Michael Schumacher has admitted that his ‘relaxed mindset’ is costing his Mercedes GP team.
For the first time since his much publicised return to the sport, the veteran German said: “I arrived at Mercedes with a specific task: not winning at all costs, but to grow the team.”
But the 42-year old driver – with seven world championships and 91 race victories under his belt – said his attitude was not fit for the team. “It is a fact that I am a bit more relaxed than before”, he said, “and I do not know if my mindset is right for this team.
“At some point, we will evaluate whether I continue or stop,” he added.
Since his return last March, he has failed to score a podium position and has found himself regularly outpaced and outscored by his Mercedes teammate and fellow German Nico Rosberg. This season he trails Rosberg in the driver standings by 16 points, and is 202 points adrift of runaway leader Sebastian Vettel.
“If anything, I am the problem,” Schumacher admitted.
Three-time world champion Niki Lauda – a long-time supporter of Schumacher’s comeback – also voiced his concerns.
“You don’t do F1 for fun,” the Austrian noted. “In the end he has to ask himself, ‘Can I do it or not?’ I honestly don’t think it will work out for Michael now; when you want to go quicker, you try everything. And when you’ve tried everything and you still don’t make it, that’s it.
“I’m sure he’s still trying, but one day he will realise that he can’t make it, and then he will take a decision.”
Speaking of Lauda, Ron Howard has been confirmed as the director for an upcoming film on his 1976 title fight with Hunt; a campaign that Lauda was lucky to escape from after a terrible accident at the Nordschleife and a rain-hit finale at Fuji.
Howard said: “It’s a remarkable story and, as all F1 fans know, it nearly ended tragically when Niki Lauda crashed into the barriers while travelling real fast and his car burst into flames.”
The Oscar-winning director admitted the budget would be adjusted accordingly because ‘it’s a European film’, but was confident the US would watch it. “Even though Nascar is king in the States”, he said, “a lot of people love F1 and even more people like a good story and this is just that.”
Should Michael heed Lauda’s advice and call it a day, or has the old dog still got something to show these young pups? Your thoughts, as always, are most welcome…