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Page last updated at 14:22 GMT, Monday, 26 April 2010 15:22 UK

Michael Schumacher set for Mercedes car upgrades

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher is struggling to recapture his form of old

Mercedes will give Michael Schumacher an upgraded car for the next grand prix in a bid to save his season.

Schumacher, 41, has been out-qualified and beaten by team-mate Nico Rosberg in all four races of his comeback season to date, collecting only 10 points.

But Mercedes have changed the wheelbase to improve weight distribution, while also introducing aerodynamic upgrades.

"It's foolish to say Michael is where he wants to be but he's very determined to succeed," said team boss Ross Brawn.

"I think these frustrations are just going to make him try even harder.

"We've not had a fantastic start but we are still in there because no-one else is really dominating either - there is still plenty of opportunity.

Maybe, with the car and the tyres, it's not towards the way he likes to have a car which is very responsive and very sharp

Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn

"Nico's very close to winning a race, just needs things to fall into place, but that will come. I'm sure he will definitely do it and I think Michael will when we get the car sorted.

"He is so determined and you can see that in his driving. The bits where it's not quite working are not because of (lack of) skill or bravery, it's because the technique needs tuning and the car needs tuning.

"It's odd places where he's losing time and that's why we think he'll sort it out and we'll sort it out and get to where we need to."

Schumacher will also have a different chassis in Barcelona.

"The one (chassis) he had got damaged during the first few races and we repaired it as best we could at the races," said Brawn ahead of the 2010 calendar's first European race.

"Now we are back at base we are going to re-introduce the test chassis and he will be using that in Barcelona.

"We want to eliminate any doubt because obviously Michael has come back, he's trying to find his references and is trying to work out how to approach things."

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Schumacher, a winner at Benetton and Ferrari with Brawn as technical director, has endured a disappointing start to the season and looks some way off the form that helped him win a record 91 races before retiring in 2006.

While the chassis may help his cause, it is the improved weight distribution which Mercedes hope will make the real difference.

According to BBC pit-lane reporter Ted Kravitz, Schumacher's problem in China - where he finished 10th to Rosberg's third - was an inability to accelerate effectively out of slow-speed corners.

Poor traction accounted for most of the lost time, but it was the car's balance in those slow-speed corners that also slowed Schumacher down.

Brawn hopes that by bringing weight forward and working the front tyres harder, the car will be more to Schumacher's liking.

But as a result the rear is light so traction is poor, which means the rear slides and wears out the tyres.

"Undoubtedly these tyres are a bit different to what he's used to," said Brawn.

"Maybe, with the car and the tyres, it's not towards the way he likes to have a car which is very responsive and very sharp.

"We haven't been able to provide him with that yet."

The modified car for Barcelona will feature a significantly longer wheelbase, allowing the front wheels to be sited further forward in relation to the cockpit.

This is intended to speed airflow along the car and increased the downwards thrust upon the front tyres.



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see also
Ecclestone tips Schumacher to win
21 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Behind the scenes at the Chinese GP
21 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher frustrated by struggle
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Button revels in 'best' victory
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Return going to plan - Schumacher
09 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher insists he can compete
29 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Judge me on results - Schumacher
25 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Michael Schumacher profile
14 Mar 11 |  Drivers & Teams
Schumacher signs up for F1 return
23 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher's career in photos
29 Jul 09 |  Formula 1


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