Schumacher could have won Oz - Haug
Michael Schumacher could have won the Australian Grand Prix had he not gone off on the first lap, according to Mercedes boss Norbert Haug.
Ouch! the pressure must be immense on Haug. That's as far as a hypothetical scenario can possibly go. How exactly Schumacher was going to turn in with Alonso's car next to him and Button's car on the inside of Alonso, Haug didn't care to explain that. IF, that's the thing, if this had happened, if that had happened. As Murray Walker once famously said," IF is a big word in Formula 1, IF is F1 spelt backwards "
As hypothetical scenarios go, here is a slightly more believable one, at least compared to the one given by Haug.
Red Bull vulnerable to Button and Ferrari at Spanish GP
When both Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber pitted prematurely for a rain shower that quickly passed, Red Bull's chances on Sunday were scuppered.
That set the stage for Jenson Button's victory. In a dry race, the chances are it would have been Fernando Alonso's Ferrari that beat the Red Bulls - and the reasons why make the Spaniard a strong contender for victory at the next race in Spain.
Bridgestone's technical manager Hirohide Hamashima spoke post-qualifying in China about the big variation in tyre usage he was seeing between different cars - and between team-mates in the same cars.
The Shanghai circuit - with its middle sector of long-duration fast sweeps coming soon after the tyres have already been punished by the never-ending grind of Turns One-Two-Three, flat in top on entry, constantly slowing and turning until down to second gear - is the biggest tyre killer of the four tracks visited so far.
Of the top cars, the Red Bull was taking the most out of its tyres, the Ferrari was by far the kindest. One McLaren - Jenson Button's - was almost as good as the Ferrari in its tyre usage; Lewis Hamilton's car was almost as bad as the Red Bulls.
The soft compound tyre being used as the option in Shanghai was much faster than the hard, but also much more delicate.
From the wear rates Bridgestone was seeing in the practice sessions, it was unlikely to have lasted much more than 15 laps on the most aggressive usage, with a possibility of up to 30 laps for cars that were gentler on it.
In other words the Ferrari was likely to have been able to use the faster tyre for up to twice as long as the Red Bull, had the race been dry.
Alonso's car may have been a couple of tenths of a second per lap slower at its peak than Vettel's Red Bull, but the difference in tyre performance after a few laps was going to be far more than that. Over a sequence of dry laps, the Ferraris - and Button's McLaren - looked likely to have been faster than the Red Bulls.
A routine dry race there with the existing grid might well have seen the two Red Bulls leading the early stages but soon being hunted down by Alonso's second-row Ferrari.
Once past, Alonso would likely have left them well behind as their tyres deteriorated at twice the rate of his.
Button? From the third row he would likely have been fighting with Nico Rosberg.
The Mercedes was pretty good on its tyres too, but arguably not quite as fast as the McLaren. Button may well have lost too much time in fighting Rosberg to have been able to take the challenge to Alonso.
It's also likely that they would have been joined in battle by Felipe Massa's Ferrari, the Brazilian having qualified out of the car's natural position on account of a crucial mistake on his final qualifying lap.
The Red Bulls would likely have fallen back into this group as the race went on, all playing further into the hands of Alonso as they held each other up. All total conjecture of course - but based on very clear tyre usage patterns seen during the practices.