Herbert: Schumacher won't have it easy

Johnny Herbert thinks the current generation of grand prix drivers will give Michael Schumacher a hard time on track when the seven-time champion returns to action this season

Herbert: Schumacher won't have it easy

Herbert, who was paired with Schumacher at Benetton in 1995, believes the younger drivers presently on the grid will be less willing to give way to the German than his former rivals.

"People like Lewis [Hamilton], Sebastian [Vettel] and Jenson [Button], the mentality is different now than it was when Michael was last racing. It will be much harder on him," said Herbert on the main stage at AUTOSPORT International.

"There was always a bit of an aura with Michael, like with Aytron [Senna], when you saw the helmet in your mirror. There were only a couple of drivers that never gave him an inch, but I think now everybody is going to be much harder on him.

"I hope there is a bit of dust up because it will spice it up. It will show that it's not as it used to be with Michael giving it out, at least he'll be given it. Lewis has always commented that it's a shame he never came up against Michael, now he's got the opportunity and I think it will be a cracking year."

Herbert also suspects that the lack of development possibilities under the current testing restrictions will frustrate Schumacher.

"It's going to be very different for him," said Herbert. "Michael's work ethic was always test at Fiorano, analyse, race, test, analyse, race. It was just complete and utter development. This time around, he's only got February. There's nothing during the year.

"There are a lot of different things for him that he didn't have before. It's going to be a little bit different for him. He's 41 years-old but physically I don't think that's an issue for Michael because he's definitely one of the fittest out there."

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