Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn has said the team has 'let Michael Schumacher down' in the opening five races of the new F1 season.

The seven-time champion has managed just two points so far this season from a brace of tenth place finishes, while team-mate Nico Rosberg has picked up 43 points and secured his maiden victory in China last month.

Schumacher's results so far have led to plenty of speculation that he will now elect to retire for a second time when his contract expires at the end of the season, but Brawn insisted that the team had to take the blame for some of the issues the German has faced.

"A lot has been said and written, but we should not forget that we - the team - have let him down in three of the fives races, not delivering the job we should have," he told Bild. "We must do better. We saw Michael's real quality again in the first race, so it's for that reason that I believe we will see him on the podium this year.

"When the time comes, we will sit down together and talk about the future. I'm sure it will become clear very quickly in what direction we will go."

Brawn will be back in the paddock this weekend having missed the Spanish Grand Prix, with the team boss explaining he had been forced to miss the event on the advice of doctors.

"On the Tuesday before Barcelona I felt unwell so I went to the doctor and then stayed a night in hospital for some tests," he said. "When I got home, I decided on the advice of doctors to give myself a weekend off, to be sure that I am fit for Monaco."

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