Finally, Schumacher back on the podium image

Finally, Michael Schumacher has finally answered his critics with his first podium in 48 races.

Starting 12th on the grid, the seven-time World Champion made the most of different strategies, a Safety Car period and a bit of chaos up ahead to claim the first podium finish of his comeback.

Now 43, he became the oldest driver on the podium since Australian triple champion Jack Brabham finished second in Britain in 1970 at the age of 44.

“I didn’t actually think about a podium at all, neither in the end of the race, it was in crossing the line when I asked my guys where we finished,” he explained.

“I saw [Mark] Webber’s pitboard and close to the end it showed him eighth and seventh and knew I was one place ahead of that one. And then the boys told me third, that’s a podium – and I thought I can’t believe that.

Mercedes motorsport chief Norbert Haug named the result “memorable” and Schumacher said “it’s a great feeling to be back after such a long time. It is the best way to jump the podium unexpectedly.”

It was the first top-three finish for Schumacher since he won his 91st career race at the Chinese GP in October 2006 when he was at Ferrari.