Michael Schumacher is convinced a season he has already written off cannot get any worse.
Schumacher suffered an all-time career low in Valencia a fortnight ago when he finished 15th in the European Grand Prix, the 41-year-old’s worst classified position in 258 races.
It means going into the halfway point of the season with this weekend’s British Grand Prix, the seven-times champion currently trails leader Lewis Hamilton by 93 points.
With a possible 250 up for grabs, mathematically the title is not beyond Schumacher, but realistically with Mercedes so far off the pace his hopes are slim at best.
Reiterating a position he took up four weeks ago ahead of the race in Canada, Schumacher is already focusing on next year, with the aim before then to at least salvage some pride.
“What happened in Valencia was frustrating because you think you’ve a great idea, a plan, and then you sit and let everybody by,” said Schumacher.
“It wasn’t very comfortable, but that’s part of the game, and the aim now is to move forward. It’s what we always want.
“Ahead of this race we’ve much higher hopes than in Valencia, but considering where we have been, it’s difficult to see it getting any worse.”
Schumacher has revealed he and Mercedes sensed they were in for a rough ride this season following winter testing, even though the team, in their former guise of Brawn GP, were world champions last year.
“After testing it was hinted the car was not a winning one, and after a few races it was clear that winning the championship would be tough,” added Schumacher.
“Now, I’m not really thinking about the championship any more. That’s unrealistic from my point of view considering the points I have.
“So all we can do, from my perspective, is try to learn as much as we can and prepare for next year. That’s what I’m fully motivated on.”
Despite performances that have been slated by critics, Schumacher maintains he is driven, focused and motivated.
“I have been in all sorts of circumstances in my career and don’t worry,” said Schumacher. “I’m not suffering at all in a way that removes my motivation. That is certainly not the case. I am putting in as much effort as ever and I drive on a level that I am happy with.”