MPH: Mark Hughes on...

MPH: Mark Hughes on...

Michael Schumacher's unexpectedly poor showings demonstrate the challenges in staging a comeback at this level

When Michael Schumacher decided to make a comeback he probably wasn't figuring on hearing radio messages like: "If you can get past Alguersuari you may get a point." He was probably also figuring that after he'd passed Timo Glock in Melbourne, the Virgin would stay passed, not come barrelling down his inside to re-pass as if Glock had never even heard of Michael Schumacher.

That wasn't a representative picture of Michael's progress, but it's fair to say that things could be going better. He might have qualified just behind team-mate Nico Rosberg in Australia but the underlying form showed him to be further away than in Bahrain. Taking their best sector times in qualifying, Rosberg was over 0.4s quicker. In Bahrain he had been just 0.3s quicker over a much longer lap. The first corner incident at Albert Park that left Michael running near the back in a damaged car simply added to the discomfort he is clearly showing at the moment.

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