Red Bull Racing's Mark Webber has said that the next two races could be crucial for Michael Schumacher.
Schumacher has failed to really shine this season since opting to come out of retirement and return to the pinnacle of the sport with Mercedes. Indeed he has been well and truly outclassed by his team-mate, Nico Rosberg and while his compatriot has scored 50 points and notched up two podiums, Schumacher has only managed 10 points, his best result, a sixth place.
It has led many to question if his decision to return was the right one, and Sir Stirling Moss recently said the 41-year-old is probably 'past it now' and is only going to 'damage his achievements' by persisting with his top flight comeback [see separate story – click here
Webber however reckons that the record-breaking multiple F1 world champion should be given more time and that his form this coming weekend in Barcelona and the following one at the Principality will be a better indication if his decision to come out of retirement was a wise one or not.
"After Monaco we'll know how his form really is," Webber told BBC Sport
. "He knows he's not going to just jump back in and start blowing people away. He knows he was going to have to get used to it. He's not that naive.
"He'll feel a bit more at home at Barcelona and Monaco. They're the sort of places, particularly Monaco, where you just plug Michael in and off he goes.
"If he's not going to be doing that this year, you can say he might be having problems coming to grips with the car.
"These cars change every two or three weeks let alone every four years, so he's coming back to such a totally different environment. The cars are totally different, the tyres, the aerodynamics, all of which he's had to get used to.
"He's going to have to work at it - and that's what he's doing right now. But as I always said, you have to take your hat off to him, it was a very brave call to come back and test himself again at the highest level. He's an incredible competitor and he always has been."