Sir Stirling Moss fears that Michael Schumacher may have passed his prime and that the German is now damaging his reputation. The 7-time World Champion has suffered a bruising start to his comeback season and lies joint ninth in the Drivers’ Championship after the first foursome of races.
Although, arguably, most of Schumacher’s downfalls in the early ‘flyaway’ races have been out of his hands, many have written off the Mercedes GP driver and claim that returning from a 3-year sabbatical was not the correct move – a sentiment echoed by Moss, who won 16 of the 66 Grands Prix he entered between 1951 and 1961.
“In a word, no,” replied Moss when asked by Metro if he could understand Schumacher’s decision to return to full-time racing. “He’s a highly intelligent bloke, and I really can’t see…all he’s going to do is damage his achievements. People are going to say he’s past it now, which he probably is.”
In addition, Sir Stirling believes that the pace of Nico Rosberg will not help the cause of his team-mate and fellow countryman. “We’ve never seen Michael with a number two who’s been comparable,” Moss continued. “He had Rubens Barrichello, who no doubt is an extremely good driver, but not necessarily a winner.
“Michael’s greatest contribution was bringing English engineers to Ferrari. Ross Brawn and those chaps brought Ferrari from being has-beens back to the front. Because he didn’t have a comparable team-mate, it was very difficult to know how much of it was down Michael and how much was the car.”
Moss also worries that Schumacher’s fantastic F1 statistics are now under fire. “People say he’s the best because he has seven world titles, but that doesn’t mean anything really,” the Englishman began to conclude. “Well, it does mean something – it’s a hell of an achievement – but it doesn’t mean he’s the greatest ever.”
Formula 1 Racing: Season standings
Driver Team Points
1. Jenson Button McLaren 60
2. Nico Rosberg Mercedes 50
3. Fernando Alonso Ferrari 49
Next race: Spanish Grand Prix, 9 May