Monday 18 December 2017

F1: Positive Schu determined to accelerate comeback in Malaysia

Michael Schumacher. Photo: Getty Images
Michael Schumacher. Photo: Getty Images

Ian Parkes

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER is adamant there is "more to come" following a disappointing start to his Formula One comeback.

The seven-times world champion was heavily criticised by sections of the media after his 10th-place finish in last Sunday's Australian Grand Prix.

After an accident beyond his control at the opening corner which forced Schumacher into an early pit stop for a new nose for his Mercedes, the 41-year-old then struggled to make up lost ground.

At one point Schumacher was embarrassingly overtaken by Virgin Racing's Timo Glock, prior to spending 30 laps behind the Toro Rosso of Jaime Alguersuari, which even prompted a hurry-up from race engineer Andrew Shovlin over the in-car radio.

Pertinently, Schumacher has been out-qualified and out-performed by team-mate Nico Rosberg in the opening two grand prix in Bahrain and Melbourne.


Despite that, Schumacher said: "I have taken a lot of positives from Melbourne. "Whilst it might not be evident at first sight, when you look into the weekend more deeply, we did make some real improvements and have good reasons to be satisfied, just not from the actual result obviously.

"Analysing qualifying, both Nico and I could have been two or three places higher. With hindsight, my set-up was too conservative and too much focused on the race. Those better positions would have enabled us to fight closer to the front on Sunday.

"All of this means we are not too far away and I am quite confident there will be more to come."

It has previously been suggested Schumacher would require at least the opening two races to get up to speed after his three years spent in retirement.

It means Sunday's race in Malaysia will likely be more of a barometer as to whether Schumacher really does still have what it takes.

"Going to Malaysia this weekend, we know we have clearly improved our pace since Bahrain which is a good feeling," added Schumacher.

Irish Independent

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