Brawn hoping for close Rosberg-Schumacher battle
“They must both try the hardest to beat each other”
Brawn Mercedes swept to championship success at the end of the 2009 season after a turbulent year which saw ownership of the Brackley-based team pass from Honda to Brawn and then on to Mercedes.
Now with Mercedes backing and Ross Brawn in place and calling the shots, it is a new look to the team this year with Nico Rosberg and Michael Schumacher replacing Jenson Button and Rubens Barrichello.
"We signed Nico first and have tried to sign Nico for several years," Brawn said in an interview with the official Formula One website formula1.com. "We see Nico as a great talent, but it needs finishing and maturing. He has not won a race yet, although he came very close, and I think it is a wonderful partnership between him and Michael.
"They work well together and I see Michael helping Nico develop his career,” he continued. “Michael has come out of retirement but we have to accept that there will come a day when he has to stop forever and then we will have Nico. They must both try the hardest to beat each other but if it is done with the right spirit, with the right approach, then both will gain enormously."
Much has been made of Schumacher’s tenure with Ferrari in which he completely dominated the team. Schumacher himself has strenuously denied he enjoyed the benefit of undisputed number one status, something team-mates Eddie Irvine and Rubens Barrichello have refuted.
Either way, Brawn is making clear that with Mercedes this year; he hopes that his two drivers will be able to fight for the championship and against each other.
"We will have to see how the season develops," Brawn began. "It is not good having one driver dominate a team because that means the other driver is not performing as he should. I don’t want Michael to dominate; I want them both to compete very strongly and both to win races."
Brawn went on to explain that team orders would only come into effect later in the year if required to ensure championship success. Such a policy was used successfully last year by Brawn GP, Red Bull Renault and McLaren Mercedes.