Ross Brawn has tipped Michael Schumacher to become this year's World Champion on his return to Formula 1 action. Although Schumacher will be the oldest driver in the field and has not raced in F1 since the end of 2006, Brawn thinks that the seven-time champion will confound his critics and come out on top.
"If I had to bet on any of them then it is clear that Michael will become World Champion," Brawn has been quoted as saying by the German newspaper Bild. "Michael is now more relaxed. When he retired in 2006, F1 was a burden for him. Now I can sense his old enthusiasm."
Brawn does think, however, that it may take a little bit of time for Schumacher to get fully up to speed – which may not happen in time for the first race of the season.
"I do not think he will come out and win the first grand prix. He will need a few races to familiarize himself with the other cars and the many new drivers. Then I hope to see the old Schumacher," added Brawn. "This has always been his strength anyway: to learn and adapt amazingly quickly."