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The verdict on Schumi – by one who knows him better than most

Having mentored Michael Schumacher back in the German legend's Mercedes sportscar days and remained close to him ever since, Jochen Mass is well-placed to comment upon the multiple F1 World Champion's off-colour comeback this year - but, he insists, 'he can win again'
As somebody who knows record-breaking multiple F1 World Champion Michael Schumacher better than most, Jochen Mass is well-placed to comment on his countryman's disappointing return to top flight competition thus far this season with Mercedes Grand Prix – and the former grand prix-winner is adamant the Kerpen native 'can win again'.

For the most successful driver in F1 history, a tally of just 36 points and no finish higher than fourth place from the opening ten grands prix of the present campaign has been excruciatingly disappointing, and the 'Schumi' 2010-style has appeared to be little more than a listless shadow of his former self, an easy touch in battle and no longer the fierce warrior that he once was.

Yes, the car has not been up to it either, his supporters argue, but the bare facts when you compare the 41-year-old's performances and results to those of young compatriot Nico Rosberg – who has notched up a trio of podiums and more than twice as many points, and out-qualified Schumacher eight-two – do not make for encouraging reading.

Whispers have been circulating the paddock for a while that the 91-time grand prix-winner may elect to simply call time on his ill-fated comeback two years early at the end of this season to avoid doing any further damage to his reputation – but Mass claims he can yet add to that victory count, albeit perhaps with a little bit of luck.

“I'm in constant touch with him, said the man who mentored Schumacher on Mercedes' junior racing programme in sportscars back in 1990, in an interview with Crash.net Radio. “They can't test enough – that's one of the regulatory handicaps this year. That makes it difficult, [but] if things go a little bit his way, sure he can win again.”

Mass was speaking at the 2010 Goodwood Festival of Speed, where he drove a variety of old Mercedes' and confessed that 'with a wonderful weekend like this, some beautiful cars and lots of people, you can only enjoy it' – but when asked if Schumacher is still the same driver that once made him so feared by all of his rivals, the 63-year-old conceded: “No, of course not. You lose a little bit somewhere, but that's the way it goes.”
by Russell Atkins

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Friday Practice 1, Michael Schumacher (GER), Mercedes GP  F1 Team, MGP W01
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MattF1 - Unregistered

July 14, 2010 6:59 PM

Finally, somebody who actually know a bit more of what they're talking about. Stewart doesnt know the ins and outs of the situation. People just need to give Schumi a chance to adjust fully to the new circumstances in F1 these days. Better form will come. Few are better placed than Mass to comment. Schumi is not the giving up type and he will get victory number 92 and beyond before too long.

Nicole Shitsinger - Unregistered

July 14, 2010 7:19 PM

So basically: - If he could practice more he'd be less rusty - If things go better for him he'll do better - 41-yr-olds aren't in their prime Amazing insights there! Personally I hope Schumi stays the full 3 years, I wouldn't bet against him winning another race. I also think he's carrying himself with great dignity in these tricky times.

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