• 2010 season

Villeneuve backs Schumacher comeback

ESPNF1 Staff
December 18, 2009 « Briatore hits back in tit-for-tat sniping war | »
Michael Schumacher: silent as the debate rumbles on © Getty Images

While the speculation over the possible comeback of Michael Schumacher continues to grow, Jacques Villeneuve has said he believes his former rival will be able to return with little trouble.

"Everything depends on the person," he said. "If you've never been good, then to be experienced is worthless. But he isn't just anyone, he's Michael Schumacher, and he's always done incredible things on the track.

"That's why I'm convinced he can do those things again. In fact I'm convinced that, for him, it will be easy."

But Nico Rosberg, the man who could be Schumacher's team-mate if speculation he will sign for Mercedes proves right, took a different view. "It won't be easy for him," he told the Stuttgarter Zeitung. "When you stay away from Formula One for a long time, it takes time to get used to all the trial sessions again. It's not simple."

And he was adamant he would not slot in as Schumacher's No. 2. "At Mercedes, there is no hierarchy. It has always been commonplace, that there are two equal drivers. If it emerged at the end of the year that probably only one was seriously fighting for the title, the team focuses on that driver. But until then, the Mercedes philosophy is we have two No. 1s.

"But I could benefit from Michael's experience, even though I myself have had experience."