Stuttgart Help the Aged: Mercedes’ recent upgrade of their F1 challenger caused controversy at last weekend’s Spanish Grand Prix following suggestions that it’s design has been heavily optimized in favour of Michael Schumacher over Nico Rosberg, writes our team favouritism correspondent, Fulcrum Spatz.
The introduction of the new car saw an immediate upturn in the fortunes of the 7 times world champion with a not-as-bad-as-usual 4th placed finish but the corresponding catastrophe of his younger German team-mate’s performance immediately sparked rumours that the team were stitching up Rosberg in favour of the more lucrative illustrious Silver Arrows driver.
“I know the team have played down the extent of the upgrades’ helping Schuey”, Swiss TV commentator, Martin Sideparting observed, “but looking inside the cockpit it seems unmistakable how these benefits work in Michael’s favour and against Nico’s.”
Latest Mercedes can’t come soon enough
Showing photographs he managed to snap whilst creeping around the paddock, the evidence seemed convincing.
“Look here”, he pointed, “the steering wheel now has a Tetra grip steering knob, the dashboard’s got walnut trim and these“ he added, pointing at what appear to be handles either side of the seat, “are clearly grab rails for ease of entry and exit”
He continued, “I am also reliably informed by a mole at Mercedes that both radios’ volume levels have been increased significantly for Michael’s now knackered ear drums and if it weren’t for even Schuey’s knees fouling it, both cars would now have thermos cup holders”.
New Mercedes cockpit, now featuring Johnny Mathis
Team principal Ross Brawn has however, leapt to the defence of the upgrades, rubbishing suggestions they favour best pal Schu, godfather to his children and whose posters cover every wall of his house, garage and outdoor gazebo.
“The upgrades are entirely consistent with performance advantages we found in the wind tunnel and computer and inside Michael’s head”, the 52 year old said, “we fully consulted both drivers on these developments and indeed even instigated Nico’s suggestion of ditching the Christmas tree air freshener which he observed was creating too much drag on the straights“.
Whilst the defence was passionate however, others were not so convinced; “there is definitely favouritism at work here”, Sideparting observed, “otherwise I would have expected at least some Nico-friendly developments but the lack of go-faster stripes, an industrial strength sound system and neon floor lights suggest this team is still heavily biased in favour of the pointy chinned one”, he flanneled.