While Michael Schumacher has hardly blown Formula One away since returning to the sport last year, that isn’t to say the 42-year old hasn’t got a chance of returning to the podium and adding to his 91 Grand Prix victories. The German’s self-belief has never been an issue, but Nico Rosberg’s encouraging performance in Shanghai last weekend will have given Schumacher even more confidence now that he knows the car is capable of mixing it with the best and those following the F1 odds will know he could be capable of causing a surprise or two.
If it hadn’t been for a lack of fuel then Rosberg could well have finished better than his fifth place, and the team will be keen to avoid making the same mistakes again this weekend in Turkey. Rosberg was rightly frustrated by his finish in China but remained positive about the car’s continuing improvements.
“That race really was one of the most exciting that I have ever driven in. Afterwards, it took me some time to let everything sink in because I had high hopes for a good podium result – and I had led for a quarter of the race,” he said.
“But I can’t blame anybody in the team for having been short on fuel, it’s a lesson that we learn together. We have to be happy that we made a step forward in China which was achieved by everyone in the team working extremely hard.”
Schumacher was three places behind his team-mate in eighth, his best finish of the season but nowhere near the high standards he has set himself in his stunning career. With the Mercedes car improving significantly race after race though, there could well be a chance of Schumacher once again popping the champagne atop the podium.