Mercedes chief Dieter Zetsche has failed to rule out the possibility of Michael Schumacher being given preferential treatment in 2010 and has stated that the decision lies with team principal, Ross Brawn.
Schumacher was given priority over his team-mates for the majority of his career and this has led many inside Formula One to suspect that he might receive the same treatment over his new team-mate, Nico Rosberg.
However the Mercedes boss has confirmed that such a prospect may not come to fruition next season and that the decision ultimately lies with Ross Brawn.
“We have a team manager for this. Ross Brawn is one of the best.” Zetsche told Gazzetta dello Sport. “If he wasn’t he wouldn’t have won both titles last year, despite his team being in their debut. He will decide and it will be the best for the drivers and the constructor.”
Zetsche also believes that Schumacher will be as competitive as ever, when he makes his Formula One return in pre-season testing next month, and says that he does not expect the 41-year-old’s return to be a failure.
“We are convinced that Michael will do well and that he’ll win again,” he said. “Maybe not immediately, let’s give him some time, but an ace never disappoints. I’ve been impressed by his enthusiasm. Rather than a return, it seems to me like a new debut.”
“I don’t even contemplate (Schumacher’s return failing). Ross Brawn has already spoken about Schumi’s competitiveness.
“He has been close to him for years and he knows him more than I do. If he says it’s okay, I have no reason to think otherwise.”