Mercedes GP boss Ross Brawn has conceded that the team’s lack of a top-line driver simulator was a contributing factor in Michael Schumacher struggling to get up to speed in his comeback season to the sport.
Asked by Germany’s Auto Motor und Sport if such a simulator would have helped Schumacher readjust to a sport that has undergone significant rules changes in the three years of his retirement, Brawn admitted this to be the case.
“He would have been able to work much more on the behaviour of the tyres. That we do not have a top simulator was certainly not a help,” he answered.
Brawn has confirmed that the team will have a full state-of-the-art simulator by 2012, which was “currently under construction”.
“We should make a big step with it over the winter. This technology cannot be bought on the market,” he added.
Schumacher struggled to bring about an adequate set-up to support his preference for a oversteering car, and found himself battling to generate enough front tyre grip at most Grand Prix weekends.
The 41-year-old, however, is hopeful that the switch from Bridgestone to Pirelli tyres during the off-season might help him further, in addition to the quality of the 2011 F1 chassis design Mercedes GP produces.
“We need a new car and the new tyres and then we can make an honest judgement. I’m optimistic [2011 will be better for him],” Brawn added.
“They are different tyres,” he continued. “When there was the change from Michelin to Bridgestone a few years ago, many drivers had problems, including top guys like [Fernando] Alonso.
“The change to Pirelli will be similar and whether it plays into the hands of Rosberg or Schumacher is difficult to predict,” he added.
Brawn also confirmed that he would not consider retiring from his post as Team Principal “until this team is successful”.
[Original image via Red Bull]