Mercedes sports honcho Norbert Haug has come out defiantly against many of the paddock skeptics who have written off Michael Schumacher’s comeback effort as a disaster. While acknowledging that Schumacher has struggled at the start, Haug insists that Schumacher is taking the long view, and is far from throwing in the towel.
As Haug told Kicker magazine, “Michael will concentrate for the rest of the year on achieving the absolute best results. Next year he will go for the title. He is still totally cool and relaxed, he wants success – and that impressed us all.”
As for the possibility of dumping Schumi for a younger, fresher model, Haug scoffed at the notion, saying, “I would not have any other line-up than Michael Schumacher and Nico Rosberg.”
Haug also refused to grant critics’ assertions much credence, saying, “I think it is unnecessary to defend a seven-time World Champion. But, on the other hand, I understand the discussion. Although the answer to the question of whether he still can is quite clearly, yes.”
Meanwhile, another one of Schumacher’s compatriots, Red Bull pilot Sebastian Vettel, also defended his effort, recently telling Der Spiegel, “It is far from easy to return after a three year break, even though he was never entirely away from Formula One. The cars have changed, the tyres as well. Many things are not the way that he had become accustomed to.”
Vettel also expressed his confidence that Schumi would regain his old form, and would once again become a threat to his rivals, saying, “If anyone can do it, it is him. When I look at his face and read his body language, I do not see any confusion or panic.”