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Monday, 28 March 2011

Schumacher Retires

Well in a sense but not yet in another...

So much was promised in pre-season testing.

The Australian Grand Prix was to see a competitive Michael Schumacher racing wheel to wheel with Vettel, Webber, Hamilton and Button.  Maybe Alonso - the man in Schumacher's old armchair - would also have seen a tussle with the great MSc as wing flaps and KERS were deployed and tyre degradation became a major issue.

However in the race, a Sauber finished with one tyre stop only, Vettel was in another league (without KERS) as he stormed to victory like a man who had forgotten his family were with him on his way to the beach.  There was little obvious tyre degradation.  Schumacher went out with a puncture and retired when his suspension became dangerous after being butted up the rear end.

Lewis Hamilton was in the best of moods after the race as he mixed surprise with elation that his car had suddenly been fixed after pre-season woes.  His second place was a pleasant surprise to him and his long-term buddies at McLaren.

So what was learned from the first race?  Pirelli need to work out why their tyres did not wear out; Sauber need to get their protractor out and see if the 100mm radius intended was actually built into their rear wing;  Renault are very quick - for the second race running Petrov finished ahead of Alonso picking up third in the process;  Mercedes need to get all their quick components working at once; Ferrari need some speed.

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