Michael Schumacher could have been on track for his eighth world championship in 2012.
He may be carrying the number 7 on his Mercedes this year, but luck has abandoned the great 43-year-old German in the third and possibly final year of his F1 comeback, Bild newspaper reports.
“It sounds funny,” Schumacher admitted. “I have only two points, but it is my best year with Mercedes.”
The newspaper’s analysis claims Schumacher could in fact be leading the 2012 championship after the first six races. The analysis said Schumacher lost 15 points in Australia with gearbox trouble, and 11 points in Malaysia due to the clash with Romain Grosjean.
In China he lost 18 points due to a lose wheel, 7 points in Bahrain due to a DRS rear wing problem, and 4 points in Spain in the crash with Bruno Senna. In Monaco, he scored his first pole for over 2000 days, but had to go back five places on the grid before a fuel pressure problem struck in the race. That might have cost him the win and 25 points, Bild claimed.
“An interesting calculation,” Schumacher commented when confronted with the analysis. “I am realistic and I know that I can no longer fight for this world title, but I can still fight for wins,” he said.
Schumacher’s 1997 title rival Jacques Villeneuve, appearing as a pundit for British television this weekend, admitted to being impressed by his old foe in 2012.
“It’s impressive how he always fights back after all the bad luck. I would not begrudge him victory in Montreal,” said the French Canadian at the circuit named after his legendary father Gilles Villeneuve.
Schumacher qualified ninth for Sunday’s Canadian grand prix.