Planet F1 | Formula One | News, Standings, Results, Features, Video
Fry salutes 'quite remarkable' Schumi
Wednesday 7th April 2010
Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry has hailed Michael Schumacher's impact on the team despite the seven-times Champion's comeback struggles.
Schumacher has collected just nine points from the opening three grands prix of the year to trail close friend Felipe Massa by 30 in the Drivers' standings.
The 41-year-old has so far been out-qualified and beaten in each of the three races by team-mate Nico Rosberg, who many expected would play second fiddle to his fellow German.
Schumacher also suffered the team's first retirement in Malaysia on Sunday after losing the wheel nut on the left rear of his car.
Regardless of his travails, Fry has been thoroughly impressed with Schumacher as he said: "Michael is, for me, quite remarkable.
"The level of feedback he gives is something that I have never seen before, and is just not in the debriefs.
"When you have the headphones on you hear amazing things. In qualifying he was driving around almost giving a commentary.
"The FIA, who also listen, was also very impressed a driver can do that."
Schumacher's professionalism and attention to detail are reasons why Fry is convinced the man who holds virtually every F1 record this season will come good again.
"Every race he is learning a little bit more and it is all coming together slowly but surely, which is probably what you would expect," Fry told Autosport.
"He has taken the disappointment of what happened in Malaysia very well, and he is old enough to realise that sometimes these things happen.
"He has taken away the positives again. I would not underestimate him."
Fry has also expressed similar sentiments about the team which has so far struggled for pace in comparison to Red Bull, McLaren and Ferrari, each of whom has a win under their belt.
Rosberg's third-place finish on Sunday was Mercedes' first trip to the podium, which is all a stark contrast to a year ago when they were Brawn GP and Jenson Button won six of the first seven races.
But a defiant Fry added: "We've got an extremely strong team, and anyone who underestimates us is fairly foolish.
"We've got excellent people. I would say we still have the best technical leader in Ross (Brawn), we have the best manufacturer and engine provider in F1, and we have two phenomenal drivers.
"All of that means we are going to be strong, and we have the tools in terms of the money to do a very good job. I am very optimistic.
"We will be strong this year. Whether we can win it, who knows, but I think we will be there or thereabouts."