Michael Schumacher will have a lot of things against him when he steps back into the Formula One driving seat for Ferrari, like getting used to racing on slick tyres again.
“Other big problems are that he has yet to work with KERS, he hasn’t raced in recent years on slick tyres, and the technology has changed. There is no traction control now,” according to Eddie Jordan, the former team owner who gave the German his big break in Formula One.
“But Michael is such a genius that he’ll overcome all that in eight to 10 laps.”
Jordan also pointed out that “there are a lot of young pups now, like Lewis Hamilton and Sebastian Vettel, ready to win.”
However, Jordan believes the seven-times Formula One world champion would not have stepped in to take the place of injured Ferrari driver Felipe Massa if he did not think he had a shot.
Jordan said: “Michael is a different breed. He is a legend and anyone who dismisses him because of age is making a grave error. We all know what Nigel Mansell did, winning races at 41, Michael can certainly do the same.
“He is a very wily character and is very proud of what he has achieved. He certainly would not have made this comeback unless he was certain that, given enough track time, he can deliver. Schumacher is absolutely hardcore.
“I would be staggered if he’s not in the top 10 in qualifying in Valencia, and he will be very close to the podium.”
Schumacher, who is rumoured to be getting £3 million a race from Ferrari, will be back in the cockpit for the European Grand Prix in Valencia on 23 August.
Alex Kapadia, Operations Team