Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has tipped Michael Schumacher as a potential title winner next year. While some have wondered if Schumacher will be able to recapture his old magic, Ecclestone has no doubts.
“Forget about winning races – I have him on my bill for winning the championship,” Ecclestone said to The Telegraph. “He will be of immense value for the team to push the development of the car. We have all seen in the past he was never satisfied unless the car was in perfect condition. With his drive for the optimum and deep technical understanding he will save the team precious time. Nico Rosberg (Schumacher’s team-mate) will be the one who will directly benefit from all this.”
Naturally, Ecclestone is pleased at the prospect of Schumacher’s return. Formula 1 might have lost one champion (Kimi Raikkonen) to rally racing for the 2010 season, they’ve made up for it in spades by regaining the most successful F1 driver of all time. Ecclestone knows full well how this will likely affect viewer interest next year, which in turn does nothing but enhance the commercial value of the sport.
“It is fantastic for Formula One that he turned into a comeback kid. But at the same time it’s good for Michael. When drivers have put in many years they sometimes lose focus and motivation – probably that was one of the reasons for his retirement in 2006. But now he has again put all his strength together and has a 100 per cent motivation level that will give us many exciting races in 2010. I always said Formula One is a strong brand. It has demonstrated time and again it can pull itself up by its own bootstraps. All indications point to a jaw-dropping season. Fans will love it.”