The mouthpiece for hire – known to many as Eddie Jordan – has repeated his criticism of Michael Schumacher’s return to F1, claiming that the seven-time World Champion doesn’t deserve a race seat in 2011 on his current form.
Seemingly ignoring that he usually basks in the limelight of having hired Schumacher
for five minutes for his Formula 1 debut in 1991, Jordan’s latest criticism stems from the German’s incident-filled race at the Singapore Grand Prix, where he finished a lap down in 13th place after separate collisions with both Sauber drivers.
Speaking with the BBC after the race, Jordan said: “Let’s ask this question: If Michael Schumacher was not Michael Schumacher, driving as he is currently, would he be in the seat next year?
“My guess is no,” the former F1 team owner said. “I would sack him, he’s clearly not good enough on this performance we’ve seen,” before adding that Schumacher’s “legacy and reputation” is being risked due to his struggles behind the wheel of the Mercedes GP in 2010.
Schumacher recently gave assurances that he was set to remain in the F1 paddock for a little while yet, with his contract as Mercedes GP’s driver ending in 2012.
However, recent rumours are afoot that Schumacher might abandon his F1 comeback and stay with the Silver Arrows squad in a management role next year, and could potentially be replaced by Adrian Sutil.
Mercedes GP team boss Ross Brawn has in turn come out to dismiss Jordan’s claims, arguing that his poorer-than-expected results are due to tyre struggles rather than any lack of talent behind the wheel.
“If you take the telemetry data in fast corners or his reaction time when the car breaks away, I don’t see any difference [to before his retirement]. There he’s still the old Michael,” he told the official Formula1.com website.
“But in the slow corners he cannot make full use of the tyres as Nico [Rosberg] can. Nico has put the bar very high in this respect. But I guess that’s okay for Michael as he clearly sees where he has to improve. I predict that in 2011 we will again see the true Michael – when we’ve delivered him a better car.”
“Michael’s driving style depends on a strong front tyre that can withstand his hard braking and the steering manoeuvres that he prefers,” Brawn added. “Nico has simply understood better how to handle these front tyres.”
However, when asked if – were it not for his name and past reputation – if he would retain a different driver if they had achieved similar results to the German this season, Brawn’s response was telling.
“If he were a rookie we surely would have asked ourselves if he has the capacity to advance,” Brawn said, before adding: “With Michael we know that he has [that capacity].
“There is still a lot to come because Michael is in many fields more talented than others – in driving and in the cooperation with the team. The team are very happy with the way Michael is contributing.
“He’s much cooler and much more mature – and that doesn’t mean that he is less ambitious or committed.”
[Original image via Sutton Images]