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Competition is greater now - Schumacher

ESPN Staff
January 2, 2013 « Force India targeting fifth in constructors' | I'm not guilty - Ecclestone »
Michael Schumacher believes it's harder for a driver to make the difference now than it was 15 years ago © Sutton Images
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Michael Schumacher says the competition between drivers is greater now than it was during his first Formula One career due to the close nature of the field.

Schumacher's three-year comeback ended at the end of 2012 with just one podium to add to his previous successes. While his Mercedes was rarely a match for the front-runners, Schumacher believes the opposition was tougher in the last three years than previously in his career due to the aerodynamic similarities among the cars.

When asked by Auto Motor und Sport if the competition had been greater than in his first career, Schumacher replied: "Yes, because the field is closer together.

"In my early days, there was always the chance to be quicker than another driver not just by a couple of tenths, but a full second. Why? Because the cars aerodynamically were not so balanced and were therefore very sharp to drive. As a driver, you then had many more possibilities yourself. Today, the cars are aerodynamically stable and well balanced; the window in which you work is not as big."

However, Schumacher said it didn't necessarily mean the drivers were of a better standard today, only used to a more professional way of working.

"Are the drivers of today so much better? It has always only been the best drivers who are in Formula One. Today there are more best drivers? Of course I set new standards with the way I work, but my former colleagues were on the way they were accustomed to working perfectly, and some had to replicate the new standard. The difference today is that maybe the new generation has grown up with this same scale."