Ross Brawn has played down suggestions that Michael Schumacher no longer possesses the determination to win in Formula One, claiming that he remains incredibly motivated.
So far this season the seven-times champion has struggled to get on terms with his team-mate, Nico Rosberg. However, with the W01 expected to undergo a number of improvements ahead of the next race in Spain, Brawn is confident that Schumacher will soon be back to winning ways.
“Michael is determined to succeed. He was always his own best and worst critic.” Brawn told The Sun newspaper. “He is incredibly dedicated and competitive but also very structured.”
“He is not the sort of guy who will panic when things aren’t going well. He will analyse what is happening and reflecting on that and, for sure, the race in Shanghai was disappointing.
“But we are already getting to understand the reasons for that and are learning lessons from that. We have to make sure that in Barcelona for the next race we get it right and perform better.
“His experience is very useful and that was part of the thinking when he joined the team. The biggest challenge is for everyone to treat him normally as he is such an icon.”
The Mercedes team principal also admitted that he has been impressed with Jenson Button’s performance so far this season and that he is sorry that he reigning world champion left the Brackley-based squad at the end of 2009.
“I was disappointed Jenson left,” he said. “He felt people were of the opinion he only won the world championship because he had the best car. So he left us to show them he could do it again elsewhere.
“We are still friends. We were on the same flight back from Malaysia and we had a good chat. But on the racetrack it is different. There are no friends on the racetrack.
“Jenson was a fabulous member of our team last year but now he is the history and we have to beat him.
“He also wanted to prove himself at McLaren against the guy who is probably the fastest and most naturally talented in motor racing – Lewis Hamilton. He’s set himself a massive challenge and he is doing very well so far.”