Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn says seven-time world champ Michael Schumacher hasn’t lost his competitive edge. Brawn was the strategic mastermind behind all of the German ace’s seven titles, so he should have a fair bit of insight into the matter.
When asked if Schumacher’s work ethic was much the same as it was during their glory years at Ferrari, Brawn told Autosport, “Yeah, pretty much. Very intense in terms of his approach. Pretty close to what I remember. Obviously he stopped because he was a little bit tired of Formula 1, but that’s gone now. He’s very passionate about racing again, and working very hard with Nico to improve the car. Pretty much where he left off.”
And while Brawn was pleased with Schumacher’s performance thus far, he reckons that the German will continue to find speed as he settles into his new team. “I’m sure he’ll find time in himself. That’s natural. He’s got to start getting back into the groove but I don’t think Michael will be the issue,” Brawn said. “We’ve got to get the car a little bit better.”
Brawn also said it was a bit early to start making comparisons between Schumacher and his younger team mate, Nico Rosberg. “It looks close between the two of the,” Brawn said. “You wouldn’t want to see either one dragging behind, but judging from the comparisons from the different days they are close. But I don’t think they know where they are because the track’s always different. It’s very difficult to make comparisons but I think both drivers are looking competitive.”
At this point, Brawn seems more concerned about the relative competitiveness of the car, rather than the drivers. But they’ll deploy their definitive 2010 diffuser at Bahrain in two weeks, and Brawn is hoping that the upgrade will help raise the team’s game, and give them more than a fighting chance against the likes of Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari.