Berlin: Michael Schumacher has blamed technical problems for his poor return to Formula One after his three-year hiatus and admitted he was surprised team-mate Nico Rosberg did not suffer the same car trouble.
Having won seven world titles before retiring in 2006, Schumacher was lured back to race for Mercedes GP this season, but finished a disappointing ninth while team-mate Rosberg finished seventh.
Schumacher, 41, says his Formula One car did not always handle the same as Rosberg’s and blamed technical and tyre problems for his lack of success having finished no higher than fourth all season.
“The fastest driver is a reference for the other one,” explained Schumacher in a German motorsport magazine.
“You see the data of how he drives, but it didn’t work quite so well in the other car. Looking back, there were a few things (wrong) with my car.
“The exhaust got so hot that sometimes the underside of the car burnt or the F-Duct (a system to help the airflow) was triggered in parts of the track where it shouldn’t have been.”
Schumacher had particular problems with his car’s F-Duct at the Grand Prix races in both Belgium and Japan.
“But I have not spoken publicly about them, I preferred to discuss it internally.”
The German admitted there have been raised voices behind closed doors at Mercedes and he has vented his frustrations at team principal Ross Brawn and the team’s motorsport chief Norbert Haug.
“I had no problems and Nico, but I told Norbert (Haug) and Ross (Brawn) that it was time to find explanations,” said Schumacher.
But Schumacher has vowed to put the problems behind him and aims to next year win his first world drivers’ championship since 2004.
“We are clearly improving thanks to the enormous commitment of Mercedes,” he said.
“We’re making a huge step forward and, if all goes well, we will win races.”