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Schumacher to benefit from Spanish chassis change 26 Apr 2010

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP 
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Race, Shanghai, China, Sunday, 18 April 2010 Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 (Right) and Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01 (Left).
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Shanghai, China, Saturday, 17 April 2010 Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01.
Formula One World Championship, Rd 4, Chinese Grand Prix, Practice Day, Shanghai, China, Friday, 16 April 2010

Mercedes hope to bolster Michael Schumacher’s faltering Formula One comeback with a range of improvements to the MGP W01 for the forthcoming Spanish Grand Prix. Schumacher, who has scored just 10 points since his return in March, will swap to a different chassis, featuring a longer wheelbase and a host of aerodynamic updates.

Schumacher, who previously retired from F1 competition at the end of 2006, has struggled to get to grips with his 2010-spec machine and its narrower front tyres. To compound the problem, Mercedes have admitted to a miscalculation with the car’s weight distribution, an issue that will be addressed for Barcelona by the longer wheelbase, which should give more of the front-end bite that the German favours in his car’s handling balance.

"It's not a new chassis per se, it's a chassis we used in testing," said team principal Ross Brawn of Schumacher’s car, speaking to news agency Reuters at a charity function in London on Monday. "The one he had got damaged during the first few races and we repaired it as best we could at the races. But now we are back at base we are going to re-introduce the test chassis and he will be using that in Barcelona."

While team mate Nico Rosberg has twice finished on the podium this season to put him second in the driver standings, Schumacher has only once bettered tenth place, with a sixth in Bahrain. Nevertheless, Brawn is confident the seven-time champion will soon be back on terms with his younger compatriot.

"He is so determined and you can see that in his driving,” commented Brawn. “The bits where it's not quite working are not because of (lack of) skill or bravery, it's because the technique needs tuning and the car needs tuning. It's odd places where he's losing time and that's why we think he'll sort it out and we'll sort it out."

At the last round in China Mercedes used a passive, ‘blown’ rear wing - a simpler version of the solution employed by McLaren as part of their innovative ‘f-duct’ system - and a development of this could be among the aerodynamic changes in the MGP W01’s update package for Spain.

Mercedes lie fourth in the constructors' table, behind McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.