1978 world champion Mario Andretti says Michael Schumacher was “very clever” to call off his formula one comeback last year.
The 41-year-old German, who will in 2010 return full-time with Mercedes GP, agreed to fill in for Felipe Massa last year following the Ferrari regular’s crash in Hungary.
But before the Valencia race in August, Schumacher said he could not drive as scheduled due to injuries sustained in a motorcycle testing crash some months earlier.
69-year-old Andretti, however, believes the seven time world champion called off the Ferrari comeback for other reasons.
“I was a little bit disappointed that he didn’t come back last year,” he said in an interview with Switzerland’s Motorsport Aktuell.
“But that he did not (return then) was a wise decision for many reasons; he had never been to Valencia before, Ferrari’s was not the best car, he didn’t know the tyres.
“Altogether, very clever,” said Andretti.
The Cologne publication Express scolded Andretti for apparently not believing that it was Schumacher’s injured neck that prevented his 2009 return.
“Mr Andretti: take care before making distant diagnoses from America,” read the report.