Schumacher not off to championship start

April, 6, 2010
04/06/10
1:25
PM ET
Michael SchumacherAP Photo/Hazrin Yeob Men ShahMichael Schumacher had to retire early at Malaysia when his Mercedes threw a shoe.

So much for a triumphant return at age 41 for Michael Schumacher.

Three years outside the cockpit is a long time, even for the greatest race car driver of his era.

Three races into the 2010 Formula One season, Schumacher's comeback has been lukewarm at best.

The seven-time champion doesn't have a top-5 finish, and left the Malaysian Grand Prix on Sunday when a left-rear wheel nut came off his Mercedes.

Schumacher, competing for the first time since the 2006 season, ranks 10th in the standings, 30 points behind leader Felipe Massa.

Nico Rosberg, Schumacher's Mercedes GP teammate, has fared much better with three top-5 finishes, including third place at Malaysia. Rosberg is tied for fourth in the standings.

It's early, but an eighth F1 title appears unlikely for Schumi in 2010.

Terry Blount

ESPN Seattle Seahawks reporter

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