I’m making a pledge for the 2011 Formula One season: I won’t pick on Michael Schumacher, and I’ll keep my opinion that he was the most over-rated driver of the modern era to myself. I’m sure that he’ll be at least as competitive as his teammate, the young and relatively inexperienced Nico Rosberg, even though Rosberg racked up nearly twice as many points in 2010 as Schumacher. That said, Shumi is here (in the video below, at least) to take us through the changes to this year’s Mercedes F1 car, the MGP W02.
The big news for the 2011 season is the re-implementation of KERS, which uses regenerative braking to charge lithium ion batteries, providing the driver with a temporary boost in power for overtaking or blocking. There’s also a driver-adjustable rear wing, which can be repositioned to change the angle of attack for overtaking. Of course this also reduces rear downforce in a turbulent airstream, which should make for some exciting moments early in the season. I’ll bet more than one driver stacks his car making a pass after a long straight, at least until the dust settles on the new season. Rumor has it that the Mercedes MGP W02 chassis was developed to suit Schumacher’s driving style, based on a serious amount of his input. If that’s really the case, maybe we’ll see some of the old Schumacher magic this year.