It seems that anticipation is still running high at Schumacher's re-debut in an F1 race in Valencia. According to Ross Brawn, if Schumi doesn't perform it's not because he is no good, it's because the car is no good. Luca di Montezemolo though doesn't expect much or doesn't want to put undue pressure on Schumacher to achieve anything.
What do I think? I think Schumacher is still a good driver no matter what, even if he hasn't driven an F1 car competitively for some time. There are some things you never forget, it's like riding a bike. But there are 2 things which I think will affect his performance, whether good or bad :
- His skill and ability - he's obviously got loads of this to drive an F1 car as most F1 drivers have (well, maybe not Piquet or Bourdais..haha..just a joke). His skill and knowledge of driving the car is still there and he will either take to it like duck to water or need a bit of time to adjust (as the car is at least 50% different than what he was used to, or even compared to last year's car).
- The car - as I've said before, the car plays a big part in the equation and as we can see what happened to Hamilton and Button this season. As of Hungary, the F60 is looking good as it managed to bring Kimi to 2nd behind Hamilton. Both F60 and Mp4-24 have improved a lot and looks set to provide Hamilton and Schumacher a good platform to duke it out (woohoo!). It also means that both Kovalainnen and Raikonnen can give Schumacher a good fight or get in his way.