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Moss has doubts over Schumacher's chances

ESPNF1 Staff
January 16, 2010 « Massa beats Alonso on ice | »
Sir Stirling Moss opened the show to the fans on Saturday © Sutton Images
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ESPNF1 columnist Sir Stirling Moss thinks Michael Schumacher was ill-advised to return to Formula One and believes he will be shown up by Fernando Alonso and Sebastian Vettel this year.

Moss opened the Autosport International Show on Saturday and was invited to take to the stage to answer questions in front of an audience of motorsport fans. He said that Schumacher's comeback to the sport with Mercedes would be great to watch but has doubts over the seven-time champion's chances of success.

"I think he is very brave to come back, I think it is very good for the sport," Moss said. "He has gone to the best team I think, but that doesn't mean he is going to win. To beat people like Vettel, and Alonso - who is a very dark horse at the moment - I think he has his work cut out, actually.

"One problem with Michael, from my point of view, is that he has never really had a really fast number two. Usually the best way you can tell how fast a driver is, is to look at the number two and see where he is in relation to him. He's had Rubens, who is a terrific man and a very quick driver, but one doesn't look at him as being one of the very fastest - and yet sometimes he was quicker.

"I don't personally think he will win it. It's too early to say, but I think it will go to Vettel or Alonso. I think it is good for the sport, but I don't think he was very well advised to take it."

Jenson Button was also at the show and told the audience he had spent some time at McLaren's factory recently, getting to know his new team and working on car set-up. He added that his relationship with the staff would be crucial for success if he wants to beat his team-mate Lewis Hamilton, who he described as a "formidable opponent".

"Winning the championship with Brawn was great, because we worked so hard for it over many, many years," said Button. "But now to race for McLaren, a team that has so much history and has achieved so much in F1, is a real privilege for me. And working alongside Lewis, the guy has achieved so much in the sport in such a limited time, he has had some massive ups and downs, and it is my career squashed into two or three years. So, we have a lot of experience there and if we work together we will build a phenomenal race car and have a very good season."

When asked if he wanted to race in any other form of motorsport he said that he liked the look of the Dakar Rally, which is currently taking place in South America.

"If I raced in other formula it would be because I want to go and have fun," he said. "Doing the Dakar, for example, I would want to do it as a privateer, just go there and have fun. It would be such a life experience. If you get into one of the top teams and you are racing for them, it is just so much pressure. I would want to go there and enjoy the race."