Following the shellacking Michael Schumacher has copped from many in the press over his seemingly poor performance at the Chinese Grand Prix, F1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone has been quick to come out in defence of the seven-time World Champion, who made his much-anticipated comeback to the sport after three years’ retirement.

Michael Schumacher

"Anybody who criticises Michael is wrong. He deserves better," said Bernie, in a joint interview with Mercedes’ Norbert Haug.

Haug agreed: "No, for sure he doesn’t deserve that."

Speaking with the official formula 1 website, Haug said that Schumacher’s role in the team was having a significant effect at Mercedes GP.

"He stimulates everybody, including Nico," Haug added.

While Ecclestone admitted that Nico Rosberg currently taking most of the spoils was hardly a surprise, he tipped Schumacher to bounce back from his season-opening setbacks.

"Nico is very talented and Michael was on holiday for three years. Ask me the same question after another two races," Bernie said.

Some theories – no doubt bred within the tabloid masses – have tipped Schumacher will bid a quick retreat in order to stop the embarrassment and protect his reputation.

Ecclestone said: "Michael would have never returned had he not been convinced that he can do the job. He is not a tourist in the paddock — he’s here to win. And he will win again."

"We all know that Michael would be his first and foremost critic if he realised that this job is not for him anymore. But that’s not the case," said Haug. "Within the team, Michael is extremely constructive. This enthusiasm is firing up the whole team."

[Image via The Cahier Archive]

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Richard Bailey

Founder & Chief Editor at MotorsportM8
Hasn't missed a Grand Prix since 1989. Has a soft spot for Minardi. Tattooed with 35+ Grand Prix circuits.

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