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Page last updated at 12:16 GMT, Wednesday, 21 April 2010 13:16 UK

Bernie Ecclestone tips Michael Schumacher to win races

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher has struggled to keep up with the pace on his return to Formula One this season

Formula 1 supremo Bernie Ecclestone insists Michael Schumacher will win a race soon, despite mediocre results so far in the German's comeback season.

In four races since coming out of retirement to drive for Mercedes, the seven-times world champion's best finish was sixth in Bahrain.

"Michael would have never returned had he not been convinced that he can do the job," said Ecclestone.

"He's not a tourist in the paddock, he's here to win and he will again."

Schumacher, 41, originally quit the sport at the end of the 2006 season but tried to make a comeback last year for Ferrari, when Felipe Massa was recovering from a head injury.

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The plan had to be abandoned because of a neck problem, but Schumacher's appetite had been whetted enough to tempt him to make a full-blown comeback for Mercedes this season, driving alongside compatriot Nico Rosberg.

Rosberg has out-qualified and out-performed Schumacher in all four races so far. Only one other driver has a similarly poor record against his team-mate this season - Renault's Russian rookie Vitaly Petrov, who is up against Robert Kubica.

Schumacher qualified ninth and finished 10th in last Sunday's race in China and he admitted being frustrated by his display.

However, Mercedes team boss Norbert Haug has praised Schumacher's contribution to the team and Ecclestone says anyone who writes him off is making a big mistake.

Michael Schumacher

Schumacher frustrated after difficult race (UK users only)

"Don't underestimate Michael. Give him time to adapt to the new car and the new tyres," he said.

"At the moment he's something of a newbie who has to get accustomed to the trade again."

Schumacher's brother Ralf, a former F1 driver, insisted luck had not been on his side so far.

"He himself knew that, after a three-year break, he could not go in and win again straightaway like before," he told German newspaper Bild.

"But the expectations from outside were, of course, very big.

"Clearly Michael probably hoped to be somewhat nearer the front after four races. But he twice had bad luck with a collision in Melbourne which he could do nothing about, and then he had a defect (wheel nut failure) in Malaysia."



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see also
Schumacher frustrated by struggle
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Button revels in 'best' victory
18 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Return going to plan - Schumacher
09 Apr 10 |  Formula 1
Schumacher insists he can compete
29 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Judge me on results - Schumacher
25 Mar 10 |  Formula 1
Michael Schumacher profile
14 Mar 11 |  Drivers & Teams
Schumacher signs up for F1 return
23 Dec 09 |  Formula 1
Schumacher's career in photos
29 Jul 09 |  Formula 1


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