Schu might not be title contender - Brawn
(GMM) Ross Brawn has admitted for the first time that an eighth world championship might be beyond Michael Schumacher's reach in 2010.
|Is Schumacher too old, or will he improve as season progresses?|
After a three year hiatus, the 41-year-old has sensationally returned to formula one with Mercedes GP, which is headed by his former Ferrari colleague Brawn.
But the German has struggled to keep up with his 24-year-old teammate Nico Rosberg all weekend in Bahrain, and as in his Spa debut with Jordan nearly two decades ago, has qualified seventh.
When asked on Saturday if Schumacher can win the title in 2010, Brawn answered: "I don't know, to be honest, if he can come straight back and win the title.
"I don't think he knows. But he's got to put everything he can into attempting it and we'll do everything we can to give him that opportunity," the Briton is quoted as saying by the Mirror.
Fascinatingly, Schumacher's team boss Brawn also admitted that the record winner of 91 grands prix has at times overstepped the line.
Among Schumacher's notorious sporting transgressions are the 1994 and 1997 title-deciding collisions, and the Rascasse 'parking' affair of 2006.
"Yes," Brawn said, "Michael's fiercely competitive and by his own admission he oversteps it.
"It's that little bit of the brain that just takes over for a moment. It's not rational.
"But these guys are so competitive," he insisted. "You'll see that with Alonso, Michael and others. They have this switch that clicks occasionally."