Michael Schumacher has discounted recent speculation that he is set to abandon his three-year comeback commitment after his first return season in an F1 cockpit.

Michael Schumacher is staying on for 2011 The Mercedes GP driver made a hugely publicised return to the sport after a three-year hiatus, but the seven-time World Champion’s comeback has hardly set the world on fire.

However, team management remains positive about the 41-year-old’s skills, and Mercedes competition boss Norbert Haug was keen to stress that the squad was not revisiting its driver line-up for 2011.

Speaking with reporters in the Hockenheim paddock on Wednesday, Schumacher said: “I am still motivated to achieve my goals in the three years [planned].

“I’m not entirely happy with the results, but I didn’t expect to drive everyone into the ground. Basically, I’m feeling good and having a lot of fun,” he added.

The 91-time Grand Prix winner believes that his major problem has been in qualifying – an area where Nico Rosberg is clearly superior this season – but admitted that he and the team were “working on it”.

Schumacher’s former Ferrari team-mate Eddie Irvine – never one known to keep an opinion to himself – has spoken with The Sun newspaper and been less complimentary in his assessment of things.

“Michael took his gamble [to come back to F1] but it’s backfired,” the Ulsterman said. “Ross Brawn was running the team, Mercedes were coming back so every box was ticked. Except the new car was shit.”

[Original 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.