RETURNING track legend Michael Schumacher hit back at criticism of his driving style yesterday as he took the latest step towards his long-awaited comeback.
The seven-time world champion responded waspishly when asked if he hoped to show he could win the title in the right way – a reference to controversial tactics he has employed in the past. “Ninety-one victories, seven titles, you win only in a bad way. Absolutely. Yeah, you’re right, I need to prove [myself] now,” said the German at his official presentation as a Mercedes GP driver.
The 41-year-old attracted criticism for collisions with Damon Hill in 1994 and Jacques Villeneuve in 1997 as he battled them for the drivers’ title.
The 2010 championship also looks like being a dogfight, with four former champions all on the grid as well as rising star Sebastian Vettel and the experienced Felipe Massa.
But Schumacher, who retired in 2006, said: “With the experience Ross [Brawn, team boss] has, and with what he did last year, and with Mercedes’ know-how and the quality they have, I’m sorry, but there is only one target [the title].”
Brawn added: “He wouldn’t do this if he wasn’t convinced he could do the job, and I’m convinced he can.”