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Senin, 27 Februari 2012

Under Pressure


Race 8: Eropa, Valencia (26 Juni 2011)
Sebelumnya Michael Schumacher sudah menyadari bahwa kekuatan Mercedes W02 di GP Eropa ini masih kalah dibanding Ferrari, McLaren apalagi Red Bull. Meskipun pada Jum’at sore di sesi latihan bebas kedua, catatan waktu Schumi berada di urutan keempat, tapi ia menyatakan bahwa mobilnya masih belum memiliki kecepatan yang cukup untuk meraih podium dan hanya keberuntungan saja yang mampu mengantarkan W02 untuk bisa finish di urutan tiga besar. Walaupun ia mengakui bahwa kecepatan W02 di single lap cukup bagus, tapi tyre degradation selama lomba masih merupakan kendala besar.

“Forget the podium, we are not strong enough for that,” ungkap Michael Schumacher setelah sesi latihan bebas hari Jum’at. “The Ferraris are very strong and we are behind the McLaren and the Red Bulls. If we are lucky, we might catch one of those teams, but we must be lucky. That’s too far away from the podium.

“I don’t think that the pace is good enough. It’s one thing for a lap and it looked reasonable, but that depend on how good a lap the other guys got it. The other question is long-run performance because we usually drop off a little bit on that,” tandas Michael yang meski mengeluhkan masalah balance mobil yang mendera timnya saat sesi latihan bebas Jum’at pagi, tapi di sore harinya ia menyatakan mobilnya cukup stabil.

Di sesi kualifikasi, Schumi sempat melakukan sedikit kesalahan yang mengantarkannya ke urutan start satu posisi di bawah rekan setimnya. P8 sementara Rosberg berada di grid ke-7. Meski begitu, ia masih tetap optimis dengan balapan yang akan berlangsung nanti.

Saat lomba, seperti biasa start Schumi cukup bagus, bahkan ia sempat menempel ketat rekan setimnya, juga melakukan manuver cantik untuk memblok Petrov yang berusaha mendekatinya dan rekan setimnya. Tapi sayangnya di lap 15 ia dan Petrov untuk kesekian kalinya terlibat insiden yang seharusnya tak perlu terjadi. Schumi mengaku bahwa ia sedikit terlambat melihat Petrov, ia mencoba mengerem selambat mungkin untuk menghindari insiden tapi ban depannya terkunci sehingga ia malah menyerempet Petrov dan dengan besar hati, ia mengakui bahwa insiden itu adalah kesalahannya. Meski Schumi tetap bisa melanjutkan lomba tapi ia harus membayar mahal atas kejadian itu. Hingga akhir lomba ia harus berjibaku dengan tim-tim papan tengah lainnya dan kesulitan menembus urutan sepuluh besar. Ia pun harus puas hanya mampu meraih finish ke-17 dan kembali gagal meraup tambahan poin. Akhir pekan yang menyesakkan setelah pada balapan sebelumnya di Kanada, Schumi tampil amat gemilang. Tapi itulah balapan. Schumi berusaha tetap berpikir positif dan mengarahkan pandangannya ke race selanjutnya yang akan berlangsung di Silverstone, Inggris.

Free Practice 1:
Schumacher          : 11th (1:42.270)
Rosberg                : 9th   (1:42.043)

Free Practice 2:
Schumacher          : 4th (1:38.315
Rosberg                : 8th (1:38.981)

Michael Schumacher’s Friday Quotes: (European GP)
"We had a typical Friday practice situation, running through different set-up possibilities and variations. As usual on Friday, our focus was more on the long runs, and all in all I am very happy because we managed to do a lot of work. In the morning session we still had some issues to sort out, and in the afternoon we just worked consistently on our car. All of us are aware, though, that under normal circumstances we will not yet be strong enough to fight for the podium, and will most likely find ourselves starting around the fourth row. But as we managed to complete our programme in a good way, I am still taking a positive feeling out of today's practice." 

Free Practice 3:
Schumacher          : 8th (1:38.799)
Rosberg                : 6th (1:38.580)

Qualifying:
Schumacher          : 8th (1:38.240)
Rosberg                : 7th (1:38.231)

Michael Schumacher’s Saturday Quotes: (European GP)
"I am ok with today's qualifying result which I would say was an average one. I might have improved by one place but in the penultimate slow corner, I attacked a bit too early, got oversteer and had to lift for a moment which cost me the place to Nico. But all in all, we came in where we had expected to finish. It would be optimistic in my view to expect that we can attack the cars in front of us tomorrow because I think our starting positions realistically reflect where we stand at the moment. So let's see how the race develops and what we can make out of it tomorrow." 

Race:
Schumacher          : 17th
Rosberg                : 7th                

Michael Schumacher’s Sunday Quotes: (European GP)
"Not a very satisfying race for me today. The outcome was decided after lap 15 when I slid into Petrov and lost the points I could perhaps have achieved. Our race pace should have allowed me to finish more or less where I started, but that is only speculation after the incident. I saw Petrov quite late, even though I was aware that he was coming, and tried to brake as late as possible and go round the corner with him. But when I wanted to draw back, I locked the front wheel and slipped into him, which was clearly my mistake. From then onwards, the race was done and I just had to drive the car over the finish line. We will now look ahead to Silverstone which is one of our home races."

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