Michael Schumacher is as good as he always was, says team boss Norbert Haug
31 March 2010

Michael Schumacher is as good as he always was, his team has insisted.

Schumacher has been outqualified and outraced by team-mate Nico Rosberg in the first two races of the year, but Mercedes-Benz motorsport boss Norbert Haug says the seven-time champion still has the same magic that drove him to seven world titles.

"He has got it. And we have one of the strongest driver pairings in the field," said Haug.

Haug pointed out Schumacher was baulked by Fernando alonso in qualifying in Australia, aadding that his car was then damaged during first corner contact in the race.

He added that Schumacher's critics should applaud the German because he took on the challenge of returning to F1 rather than shying away from it for fear of failure.

"If you look at qualifying Michael was handicapped behind Alonso, and it is fair to say it was a very comparable lap to Nico," said Haug.

"Michael is missing three years of these fours years, but he is here to be competitive. And he could sit on his sofa saying, 'nobody won more than I did', but this is his passion."

Follow us on FacebookSee all the latest Mercedes reviews, news and video

Join the debate

Comments
11

31 March 2010

Schumacher knows that common sense will soon reign.

He was a mere three-tenths of a second behind his team-mate in Bahrain, in his first time in three years in an F1 car in a race setting, in a car that inherently is ill-suited to his razor-edge driving style, aged 41, still rounding-off full recovery from a neck injury, and in a seat that didn't fit properly. He finished one place and four seconds behind Nico. I hope I don't need to explain any further why he should be proud.

Amazingly, what people are forgetting is that, in Melbourne, in only his second race weekend of his return, Michael was faster than Nico in Practise sessions 2 and 3, and by a real and substantial margin.

He was baulked in qualifying by Alonso, among others, and after a brilliant race-start, making up three places by the first corner, managed to finish an incredible 10th in a car that had been punted off and was broken.

If anybody dares to comment by saying that he does not want to continue to see this sort of immense talent in Formula One, that person does not deserve to call himself a true fan of the sport and, as Alonso instructed last week, should watch something else - that is no F1 fan.

I am not only super-impressed, as Michael might say, by the great man's pace, but also delighted by his attitude and comments when interviewed.

When asked by the BBC to conjure-up the solution to the non-issue of overtaking, his answer was fantastic: "Well, you see, there are lots of engineers, there are fantastic clever people, they all thought about this for I don't know how many years, and none seem to have come up with the solution... and you expect me now to tell you the solution? [chortle-chortle]" Wonderful.

Rosberg and Schumacher are both fantastic drivers, and the tiny and closing gap between them will go down in history as yet more testament to the Champion's supreme skill, not in any way a questioning of it.

Schumacher does not need Formula One anywhere near as much as it needs him, yet he wholeheartedly wants its thrill again. Shame on anyone who questions what he is achieving.

31 March 2010

What common sense?

He won't get places on a plate from Nico Rosberg, or anyone else.

If he was as good as ever he would have been quicker than Nico and be able to overtake Buemi in the STR.

The gap isn't tiny, or closing

Take off the rose coloured specs

31 March 2010

On the evidence of this season's two races, he's not even the best in his team. You can make all the justifications that you like - ultimately, it's results that count.

Nonetheless, I'm not writing him off. He was a great driver and I'm expecting his performance to improve as the season progresses.

31 March 2010

[quote Richard H]What common sense?[/quote]

... This relates to this...

[quote Richard H]Take off the rose coloured specs.[/quote]

The common sense is the rational view of what Schumacher is achieving, a view to which even the xenophobes and ignorant snipers will eventually have to submit.

Far from me wearing rose-tinted spectacles, you are mired in some delusion that Schumacher is not a great driver and Champion, as a result of your irrelevant and distorting emotional dislike of the man.

You know that is the case, whether you admit it and try to turn night into day, in order to obey the anti-Schumacher tone of Autocar, or you don't.

I adore Schumacher because he is great, because he has clearly demonstrated his greatness throughout his career, and because he continues to do so. I do not imagine greatness because I suffer from the polar opposite of your mindlessly-biased, irrational and hateful reaction to the man himself.

I don't care what country a great Champion is from, I only care that he defines the glorious principles of Formula One, and nobody has done that to a greater extent than Schumacher.

Prost, Senna, Lauda, Piquet, Alonso, even Mansell - these are all huge figures in the history of the sport, but, apart from Senna, they have not acquired the magnitude of Schumacher's status.

You are the one who continues to allow your resentment to colour your appreciation.

31 March 2010

[quote VirginPower] xenophobes and ignorant snipers will eventually have to submit.[/quote]

Who mentioned Zenophobes?

No one has said he wasn't a great driver or champion.

What resentment?

The only person with resentment seems to be you, that some of us happen to disagree with your opinion.

The past is the past, it can't be denied

F1 works on results, Schmacher has not had any meaningfull results since he came back.

He's not achieving anything outstanding or any better than any other racingdriver could achieve in that car

31 March 2010

[quote VirginPower]You are the one who continues to allow your resentment to colour your appreciation.[/quote]

The lady doth protest too much, methinks.

31 March 2010

Haug shouldn`t have to bring out a press release to tell us all how good Schumacher still is, we should be able to see it in the results.

"When the flag drops, the bxxxxxxt stops".

Lanciaman

31 March 2010

[quote VirginPower]I don't care what country a great Champion is from, I only care that he defines the glorious principles of Formula One, and nobody has done that to a greater extent than Schumacher.[/quote]

You cannot be serious.

I admire his talent , and I love his enthusiasm , but to suggest that Michael Schumacher " defines the glorious principles of Formula One" is completely ridiculous.

31 March 2010

I'm not going to be told how to be a F1 fan by anyone, so I'll ignore the silly comments.

It's no good making excuses that someone was "baulked" by someone else, or he had a new nose cone, so that was why etc. etc. For someone who should know better to say, Schumi is as good as ever, is just plain daft. Clearly he isn't. He was a great driver. Perhaps some here have a problem seeing the word "was".

As I said on Uncle's thread, he can't even beat his fellow team driver yet - and Nico IS NOT the greatest driver in the paddock, is he? To think he can beat Alonso, Hamilton, Massa and Button (let alone the Red Bull cars) is just fan-worship clouding someone's judgement.

I say again - he won't win a single race this season. I have a £200 virtual bet from Beachland2 on this. I can afford to take others.

31 March 2010

Just what is "defines the glorious principles of Formula One"? If race ability and being a gentleman is that, then it's Damon Hill. If dowright racing talent, then it's Prost. If balls-out driving, then it's a either Senna or Mansell.

Pages

Add your comment

Log in or register to post comments

Find an Autocar car review

Driven this week

  • Lexus LC500
    Car review
    20 October 2017
    Futuristic Lexus LC coupé mixes the latest technology with an old-school atmospheric V8
  • Maserati Levante S GranSport
    First Drive
    20 October 2017
    Get ready to trade in your diesels: Maserati’s luxury SUV finally gets the engine it’s always needed
  • Jaguar XF Sportbrake TDV6
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The handsome Jaguar XF Sportbrake exhibits all the hallmarks that makes the saloon great, and with the silky smooth diesel V6 makes it a compelling choice
  • Volkswagen T-Roc TDI
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    Volkswagen's new compact crossover has the looks, the engineering and the build quality to be a resounding success, but not with this diesel engine
  • BMW M550i
    First Drive
    19 October 2017
    The all-paw M550i is a fast, effortless mile-muncher, but there's a reason why it won't be sold in the UK