Ralf backs Michael after Hungary move

(L to R): Ralf Schumacher (GER) Williams and Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari. Formula One World Championship, Rd6, Austrian Grand Prix, Race Day, A1-Ring, Austria, 18 May 2003. DIGITAL IMAGE

Raf and Michael Schumacher were both in the F1 field back in 2003

Aug.9 (GMM) Ralf Schumacher has defended his elder brother Michael amid continuing criticism of his 2010 return to formula one.

The latest criticisms of the 41-year-old Mercedes driver surround his defensive driving in Hungary recently, prompting an apology to Rubens Barrichello that was denounced by some as insincere or formally demanded.

“I think it’s absolutely inappropriate when Michael is depicted as some kind of unfeeling robot,” Ralf, 35, said at the latest round of the DTM series at the Nurburgring.

“That’s not Michael,” Schumacher said in an interview with Welt am Sonntag newspaper.

“He slept on his manoeuvre and said sorry, for no other reason than he realised his mistake. Everyone should believe him and move on,” added the former winner of six grands prix.

Ralf said it is no surprise that those most stridently critical of the Hungaroring incident include David Coulthard, Jackie Stewart and Alex Wurz.

“There is certainly a lot of people with history with Michael. It was a tough manoeuvre but it shows how seriously Michael still considers his job. And from a driver’s point of view you sometimes judge things in the first moments less dramatically.

“Previously, he was criticised for being too hard and cold, and now his mood is interpreted as a lack of ambition. That’s not right.

“One thing is clear,” said Schumacher. “His return has helped the whole of formula one, but not yet himself.

“I also would have come back to F1 but unlike him I didn’t get the offer. The reason is that we are – in the positive way – crazy enough to do it. Michael has shown already a few times this season that he absolutely still has the speed.”