Michael Schumacher has at last conceded that he would have to be 'very, very lucky' to win a race over the second half of F1 2010 with Mercedes Grand Prix – as the record-breaking multiple world champion got back on the saddle of a motorbike again in France.
As speculation continues to swirl around the future of the German legend – and whether he will even prolong his much-hyped but seemingly ill-fated comeback beyond the end of the current campaign, with former team owner-turned-BBC F1
pundit Eddie Jordan opining that to rejoin the fray at the highest level aged 41 and following three years away from the grid was 'a huge error personally' [see separate story – click here
] – the man himself recently confessed that he had now turned his attentions firmly towards next year instead and a renewed challenge on what would be an incredible eighth drivers' crown. Not that he is dissatisfied with the way he has performed this season, however.
“I'm pretty happy with myself,” revealed the Kerpen native, despite languishing some 54 points adrift of young team-mate and compatriot Nico Rosberg in the title standings and with no finish better than fourth place to his name from the opening ten grands prix of 2010. “We have made a few mistakes and there are some things we can improve, but all-in-all…I don't think there are many who can return after a three-year break at the age of 41.”
Whilst 'Schumi' reckons that henceforth 'we will have to be very, very lucky to get a victory', Rosberg – who claimed his third podium finish of the campaign in the British Grand Prix at Silverstone last weekend, six spots ahead of his elder countryman – conversely argued in an interview with Bild
that 'we have made a giant step forwards' and even that 'I can promise more'.
Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President Norbert Haug has also sprung to Schumacher's defence once more in the face of the latest raft of criticism of his driving, whilst insisting he is not concerned that the 91-time grand prix-winner has been out on-track at Dijon-Prenois aboard his 190bhp Honda CBR 1000 Fireblade in company with long-time Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer and reigning six-time World Rally Champion Sébastien Loeb – despite a motorcycling injury having called off his planned return in-place of former team-mate Felipe Massa last summer.
“Michael can deal with the risk and so can we,” Haug assured, adding: “He deserves our support, he fits with our team, he still has the speed. We believe in him, and so do his fans.”