Michael Schumacher's resurgence is 'great for Formula 1', reckons Mercedes boss Ross Brawn

Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn says Michael Schumacher's improved form in 2012 has come as no surprise, and believes the seven-time champion's return to the front will boost Formula 1's popularity

Michael Schumacher's resurgence is 'great for Formula 1', reckons Mercedes boss Ross Brawn

Schumacher's F1 comeback has at times looked ill-advised, with the German legend yet to get on the podium for Mercedes and regularly beaten by team-mate Nico Rosberg.

But Schumacher has been more competitive this season, outqualifying Rosberg at the opening two grands prix, and then joining his pole-winning compatriot on the front row of the grid for Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix.

"We have been consistent in our belief that Michael can continue to produce the results we have all seen in his career, and it was a fact that we have not had a good enough car," said Brawn.

"It is great for the team, great for him and great for F1. To see Michael Schumacher up there is a great bonus for F1 generally."

Brawn believes there is now more affection for Schumacher among F1 fans than there was when he was dominating the sport in his heyday.

"Michael's second period in F1 seems to be viewed differently by the public," Brawn said. "They are more enthusiastic to see him do well. With the results he had in his first career it became automatic, and like any sport when someone was dominating like Michael was able to, people get used to it and it is not so exciting."

Schumacher's deal with Mercedes runs out at the end of this year, but Brawn said it was too early to speculate whether the current upturn in both the driver and the team's form would prompt a contract extension.

"Everything is completely open," said Brawn. "If it feels right for him and it feels right for us and things are going well, then why would we want to stop?

"But we have a long way to go before we get there. He is a fantastic driver, a fantastic team member but we have to let things take their natural course.

"At some point during the year it will become obvious what is the best for him, best for us and best for us collectively. It won't be a difficult decision I am sure but it is far too early to get into speculation about what it might be."

Brawn added that Rosberg and Schumacher would be free to race each other in China. They share the front row ahead of Sauber's Kamui Kobayashi and Lotus driver Kimi Raikkonen, with the first of the McLarens and Red Bulls back on row three with Jenson Button and Mark Webber.

"The only order we can give is 'make sure you don't hit each other'," said Brawn. "That is all we can do, we have no team orders or team strategy we just want to make sure that they give each other enough room. But they are both great drivers and they have shown before they can manage the situation.

"But sometimes things happen that you cannot control, people hit you from behind or someone cuts across you when you don't expect so things can happen but they are both very good drivers, have huge respect.

"If anything did happen there would be no reason other than it was a genuine accident, so we keep our fingers crossed and rely on them to stay clean in the first two corners."

shares
comments
Kamui Kobayashi says Sauber's Chinese Grand Prix qualifying result not totally unexpected by team

Previous article

Kamui Kobayashi says Sauber's Chinese Grand Prix qualifying result not totally unexpected by team

Next article

Mercedes' Chinese Grand Prix chances depend on tyre 'sweet spot' says Ross Brawn

Mercedes' Chinese Grand Prix chances depend on tyre 'sweet spot' says Ross Brawn
Load comments

About this article

Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher
Teams Brawn GP , Mercedes
Author Jonathan Noble
Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row? Plus

Does Aston have a case in F1 2021’s big technical row?

Aston Martin claims Formula 1’s latest technical tweaks have cost it competitiveness – and that it’s the innocent victim of a regulatory stitch-up aimed at pegging back Mercedes. But is any of this actually true? It depends on who you ask, says STUART CODLING

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean? Plus

How long can F1 2021's brewing title battle stay clean?

Lewis Hamilton and Max Verstappen have been evenly matched so far in the 2021 Formula 1 title race. Neither has been afraid to get aggressive against each other on track, teeing up an enthralling contest as the year unwinds. But is their rivalry destined to end in broken shards of carbon fibre?

Formula 1
May 13, 2021
What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight Plus

What the Spain result tells F1 about the next phase of the Mercedes/Red Bull title fight

OPINION: Lewis Hamilton and Mercedes have recovered from their pre-season woes to take three wins from the opening four races of 2021. But each time Red Bull and Max Verstappen have pushed them hard. So, what clues did the latest round of that battle – the Spanish Grand Prix – tease about the next stage of the season?

Formula 1
May 12, 2021
How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner Plus

How Brabham’s one-hit wonder was boxed into a corner

The Brabham BT46B raced once, won once, then vanished – or did it? STUART CODLING reveals the story of the car which was never actually banned…

Formula 1
May 11, 2021
The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle Plus

The changes Barcelona needs to provide a modern-day F1 spectacle

Formula 1’s visits to Circuit de Barcelona-Catalunya over recent years have been met with familiar criticisms despite tweaks here and there to the track to improve racing. With the 2021 Spanish Grand Prix largely going the same way, proper solutions need to be followed to achieve F1’s wider targets

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Spanish Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Often described as Formula 1's laboratory, the Circuit de Catalunya-Barcelona gave the clearest demonstration yet of the pecking order in 2021. And it's the key discrepancies from that order which illuminate who is excelling, and who needs to hit the reset button

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain Plus

How Red Bull’s deja vu set Hamilton on the winning path in Spain

An aggressive first corner move from Max Verstappen appeared to have set the Red Bull driver on course for victory in the Spanish Grand Prix. But canny strategy from Mercedes - combined with the absence of Red Bull's number two from the lead group - allowed Lewis Hamilton to pull off a demoralising reversal

Formula 1
May 10, 2021
The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey Plus

The toe-in-water origins of Lotus’s groundbreaking F1 journey

In the first part of our history of Lotus, DAMIEN SMITH recalls how Formula 1 wasn’t an immediate priority for team founder Colin Chapman – but once he got a taste for it he just couldn’t stop…

Formula 1
May 9, 2021