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Schumacher shouldn't have returned - Ecclestone

Caroline Reid and Christian Sylt
December 5, 2012 « Rolex becomes official timekeeper | Olympic Park bid rejected »
Michael Schumacher retired for a second time after the Brazilian Grand Prix © Sutton Images
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Bernie Ecclestone believes Michael Schumacher made a mistake in returning to Formula One with Mercedes.

Schumacher announced his comeback at the start of the 2010 season as Mercedes returned to the sport by taking over the championship-winning Brawn team. However, a disappointing three years saw Schumacher beaten in each season by his team-mate Nico Rosberg and Ecclestone said it was an error to come back to the sport.

"With hindsight Schumacher shouldn't have started," Ecclestone said.

Across the three seasons Schumacher only managed to add one podium to his previous record of 154 including 91 race victories, but Ecclestone said that his mistake was returning with a team that had an uncompetitive car.

"How would he have performed if he was in a Red Bull? Or a Ferrari? I suppose when he went there [to Mercedes] he expected the team to do a lot better than they have."

Ecclestone added that he felt Schumacher would have retired regardless of whether Lewis Hamilton had been signed by Mercedes from 2013 or not.

"I think Schumacher was going to go anyway [despite the Hamilton move]. Hamilton had a number of options: stop [at McLaren], go to a team which was much worse than Mercedes or go to Mercedes."