2011 is Michael Schumacher’s last chance to prove to Mercedes he is still competitive enough to be in formula one.
That is the claim of Europe’s best selling newspaper, the tabloid-style Bild Zeitung.
German Schumacher, 41, agreed a three-year deal with Mercedes GP before returning from retirement to formula one in 2010.
Despite intense media pressure due to his disappointing season so far, the seven time world champion insists he will be back in the silver car in 2011.
“Bild knows: there is a deadline for Schumi,” the newspaper report said.
“If he is still behind in 2011, then his Mercedes time is up — three year contract or not.”
Team boss Ross Brawn is quoted as saying: “With Nico (Rosberg), I’m happy. Now we expect progress from Michael, who is not yet at his best.”
Bild pointed out that at the 15 grands prix of Schumacher’s 2010 comeback so far, Rosberg has outqualified his famous teammate 12 times.
And Rosberg, 25, has 122 points, compared with Schumacher’s 46.
“I would prefer if they regularly beat one another. It is not good when one driver is usually behind the other,” added Brawn.
Brackley based Mercedes GP is already fully focused on the disappointing W01’s 2011 successor.
“I am confident that our basic package will be much better,” said Brawn.
© RIF | GMM