It is "unfair" to not give Michael Schumacher more time to get back up to speed in 2010 after three years of retirement, according to his former F1 rival David Coulthard.

It is "unfair" to not give Michael Schumacher more time to get back up to speed in 2010 after three years of retirement, according to his former F1 rival David Coulthard.

After dropping 40 points behind his teammate Nico Rosberg in the first four races, some pundits are predicting the revised Mercedes package for Barcelona will be Schumacher's last chance before being universally written off.

But while making his own return to racing last weekend, where Coulthard qualified next to last for DTM's Hockenheim opener, the 39-year-old Scot said the seven time world champion needs more time.

"Give him half a season," he told Germany's Bild newspaper. "Only then can we realistically assess his performance."

Although famed for being able to adapt to less than ideal conditions, Coulthard thinks Schumacher is simply struggling with Mercedes' 2010 car.

"That car was actually designed for Jenson Button," he insisted, referring to the reigning world champion's late switch to McLaren, which made room for Schumacher at the rebranded Brawn team.

"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," said Coulthard.

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