Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry has defended Michael Schumacher's performances so far this year following the criticism aimed at the seven-time champion.
Schumacher has so far been outraced by teammate Nico Rosberg in most grands prix, the younger German having scored 40 points more than the former World Champion.
Fry, however, says Schumacher has been constantly improving since he rejoined the Formula 1 field, and he is optimistic there is more to come from the German.
"Michael has continued to improve and it's been a fascinating experience inside the team to see the evolution of Michael," Fry told Reuters. "Obviously he was a bit rusty when he started at the beginning of the year but every race he grows in confidence.
"The nice thing is how well he's fitted into the team. I think we've got a very harmonious team attitude and approach and he's contributing toward that. The guys absolutely love him and I'm optimistic for the future."
Fry said the team is very pleased with the performance of both drivers, and admitted he was surprised by the criticism aimed at Schumacher following the Canadian Grand Prix.
"The drivers I think have both done an excellent job despite what I understand has been said about Michael," he added. "It's not something I or any of us would subscribe to. He's been an absolutely fantastic team member, he and Nico (Rosberg) work very closely together, he pushes the team very hard and he's a great influence on the team.
"We thought he drove a pretty good race (in Montreal) and I was somewhat surprised to hear that he got a bit of a pasting because that certainly wasn't our view."