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Give Schumacher until mid-season - Coulthard

ESPNF1 Staff
April 27, 2010 « Sauber needs sponsors to improve - de la Rosa | »
David Coulthard thinks Michael Schumacher needs longer to adapt © Getty Images
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David Coulthard has joined the long list of names to defend Michael Schumacher, saying it is still too early to judge the German's season.

After dropping 40 points behind his teammate Nico Rosberg in the first four races, some pundits are predicting the revised Mercedes package for Barcelona will be Schumacher's last chance before being universally written off. But while making his own return to racing last weekend, where Coulthard qualified next to last for DTM's Hockenheim opener, the 39-year-old Scot said the seven time world champion needs more time.

"Give him half a season," he told Germany's Bild newspaper. "Only then can we realistically assess his performance."

Although famed for being able to adapt to less than ideal conditions, Coulthard thinks Schumacher is simply struggling with Mercedes' 2010 car.

"That car was actually designed for Jenson Button," he insisted, referring to the reigning world champion's late switch to McLaren, which made room for Schumacher at the rebranded Brawn team. "It is obviously that it [the car] is not right for Michael and it will take time for Mercedes to get it right for his driving."