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Schumacher 'an ordinary man of flesh and blood'

ESPNF1 Staff
April 25, 2010 « Rosberg defends under-fire Schumacher | »

Former grand prix drivers have now joined in the debate over Michael Schumacher's performances this season, and like the fans across the world, opinion is divided.

Jos Verstappen, who was Schumacher's team-mate when he won the first of his seven world titles in 1994, questioned whether he could still compete at the highest level. "Maybe he has lost his feeling for driving during the three years of his retirement," he said. "What we are now seeing is that Schumacher is an ordinary man of flesh and blood and that even he cannot conduct magic."

But two other drivers called for patience amid criticism of Schumacher's return to Formula One this year after a week of debate over the wisdom of his comeback.

"I'm not worried about Schumacher," said Jacques Laffite, who won six grands prix in the 1970s and 1980s. "The car just does not fit his driving style. You can see on the track that he is struggling with understeer."

Mercedes will debut a significant update, including new wheelbase and weight distribution package, at the Spanish Grand Prix, and Laffite thinks Barcelona "will be better" for Schumacher.

Fellow GP veteran and commentator Martin Brundle, who like Lafitte is contesting the opening round of the new Volkswagen Scirocco R Cup at Hockenheim this weekend, also backed his former Benetton team-mate Schumacher.

"I believe in his abilities," he said. "I think he needs more time. If I was seeing the same results in September then I would be worried. The fact that there is no testing is difficult for him."

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