Seven-time World Champion Michael Schumacher has again been called upon to rubbish suggestions that he might not see out the full three-year deal for his Formula 1 comeback.
The German endured an up-and-down return season to the sport last year – a pair of fourth places being his best results – and there were suggestions that a third year with Mercedes GP would very much depend on the form he shows in 2011.
And in the wake of the opening three Grands Prix, Schumacher has again been out-qualified and out-paced on all three occasions by team-mate Nico Rosberg – prompting yet more rumours that the 42-year-old could make way for Mercedes-Benz protégé Paul di Resta, who is currently making his F1 racing debut with Force India.
But in an interview with Germany’s Bunte magazine, Schumacher dismissed these claims and reaffirmed his commitment to seeing out his contract with the Silver Arrows.
Admitting that “chasing for tenth place is not fun”, the veteran driver said he was “on a mission” to see Mercedes GP get onto the top step of the podium.
“I will fulfil my three year contract with Mercedes and afterwards work as a representative of the brand,” he affirmed.
The team enjoyed a much more competitive showing at the last race in China, which saw Rosberg on course for a possible win until he had to slow with fuel consumption concerns.
“That’s why I’m fighting,” Schumacher maintained.
Even Rosberg is noticing an improved showing from Schumacher, who is running closer to his younger team-mate’s pace this season.
“His current results do not reflect how good he is,” Rosberg told the Bild am Sonntag newspaper. “To beat him I have to get everything right – he’s closer than last year.”
[Original image via LAT]