Michael Schumacher is ‘past it’ and is only going to ‘damage his achievements’ by persisting with his disastrous F1 comeback, according to racing legend Sir Stirling Moss.
Although Schumi’s return to the grid was hailed as a masterstroke for a sport that has been assailed by one crisis after another, the German has yet to start any higher than seventh or finish any higher than sixth and lies a lowly ninth in the standings with just 10 points to his name.
“He’s a highly intelligent bloke, and all he’s going to do is damage his achievements,” said Moss. “People are going to say that he’s past it now, which he probably is. We’ve never seen Michael with a ‘number two’ who has been comparable. He had Rubens Barrichello, who no doubt is an extremely good driver but not necessarily a winner.”
“Michael’s greatest contribution was bringing English engineers to Ferrari. Ross Brawn and those chaps brought Ferrari from being has-beens back to the front. Because he didn’t have a truly competitive teammate, it was very difficult to know how much of it was down Michael and how much was the car. People say he’s the best because he has seven world titles, but that doesn’t mean anything really. Well, it does mean something – it’s a hell of an achievement – but it doesn’t mean he’s the greatest ever.
“People say it’s because he’s been away for three years and that sort of stuff, but I’m going to stick to what I said at the start of the season. His seven world titles are, in my mind, misleading, and I think we are seeing proof of that now he is up against Nico Rosberg. Rosberg has proved himself as the team’s ‘number one’, and he’s been faster than Schumacher in all circumstances.
“What’s more, I’m not sure he is taking F1 as seriously as he was earlier in his career. You need a compulsion to be there; you can’t just do it for fun, and I don’t think Schumacher has that compulsion any more. To win you need to believe that there is no way anybody else can beat you and, frankly, I don’t think he’s in that kind of mindset. It seems as though this year is just part of his retirement rather than an extension of his career.”