With one short sentence, Fernando Alonso defended the great Michael Schumacher, criticised Mercedes’ performance, praised Sauber’s 2012 car, and slated the Swiss team’s current driver lineup.
“I am sure Michael would have won three races this year for Sauber,” the Ferrari driver is quoted by the German-language T-Online website.
Instead, 43-year-old Schumacher is all but resigned to bowing out of the sport at the end of the season on a low, his return to F1 since 2010 almost certainly to be remembered as a failure in his otherwise all-conquering career. The Mercedes driver is quoted as admitting saying goodbye in Brazil with a good result would “be nice”.
“But I don’t expect it,” he is quoted by Abendblatt. “So in this regard I will not be sentimental.”
Schumacher said the most he can hope for is that the fruits of his contribution to the Mercedes project will be reaped by next year’s drivers, Lewis Hamilton and Nico Rosberg.
“It is natural that we are still working together as a team right now as though I will still be there next year,” he said. “The team is also interested in my opinion and experience.”
Team boss Ross Brawn confirmed that Schumacher’s hand will be obvious when Mercedes succeeds.
“I hope people think of Michael on the day that we achieve our goals, because he will wear a proportion of that success,” said the Briton.