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Motor Racing

Schumacher 'has lost his drive'

Michael Schumacher's performance in Sunday's Chinese Grand Prix has prompted growing criticism of his much-trumpeted return to the arena he once so spectacularly dominated.

While his Mercedes team-mate Nico Rosberg initially led the race and fought hard with the winner Jenson Button and his McLaren team-mate Lewis Hamilton, before taking the final podium slot, Schumacher was feeble by the lofty standards of the previous part of his career.

Having watched the Chinese Grand Prix, one of the German legend's former team-mates who did not wish to be named, said he was shocked by what he saw: "I can tell you, he was always very vulnerable when he lost, whenever I beat him; it was as if he needed a cuddle afterwards. You can see his head has dropped after four races in which Rosberg has been quicker; he just isn't used to that. He is the kind of guy who even when we were at the Madonna di Campiglia pre-season skiing publicity event with Ferrari in the old days, he had to be the fastest. And if he wasn't, he would keep demanding another go until he was. That's how driven he used to be. After the beating he got on Sunday, in conditions in which the old Michael Schumacher excelled, I don't think he'll ever come back to his old level."