Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 21 September 2014

Schumacher looks to turn around season

Mercedes Grand Prix driver Michael Schumacher of Germany, left, McLaren Mercedes driver Lewis Hamilton of Britain during a news conference at the Monaco racetrack, in Monaco, Wednesday, May 23, 2012. The Formula one race will be held on Sunday
Michael Schumacher (left) of the Nazionali Piloti team challenges Ralf Weber of VIP Allstars during a football Charity match at the Am Boellenfalltor arena on July 16, 2008 in Darmstadt, Germany
Michael Schumacher shakes hands with Mercedes team principal Ross Brawn

Michael Schumacher insists he has the motivation to revitalise his season, although is refusing to confirm whether it will be his last.

Schumacher has so far endured a wretched run of form this year, not helped by his fair share of bad luck which saw him retire in Australia and China.

Last time out in Spain, Schumacher ran into the back of Bruno Senna, in his anger citing the Brazilian as "an idiot" only for the stewards to side with the Williams driver.

The seven-times champion was handed a five-place grid penalty for this Sunday's race around the streets of the principality, hardly ideal given the difficulty in overtaking.

But with just two points to his name, and in a Mercedes in which team-mate Nico Rosberg triumphed in China, the suggestion is the 43-year-old is fast approaching his second retirement.

Out of contract at the end of the season, even Mercedes CEO Nick Fry has suggested Schumacher could start to look seriously at quitting for a second time if results do not improve.

But a dismissive Schumacher said: "My decision hasn't changed.

"So far we're not focusing on what happens next year, or in the future. It's more about what happens right now.

"There's no news for you yet, and I don't want to get involved in a deep discussion on it, so let's leave it at that."

Schumacher, though, is determined to turn his performances around and thrust himself into contention for podium places at least.

"We have proven we are able to win races," said Schumacher.

"Yes, I have been a bit unlucky, but we're a team, one big family and we win together and lose together. It's part of it.

"But I don't feel at all disappointed. If anything, the reverse: more motivated because of how much progress we have made.

"I can see the future progress, and that's what is more in my focus."

Team principal Ross Brawn, back at the helm this weekend after missing the race in Spain following tests to diagnose a heart arrhythmia, is unsurprised to hear of Schumacher's eagerness to set the record straight.

Brawn said: "That's very much Michael. That's what Formula One is about and he likes that challenge.

"He does dig pretty deep when things are not going as well as they might.

"Collectively we haven't achieved the results we perhaps could have achieved with him this year.

"But what we see is the core performance is very good. So we have to get everything aligned and start to get some good results.

"We need a few more things to fall into place and I think we can still have a lot of fun with Michael.

"There was a lot of attention on what happened in Spain, but there would be massive attention if he does succeed and do well, which I'm looking forward to."

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