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DATE News (chronologically)
04/13/10
f1
Stewart says not to underestimate Schumacher
Jackie Stewart says 40-year old Schumacher may be up against most talented F1 field ever
Sir Jackie Stewart is not in a rush to write off Michael Schumacher - but believes a world title may be out of the German's reach this season.

After three years out of F1, Schumacher returned this season with Mercedes GP but, after three races, is still not up to speed.

The seven-time world champ has failed to shine, scoring just nine points with his best finish being sixth at the season-opening Bahrain GP.

Stewart, though, insists it's still too early to judge Schumacher, who he believes has lost none of the talent that carried him to an unprecedented seven World titles.

"The jury's still out," he told The Observer. "It's very clear that Michael has not lost any of his skills. You don't just check out from the experience and knowledge that made him Champion seven times.

"I remember that five and 10 years after I retired, when I was 39 and 44, I came back to drive all the cars in the championship on behalf of Elf and I didn't feel that I had lost anything.

"But Michael has not been able to deliver on the pace yet and the fact that he has been beaten in qualifying and in the races by his team-mate will trouble him more than he has shown."

However, it's not just Rosberg who Schumacher has to get on top of if he wants another world title.

"Jenson Button and Lewis Hamilton are both fantastically fast at McLaren," said Stewart.

"Then you've got Felipe Massa and Fernando Alonso at Ferrari and the Red Bull pair of Mark Webber and Sebastian Vettel.

"But outside the main teams you've got drivers as good and as experienced as Rubens Barrichello and Robert Kubica. It's the best group of top drivers that I can remember."

However, Stewart doesn't believe Schumacher's biggest mistake was returning. Rather, he says, it was retiring in the first place.

"Michael retired too early. He shouldn't have quit because he hadn't finished with it," added Stewart.

"I knew I wouldn't race again when I retired and so did Gerhard Berger. When Niki Lauda finally retired - after a successful comeback, mark you - he even left his helmet on the seat of the car. He knew, we all knew, that he just wasn't going back there.

"But Michael always had unfinished business." Sporting Life

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