Sir Jackie Stewart thinks Michael Schumacher will return to retirement after November’s Abu Dhabi finale.
The seven time world champion is committed to Mercedes in 2011 and 2012, but his mediocre comeback only got worse in Britain at the weekend.
Schumacher qualified eight tenths behind his teammate Nico Rosberg, before the younger German raced to the podium while his 41-year-old countryman finished ninth.
Asked if he thinks the winner of a record 91 grands prix can now keep up with the likes of Sebastian Vettel and Lewis Hamilton, Stewart told the Cologne Express: “He cannot even keep up with his teammate.
“He (Rosberg) is usually faster and has not won a grand prix.
“I would have preferred to have seen Michael not come back. Why did he do it? He had achieved everything and could only lose.
“In my opinion he retired too early, he should have stayed another two years with Ferrari and I have no idea why he didn’t.
“Now he’s in a difficult situation and has to live with the criticism,” added Stewart, who in 1973 retired as a triple world champion at the age of 34.
The famous Scot was asked if he thinks Schumacher can improve in 2011.
“The first question should be ‘will he do another year?’ I believe he will stop after this season.”
Stewart acknowledged that Schumacher is already talking about winning the 2011 title, but added: “What does his heart say? I will believe it only when I see him on the starting grid in March.”
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