Oct.23 (GMM) Michael Schumacher, the most successful driver in formula one history, has declined to wade into the debate about which of the 2008 title contenders would be the more worthy champion.
The 39-year-old German is a former Ferrari teammate, mentor, and personal friend of Felipe Massa, but Schumacher also makes clear he rates McLaren's championship leader Lewis Hamilton "very highly"."I think what he has done in such a short time, just arriving and competing last year with Alonso and being very often quicker, talks for itself," seven time world champion Schumacher told the BBC."But then, I am always a little bit concerned when we talk about 'is he the best or not? Is he better than Felipe?'"I think you have to look at the circumstances, and they are not always straightforward and clear to understand from the outside," he said.Schumacher, however, makes no secret that he will be barracking for Brazil's 27-year-old Massa when the championship is decided at Interlagos next weekend."Watching it from the outside, it is strange to see that people seem to underestimate a man ready for the world championship -- a contradiction in itself to me," he said."I know Felipe can handle it. I have seen him driving, I drove alongside him, I know how good he is."He is a powerful racer and a dangerous opponent, and maybe because he still looks like a boy people struggle to see it," Schumacher said.He describes the F2008 Ferrari, a car he has tested himself, as "very sensitive to drive"."Felipe together with the team has mastered it in a way that enabled him to still fight for the championship," Schumacher remarked.