Ferrari’s Michael Schumacher has dished out a selection of bouquets and brickbats to his F1 rivals - and is not convinced that Kimi Raikkonen will maintain his early-season form.
Ferrari’s five-time world champion Michael Schumacher has dished out a selection of bouquets and brickbats to his F1 rivals - and is not convinced that Kimi Raikkonen will maintain his early-season form.
There has been much speculation over the five-times world champion’s less-than-impressive performances so far this year, but this has not stopped the German superstar from voicing his own views about his competitors. Speaking to on Tuesday, Schumacher said he was impressed with Kimi Raikkonen but surprised that McLaren-Mercedes team-mate David Coulthard was consistently faster than the young Finn in race conditions.
"He (Raikkonen) is a very good driver," Schumacher said. "He has great potential. But I still do not know if he will be a rival for me or whether it will be Coulthard. I am surprised. He (the Scot) is front of Raikkonen more than I expected him to be."
Williams-BMW may have impressed Schumacher in testing but he thinks Colombian Juan-Pablo Montoya has not lived up to his potential: "A little bit disappointing," Schumacher said of Montoya. "He has not improved as I thought he would. He promised more."
However, Schumacher was defensive about younger brother Ralf: "He has had a hard start to the season. But I think this is due to the car not being as they wished and this excuse is also good for Montoya."
Like many, Schumacher believes Renault's Fernando Alonso could be superstar of the future: "Alonso has not surprised me. I was sure that he was going to be strong. He is a great driver and a very nice person!"
Jaguar's Mark Webber gets the champion's vote for an unexpectedly good performance: "Webber has been the surprise of the season so far. He has been consistent. I think he is undervalued."
In reference to his old arch-rival Jacques Villeneuve, who said that many drivers ‘drove like madmen’ at the rain-drenched Brazilian Grand Prix, Schumacher said the Canadian should "drive more and talk less".