In a post released yesterday, I talked about how Lotus has surprised me in their move up to third in the constructor’s standings. I also saw just how far back Mercedes is from the prime action back in fifth with only 98 points to their name.
Pace wise, they are in a very awkward spot. Get it right on Sunday and they are not fast enough to race with Lotus or McLaren. Get it wrong, though, and they are stuck fighting with Sauber and Williams. Trade drivers and it would probably be the other way ’round. Thats how bad Ross Brawn’s dream team of technical wizards has been.
First things first, I never thought the team would be a success right after winning the championship as Brawn. There was no sponsorship on that car and so they were left in a massive operational hole when they acquired the Mercedes name. Never mind the device that they perfected got banned for the next year (in comes Red Bull to the fore).
Now, though, they should be back on stable footing. Mercedes is pumping money into the team and rightly demands results. Had it not been for Rosberg’s maiden win in China, I think we would be hearing some very clear and loud panic signals. Instead, Brawn has been preoccupied with reporters asking about Michael and his destination next year (the team is ready to talk, Michael isn’t by the way).
I think the problem is a lack of strong leadership from within the cockpit. Schumacher lost his credibility as a top flight driver (he was but is not any more) after his first two years being outclassed by Rosberg and clumsy to boot. Rosberg has been a leading driver but not at a top flight team, so he has no idea how the demands shift from the midfield to the top pack.
Ross Brawn is also to blame. I suspect there is a bit too much patience and reliance on Schumacher to take the team like he did with Ferrari. But he can’t for reasons I just elaborated on. Brawn should realize this figure out a way to lead the team from the pit wall rather than expecting one of his drivers to do it for him.