Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 1 October 2014

No tears from Barrichello over Schumacher

Rubens Barrichello
Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher takes part in the Race of Champions Beijing 2009 at Beijing National Stadium on November 4, 2009

Rubens Barrichello is not surprised former team-mate Michael Schumacher has found himself in the firing line on his comeback.

The seven-times world champion has been criticised by many in the wake of his poor performances this season with Mercedes GP.

The 41-year-old has amassed just 10 points from the four races to date, leaving him 40 points adrift of team-mate Nico Rosberg who has out-qualified and beaten his fellow German on each occasion so far.

After spending more than three years in retirement, questions are being raised as to whether Schumacher should have returned.

Barrichello, who was Schumacher's team-mate for six seasons with Ferrari from 2000-2005, feels the 91-times grand prix winner opened himself up to judgment should he fail.

“For someone who won so much in the past, coming back the way he has, you wouldn't expect anything different,” said Barrichello on the level of flak so far faced by Schumacher.

“People will only remember what he did before. Whoever liked him in the past will be less critical of what is happening, but for those who didn't like him, this is a chance to throw things at him.

“Life is a cycle and people do that. I'm not pretending to use this moment to say something bad, because to be honest I don't care. But the world is like this. People will say ‘Oh, I told him not to do that'.”

Barrichello (pictured), though, has respect for what Schumacher is trying to do, which is effectively an attempt to turn back the clock.

“It's courageous of him to come back because he was going to give people the ammunition,” added the Williams driver.

“When we were in Valencia (for the first test), I said then he had to have a lot of courage to come back. He's not weak.

“As an example, if I'd stopped for three years not having won the championship, but knowing I'd had the potential, and then I have a chance to win it, you come back. But after winning seven, what else do you have to prove?”

Barrichello insists Schumacher's problems are nothing to do with the fact he is still attempting to integrate himself, and getting to know people and his surroundings, at Mercedes.

“For me, being Brazilian, I'm someone who needs more cuddles than him,” added Barrichello. “I'm not saying that as a joke, but being Latin, you always want to get to know people.

“For him, being the way he is, he says hello to people, but he is not someone who needs that contact, so I don't suspect it to be a problem for him.”

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