Michael Schumacher maintains he is still 'motivated' about F1

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Formula One legend Michael Schumacher has continued to defend his passion for the sport after continued criticism about his recent performance...

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The German driver gave a less than convincing performance at the Turkish Grand Prix, which has led many critics to speculate about his future within Formula One. This has been further spurred on by Schumacher's comments after his most recent race in Istanbul, where he was asked about his feelings concerning his current placing within the sport, to which he responded: "the big joy is not there right now",

Critics have hit out at the Mercedes driver for providing conflicting messages about his enthusiasm for motorsport; they cite Schumacher's comments during a Mercedes preview to the Spanish Grand Prix where he said: "I was not happy with my weekend in Turkey.

"But there have been clear signs of improvements for the team, which push and re-boost my motivation even more."

Schumacher has also been under pressure from a source that is somewhat closer to home: his teammate Nico Rosberg has out-qualified the seven-time world champion in no less than 15 of their 23 races as Mercedes teammates. Rosberg was also a whole second faster during the qualifying race than the former world champion.

Mercedes have a disappointing start to the 2011 season; Rosberg has managed to accumulate 20 points for the German team, while Schumacher has only been able to amass a paltry 6.

Despite the furore that is currently surrounding Schumacher, he maintains that he remains optimistic about the upcoming Spanish Grand Prix.

"The Spanish Grand Prix is traditionally where it really feels like the European season gets underway and holds a lot of good memories for me," said Schumacher.

Meanwhile, Coral, William Hill and Stan James offer 9/2 odds that McLaren's Lewis Hamilton will go on to win the 2011 F1 drivers' championship.

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