F1 »

Schumacher 'still taking it seriously' – and 'on the right path'

Despite wide criticism that his comeback thus far has fallen some way short of expectations, record-breaking F1 legend Michael Schumacher remains adamant he will make his detractors eat their words come season's end
He might be more 'relaxed' now than he was back during his record-breaking first career in the top flight, but seven-time F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher has insisted that he is still entirely 'serious' about his craft and 'on the right path' in his thus far disappointing comeback with Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010 – even if some of the German legend rivals concede that they are 'surprised that he is struggling'.

Over the opening four grands prix of the 2010 campaign in Bahrain, Australia, Malaysia and China, Schumacher has yet to get the better of young team-mate Nico Rosberg in qualifying, has notched up a mere ten points to his compatriot's 50, lies a distant tenth in the drivers' standings, has appeared uncharacteristically inert in the heat of battle and has languished all at sea in wet conditions – the kind of scenario in which he was once untouchable.

The criticism is mounting, the pressure is increasing – and some are even beginning to wonder if 'Schumi' will even see out the season at this rate, let along the entirety of his three-year Mercedes contract, given the damage being done to his hitherto glittering reputation and outstanding record of success. A new chassis has even been brought to Barcelona for this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix around the Circuit de Catalunya in an effort to resolve his issues.

Adamant, however, that he has no regrets about having elected to audaciously return to the fray at the age of 41 and following three years away from active competition at the highest level, Schumacher has explained that his greatest bugbear to-date in 2010 has been the tyres – and stresses that he remains every bit as committed as he ever was.

“It absolutely wore me down,” he told Germany's Frankfurter Allgemeinen Zeitung newspaper when asked about his 2006 retirement, pointing to the 'negative aspects' of F1 that overwhelmed him. “I believe people have noticed that how I was extremely dogged in the past I am now more calm, in a way that previously I was only able to be sometimes.

“I have not lost any focus or my determination. I am still taking it seriously and am still very hard on myself. In that way nothing has changed. The narrower front tyres – both for the dry and for the rain – I don't know from my past. Each driver needs to learn how they behave, so my colleagues have a head-start.”

Calling for lower initial expectations and time to adequately re-adapt, Schumacher went on to contend that he is 'absolutely confident' he will get nearer to the pace as the season progresses and disprove those who doubt his ability to reach the top step of the rostrum again, having done so on no fewer than 91 occasions – six of them in Barcelona – between 1992 and 2006.

“I'm on the right path,” he is quoted as having said by The Associated Press. “Things will improve. Naturally the joy is bigger when you win races. In China I was very disappointed, I was very angry at myself – but things will be different."

“I'm coming to a completely new structure, and to re-start [from] where I had finished with Ferrari is a process. The only perception I can have [now] is the experience of the past. You have more cars on a more even playing field and you have the best drivers that are around in those cars – so you have a higher level of competition [than before].

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Robert Kubica (POL) Renault R30
Felipe Massa (BRA) Scuderia Ferrari F10
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Michael Schumacher, Mercedes GP MGP W01
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Valtteri Bottas - Mercedes AMG Petronas
Nico Hulkenberg - Renault Sport F1
Renault Formula One Team, launch date, [Credit: Renault F1]
Force India reveals the launch date for its 2017 F1 challenge
Nigel Mansell - McLaren-Mercedes
Who will replace Nico Rosberg at Mercedes?

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Mojo Jojo

May 07, 2010 1:54 PM

True, he may be calmer now, at the moment. But it's really when he starts winning or getting a shot at it that he really gets obsessive and aggressive. That's when the infamous tenacity comes out. Wait till Michael starts getting a sniff at the leaders, and you will see less of the calm and more of the storm.

Schuey - Unregistered

May 07, 2010 5:04 PM

Come on Schumi, make all those who doubted you eat their words. In the grand scheme of things, even if he never wins another race (which I am sure he will) no-one will beat his record of 7 WDC, 5 of them consecutively. His reputation will never be tarnished, record books will show that! :)

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.