Germany’s seven-time Formula One champion Michael Schumacher will fail like so many other great sportsmen who have made comebacks, claimed top Australian driver Mark Webber on Tuesday.
Schumacher, winner of 91 Grands Prix in 250 starts, returns to the sport after a three year hiatus aged 41 this week for the Mercedes team but Webber is adamant that after the hype has died down reality will bite.
“I think it will be a bloody hard season for him (Schumacher),” Webber told Daily Telegraph. “I think he'll go all right but I have never ever seen a phenomenal comeback. When has the second career ever been better than the first?”
Webber, who broke his Grand Prix duck last year for the Red Bull team with victory in Germany and ended up a highest ever fourth in the title race, was equally scathing about the new breed of drivers entering the fray.
“You don't look at these guys and think they are 'real men',” said Webber, who was always considered to be a great talent even when he was having to drive for minor outfit Minardi, Jaguar and the declining stable of Williams.
“They are talented, no question, but there is less in common. There is power steering now. A lot of things that make the cars easier to drive. That's why these youngsters can get away with it. I came through the categories with gear sticks and what have you.