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Schumacher deserves respect - Todt

ESPNF1 Staff
July 4, 2010 « Palmer wins in Portugal to open title lead | »
Jean Todt was team principal during Michael Schumacher's ten-year stay at Ferrari © Getty Images

FIA president Jean Todt has jumped to Michael Schumacher's defence and called for greater respect to be shown to the Mercedes driver.

Schumacher, who returned to F1 this season after a three-year break, has failed to make an impact and is currently ninth in the drivers' championship standings.

After two fourth-placed finishes in Spain and Turkey, it looked like he had begun to settle in, but after failing to finish in his last two races, the German has come in for further criticism.

His 15th place in Valencia last weekend was his worst result of the season, but Todt, who oversaw Schumacher's five titles at Ferrari, has defended the German.

"Michael is a great person, a great champion," Todt told Autosport. "I mean, I don't know somebody else who has won seven titles, 91 grands prix. Some people when they judge, they must be very careful, very respectful of what he has been doing."

Lewis Hamilton tops the drivers' standings, but with just 30 points separating the top five drivers, Todt believes it is one of the most exciting seasons to date.

"It's a big fight, we've had five different winners this year out of nine races," Todt said. It's not yet halfway though the championship, it will be halfway past next week after British GP, so it's a very attractive championship."