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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