Michael Schumacher has insisted that his well-documented struggles to return to competitiveness in his comeback F1 season are down the 2010 Mercedes GP car.
Lying just ninth in the Drivers’ Championship standings, some 56 points behind his team-mate Nico Rosberg – and having picked up just four points in the last five races – the seven-time World Champion is yet to even make the podium this season.
Speaking at a sponsor function, Schumacher said: “Looking at the points table then of course we cannot be satisfied.
“But there are reasons why the deficit is so great,” he added.
With parent company Mercedes-Benz having purchased the 2009 champions Brawn GP late last season, and Schumacher has identified the takeover as one of the principle reasons the car has not performed as it should.
It is well known that the W01 car, with its tendency for understeer, was designed for Jenson Button, who jumped ship to McLaren during the off-season. The car is seemingly ill-suited to the more oversteer-based handling preferred by Schumacher.
“This is the car that was put into our hands,” Schumacher continued. “It is a remnant of what was created last year.
“As a result there are many compromises that the driver has to deal with. The car is not at all in harmony with the tyres, or also with us as the drivers,” he added.
Schumacher remains hopeful that the team can deliver him a championship-winning car for 2011.
“We have to ensure that the  car blends correctly with the drivers, and we are on the right track to be competitive. We are working harder than ever so that we can go for the titles.”
[Original image via AUTOSPORT]