Mercedes GP Petronas team principal Ross Brawn says that Michael Schumacher is not struggling to challenge at the front of the grid because of a lack of skill, but because his car is in need of improvement. So Mercedes is planning some major chassis and aero changes (replacement, actually) for the Spanish GP to help Schumacher get on pace. But that view is not shared by all. Legendary Stirling Moss, now 80, thinks Schumacher is “past it.”
After scoring just 10 points compared to his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg’s 50 so far in the 2010 season, luminaries including Bernie Ecclestone, David Coulthard, Martin Brundle, Jacques Lafitte, Jochen Mass and others have argued the seven-time World Champion deserves more time before he is definitively judged. But 80-year-old Stirling Moss, credited as the best driver never to have won an F1 title, disagreed. “People are going to say hes past it now, which he probably is.” And Moss added that he does not understand the 41-year-old German’s decision to end his three years of retirement. “All he’s going to do is damage his achievements.”
I suspect Moss is wrong. As does Bernie Ecclestone:
Anybody who criticises Michael is wrong. He deserves better. Michael would have never returned had he not been convinced that he can do the job. He is not a tourist in the paddock — he’s here to win. And he will win again. Nico is very talented and Michael was on holiday for three years. Ask me the same question after another two races. Don’t underestimate Michael.
Fangio raced almost until he was 50, still winning. Today’s F1 cars are highly specialized and very reliant on setup, which takes a fair amount of time to master. So when Brawn reports that Schumi is as good as ever, I tend to believe him. Watch and see.