- Best Finish: 4th (Schmacher, Canada)
- Points Scored: 80
- Championship position: 4th
Not quite the season Mercedes would have hoped for. After last season’s encouraging start, this season was meant to be the one where the team moved forward and got in amongst the holy trinity of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari. After 80 points and fourth place in the first 60% of the season they’re on course to score 133 points overall, which really doesn’t compare favourably to last season’s 214. They’re also 135 points behind Ferrari in third place. Oh dear.
Also, that their highest finish came in the mad Canadian Grand Prix doesn’t bode well. Such stats do not consistent performances indicate.
Status: Top Dogs (just)
In contrast to last season, Nico Rosberg was pretty much assured of his de facto number 1 role going into the season. 16 points up in the championship and three places clear of his more decorated team mate would seem to indicate that he’s fulfilled his status. However, we at Badger are left asking whether he’s done enough. Shouldn’t he be further ahead given how far Schumacher’s star has faded?
Let’s have a look at some of his stats. With a highest position of fifth (twice) and a sixth place finish thrown in there as well, it’s clear he’s been there or there abouts without ever being able to properly push on through. He’s also only managed to improve his qualifying position in the race once. That’s right. Once. This is in contrast to Schumacher who, while he has a lower average qualifying and race position than his team mate, has managed to improve his position from qualifying to the race six times.
Does this mean Rosberg is doing a bad job? Not necessarily. It could be that he’s out qualifying the car’s average potential and Schumacher’s under qualifying it, meaning that both drivers gravitate towards the average during the race, hence those figures.
More broadly, it feels like Nico Rosberg is falling into the Jenson Button five years ago trap. Well respected within F1, but has never been given a car to test his abilities with. Will this change? Can Mercedes give him a car to win things? Only time will tell.
In other news, his name is an anagram of Big Crooners. Do the spirits of Frank Sinatra and Engelbert Humperdinck flow through his veins? Does a post F1 career in showbusiness await? We don’t know, but we like to think so.
Schumacher. One of the most famous names in F1 history and, guess what, he’s still around. Or is he? Is this the Schumacher we know and [insert own word here]?
Is it him? Is it the car? Is it the team? Is it the new rules? Is it the qualifying format? We at Badger have heard all those questions and so many more that we really don’t like to think about him any more.
If he was Rubens Barrichello, we’d all be saying that he was doing a sterling job at one of the top teams and he should be very proud. It’s just when you’ve got seven world titles to your name, that kind of faint praise doesn’t really wash any more.
He’s been bested by his younger and, dare we say, more attractive team mate 10 to one in qualifying and 8 to 3 in the races. Such stats do not a happy German make. He could be very good at developing the car but then so might a younger driver, who actually looks like challenging Nico Rosberg.
That said, he’s responsible for the team’s highest finish of the season in Canada and, without him, whatever would Eddie Jordan have to talk about?
His name doesn’t, as far as we can see, make any good anagrams. Sorry.
Badger’s Best: Rosberg