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Schumacher's rewards
Schuey and Brawn
Michael Schumacher will get more satisfaction in his comeback year from helping Mercedes get to the front of the field, than he would have done had he returned to Formula 1 with an all-conquering car.

That is the view of the seven-time champion’s team boss and long-time colleague Ross Brawn, who reckons the German will achieve his ambition of enjoying his F1 return by playing a key role in improving his new team’s early-season form after it trailed its chief rivals in the first two rounds.

“I’m a keen fisherman as you know and there’s this story about a guy who turned up at a trout stream and just started catching massive fish every cast and realized it wasn’t enjoyable anymore,” Brawn said in Melbourne.

“The fun comes in the challenge; the fun comes in achieving something.

“And I think if Michael just stepped into a car that was perfect and he ran away with the championship, I don’t think he would enjoy himself as much as he’s going to enjoy himself helping us put the team where we need to be.”

After a huge build-up to his F1 return prior to the season, the now 41-year-old Schumacher has yet to scale the kind of stand-out performance heights he achieved during the majority of the first record-breaking stint on the grid.

Brawn, however, believes Schumacher made a first big step forward in performance last weekend in Australia compared with his form at the season-opener in Bahrain, when he trailed Nico Rosberg for the entire weekend.

Speaking ahead of last Sunday’s Melbourne race in which Schumacher finished a difficult afternoon in 10th place, Brawn said the German’s performances to date had been in line with his expectations given his long lay-off.

“I’m not surprised by Michael’s performance because I think it takes a few races to get in [the swing of things] and I’ve seen a big step already from Bahrain to here [Melbourne],” Brawn said.

“And the difficulty is without testing, he’s having to develop at the race track.”

With Schumacher having been overshadowed by Rosberg in terms of on-track results so far, Brawn admitted he was delighted by the form of the team’s younger German star.

“What’s been a very pleasant surprise I think is the speed of Nico,” he said.

“We thought he was quick – that’s why we signed him – but I’m really pleased with the way Nico’s performing and he’s always working with the team.

“So I’m really pleased with both of them. I don’t have any issues at all.” ITV Sport
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