Mercedes GP CEO Nick Fry has urged Michael Schumacher to "keep plugging away" with his Formula 1 comeback, despite having not yet delivered the results that he or his team were hoping for this season.
Fry reckons that Schumacher is continuing to improve on his readjustment to F1, and says the team is not losing faith in the German even though he has yet to finish on the podium.
"I think Michael just has to plug away at it," Fry told AUTOSPORT. "It is not coming together, clearly. We have fits and starts and last weekend [at the British Grand Prix] had some good points – like the second part of qualifying – but then the final part of qualifying was a bit disappointing. During the race, there were points where we thought we could put in a better result here, but it didn't quite work out at the end.
"Clearly, everyone expects the best of Michael Schumacher because he is seven-time World Champion, but on the other hand you've got to say he is still a top-10 driver which, on a global scale, is pretty impressive. He is still learning and we have still got confidence in him and he has confidence in himself. So I am quite optimistic."
Schumacher himself reckons there was reason to feel more bullish about his chances for the rest of the season after his Mercedes GP team made a step forward in performance at Silverstone.
"Certainly the car was working more true to its normal car/tire combination, because I think that a lot of the problems in some of the events are down to some tire issues that we haven't understood," said Schumacher. "Clearly, in Valencia we made mistakes with the car that we didn't do at Silverstone, and therefore we performed on normal levels."