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Mercedes can be title contenders

What a start to the 2012 F1 season we had last weekend. The Australian Grand’s Prix produced it all, as it always does. We saw Jenson Button dominate Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel continue to prove his doubters wrong, Mark Webber prove that he has a serious inability to start, Fernando Alonso make a terrible car look competitive and Kimi Raikkonen……. Well just being Kimi Raikkonen. O how I have missed him.

But perhaps the biggest enigma of the weekend was the Mercedes. The German team looked quick in testing and had clearly made a step closer to the Red Bull. On Friday it looked mighty with their interesting aerodynamic F-Duct feature, which some question the legality of.

Saturday was slightly disappointing with Nico Rosberg cracking under pressure with pole a real possibility, and Michael Schumacher behind the Lotus in 4th. Sunday, however, was disastrous with both drivers failing to finish, and both looking far slower than we expected due to the heavy degradation of the tyres.

There is no doubt that the Mercedes is quick, and with their F-Duct feature they will be a force to reckoned with in qualifying. The car looks suited to the style of Michael Schumacher, and despite it being just one race into a long season, the odds are heavily stacked in his favour within the Mercedes team.

Rosberg may have soundly beaten the 7 time champion in the past two seasons, but he doesn’t have the forceful personality that the great champions have. Schumacher, Alonso and Vettel are all formidable characters behind closed doors, and their subsequent success is not coincidental. Brawn and his technical team were always looking to build a car with Schumacher’s preferences in place, the great man wouldn’t have it any other way.

What they have built is bags of potential, and if they can suss the conundrum of tyre degradation then there is no doubt that Mercedes will be title contenders this season. They have the car, and they most certainly have the driver. He may have had a poor 2010 and a mediocre 2011, but give him the car and Michael Schumacher can win races and titles. Nico Rosberg, under pressure to start performing at the front, has a big problem on his hands. Schumacher finally has what he wants.

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The Journalist

Writer: Charlie Bennett Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday March 21 2012

Time: 12:00PM


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