Mercedes’ problem in 2010 is not the tyres but the team’s simulation techniques, according to Niki Lauda.
It has been said the German team is puzzled by the current Bridgestone tyres and how they interact with the W01, the successor of last year’s championship winning Brawn.
But former triple world champion Lauda thinks the real problem is the new era of reduced track testing and the alternate need to rely on computers and simulators.
“All the teams complain about the tyres but it’s the same problem for all of them,” Lauda is quoted by Bild newspaper.
“The problem with Mercedes is the movement between their simulations and reality. Who is the best in this area wins, and they are McLaren and Red Bull.”
At Silverstone on Wednesday, Michael Schumacher delivered the unsurprising verdict that, with a 93 point deficit in the championship, he is not going to win an eighth title in 2010.
“We try to learn as much as we can and prepare for next year. That’s what I’m fully motivated towards,” said the German.
But some wonder how the winner of 91 grands prix and hundreds of millions of euros in salaries and sponsorships can possibly prolong a middling return to his chosen sport.
“I have known Michael a long time. You would think I’d know if he were about to chuck it in,” team boss Ross Brawn told the Telegraph.
The Briton said Schumacher is taking a different approach to his earlier ruthless determination to win races and titles with Benetton and Ferrari.
“He is more interested in the whole Mercedes project,” said Brawn.
“He takes a greater interest in the wider aspects of what we are trying to do and is not simply concerned with what happens on the track. He is enjoying his return more than people think.”