a rumour gathering pace that the team and secret “Super Diffuser” – and it’s so good that they haven’t used it in testing to avoid other teams copying it. Whether this is true or not, we’ll find out in a little over a weeks time – here at Badger we just hope it doesn’t spark off another season-opening court battle like last year’s Great Diffuser Confusion
Minimum target: regular podium finishes
Abitious target: repeating 2009 with both titles
Adam Milleneuve’s prediction: Schumacher in the title fight, Rosberg to become Barrichello and a close fight to the end for constructor’s title, finishing 3rd.
Image Credit: All photographs courtesy of Alex Comerford