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Reactions to Michael Schumacher F1 return

F1's great and good from Nico Rosberg, Niki Lauda and Eddie Irvine to Nigel Mansell, Willi Weber and the BBC commentary team react to the return of Michael Schumacher to the grid with Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010
Nico Rosberg, 2010 Mercedes Grand Prix team-mate:

“It is fantastic that Michael is returning to Formula 1 and will be my team-mate at Mercedes Grand Prix Petronas. It's a great challenge for me to be up against one of the best drivers of all time. I'm sure that we will form a very strong partnership as he will have lost none of his speed! It is also great news for our sport and the fans.”

Niki Lauda, triple F1 World Champion (speaking to Kicker magazine):

“His level is that of a seven-time world champion; he will be immediately competitive, because he was the best – on another level.”

Eddie Irvine, former F1 team-mate at Ferrari (speaking to the BBC):

“There was no reason for him not to come back. Whatever aspect of F1 you're involved in, there's an intensity to it – every two weeks you're on show and you have to perform, and in the real world that just doesn't happen. It can take months or years before you get the rush that you get in Formula 1, and I think when he retired he had nothing else to do.

“The big problem is if he's head-to-head with someone like Lewis Hamilton; Lewis isn't going to back off, but Michael will have to because he's 41 years of age and the young guy will have the psychological advantage. I don't believe Michael is as fast as he was maybe seven years ago – if you watched the early days when he was at Benetton and Ferrari, his speed was quite sensational. He's probably lost a little bit of that and he's not at the peak of his game [anymore], there's no doubt about that, but he's still good enough to win races because he's such an immense talent.

“It's still four tyres, a steering wheel and an engine – and there's never been anyone better than Michael at making that package go as fast as possible. As I say, in a head-to-head with Lewis or some of the other young guys, I wouldn't put my money on Michael because he'd be mad to get really involved...but on pure speed he's probably up there with the best of them still.”

Nigel Mansell, who won the 1992 F1 World Championship at the age of 39 (speaking to the Daily Mail):

“Age will not be a factor in Michael's story. It wouldn't surprise me if Michael challenged for another world championship. It doesn't matter what age you are as long as you are professional, committed and focussed. People have written Michael off as over the hill, [but] I look at it differently.

“Michael has tremendous experience and talent, and Mercedes will provide him with a fantastic package. He is extremely fit, and we can take his commitment and professionalism for granted. For me, there is no downside to this. He's won enough titles, so what does he have to worry about losing to anyone? It may take a few races to get to grips with his car, but after that it wouldn't surprise me if he was to challenge for his eighth title.”

Jonathan Legard, BBC F1 commentator:

“It's great for Formula 1; it lifts everyone a little bit. It would seem that he's got the fitness, he's got the desire – and now he's got the contract. The fitness was a big worry in the summer – whether he was going to be fit enough [to substitute former Ferrari team-mate Felipe Massa] – but he was up there pretty much on the level straightaway, and remember, he took fitness levels to a new standard anyway. I wouldn't worry about him on that score, in fact I wouldn't worry about him at all. He's Michael Schumacher – he'll be good.

“He's achieved all of his successes with Ross Brawn, both at Benetton and at Ferrari, and is there going to be another glorious third chapter at Mercedes? If anyone can make it happen, it's Ross Brawn – just ask Jenson Button.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Schumacher will return to F1 in 2010 with Mercedes GP [Pic credit: Mercedes]
Damon Hill, Michael Schumacher
15.11.2015 - Race, A Ferrari fan
15.11.2015 - Race, Max Verstappen (NED) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR10
15.11.2015 - Race, Nico Rosberg (GER) Mercedes AMG F1 W06 waves to the fans
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34 leads Jenson Button (GBR)  McLaren Honda MP4-30.
15.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 leads Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.11.2015 - Race, Felipe Nasr (BRA) Sauber C34
15.11.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T
15.11.2015 - Race, Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Red Bull Racing RB11 leads Lewis Hamilton (GBR) Mercedes AMG F1 W06
15.11.2015 - Race, Pastor Maldonado (VEN) Lotus F1 Team E23
15.11.2015 - Race, Romain Grosjean (FRA) Lotus F1 Team E23
15.11.2015 - Race, Kimi Raikkonen (FIN) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T and Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
15.11.2015 - Race, William Stevens (GBR) Manor Marussia F1 Team and Nico Hulkenberg (GER) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08
15.11.2015 - Race, Sergio Perez (MEX) Sahara Force India F1 VJM08 and Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB11
15.11.2015 - Race, Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Williams F1 Team FW37
15.11.2015 - Race, Fernando Alonso (ESP) McLaren Honda MP4-30
15.11.2015 - Race, Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF15-T

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December 23, 2009 2:35 PM

I'm glad for MS if this is what he wants. But Merc talking with MS at Abu about a ride and then two weeks later tells me that Button was never wanted at Merc. But that is not what they told the world.

ayrton neck - Unregistered

December 23, 2009 3:29 PM

What ever happens its a shot in the arm for F1.There is every chance he will succeed It will be no surprise if he gets back in the groove he has immense skill as a driver and I am sure he will be out there in front.

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