DC has himself returned to racing this season, as he finished 12th in his first ever DTM outing, also with Mercedes. Consequently, he knows how a sabbatical year off racing can affect a driver (Schumacher had a 3-year break from F1 racing) in the early stages of his return, so he argued that the 7-time world champion should only be judged after half of season.
“Give him half a season. Only then can we realistically assess his performance,” he told Germany's Bild newspaper, following last weekend's race at the Hockenheim circuit.
Additionally, DC argued that Schumacher should not take the blame for Mercedes' failure in providing him with a race winning car. Although the German signed his deal with the Woking based team in 2009, the car for 2010 was developed by Ross Brawn during the Jenson Button days, meaning it was created to suit the 2009 world champion's needs and driving style.
“That car was actually designed for Jenson Button. It is obviously that it (the car) is not right for Michael and it will take time for Mercedes to get it right for his driving,” added Coulthard.
The guys at Mercedes know that all too well and they have already moved one step to solving that issue ahead of the Spanish GP. The German driver will reportedly drive a longer-wheelbase W01 in Barcelona, as the initial car was not at all suited to his driving style. Additionally, Schumacher will need to adjust his racing to the new narrower front tires in F1, something that he didn't tackle back when he was driving for Ferrari.