Aha, the dratted scurrilous British Media, I stopped reading there. I guess you are no more informed than the rest of us.;)
I wouldn't be surprised if Sakae was mostly referring to Andrew Benson, who always was on it to nail Schumacher to the wall whatever the circumstances or the actual facts were. The rest of the British press behaved pretty well during the final year, except for some nasty and biased comments during reviews of the year from some members of the BBC crew.
Sakae, I think you summarized it pretty well:
2010 - most of the time Schumacher unworthy, couldn't drive around problems often and Rosberg beat him fair and square in both qualifying and race in a pretty reasonable car, best of the rest with Renault.
2011 - Schumacher improved dramatically in races but was more prone to mistakes, driving in the midfield as a direct consequences of his poorer qualifying. Also he had more technical woes than his team mate, but nevertheless when crossed out all the problems, Rosberg beat him 5-2 on saturday. The car was slipping back on sunday anyway.
2012 - Schumacher equalled Rosberg on pure qualifying speed and was often faster on the sundays as well. Wasn't it for his dramatical reliability, he would have outscored him by about 15-20% overall. The car slipped back even further, both drivers struggled to stay close to the top six.
I think Schumacher is finally 'falling off the cliff' in terms of performance because he's slacking slightly after a well deserved holiday after 3 years of incredibly hard work. He would grind teeth if Hamilton and Rosberg are going to be consistently fighting for top 4 spots. In 2011 Mercedes knocked on the door for contract extension already, even more in 2012. With the new technical team getting ready, there are two possibilities: Schumacher was getting tired of the Merc adventure and saw no promise for a jump in performance for the near future (2013). This year is still evolution. 2014 will be more of a revolution where Merc has a better chance. There was an option to take a 2 year contract option but that could have been too much for Schumacher, who clearly was hesitant. When Hamilton came in the picture with a real opportunity to join 'another' team, Merc would have shot themselves in the foot if they wouldn't have been going for it. From that moment on, I think Schumachers future at Merc was doomed.
Edited by Jejking, 04 March 2013 - 14:26.