Michael Schumacher's reaction to his poor race in Turkey last weekend showed he is a fighter, not a quitter, his manager Sabine Kehm has insisted.
Following the 42-year-old's admission that "the big joy is not there right now" after a fraught run in Istanbul, many commentators predicted the time is nigh for German Schumacher to return to retirement.
Schumacher's first team boss Eddie Jordan likened the end of his career to boxer Muhammad Ali's, with David Coulthard agreeing that the Mercedes driver is "a once proud warrior now out of fight and damaging his reputation".
"If he feels he can still be competitive, and he is still enjoying himself, then fair play to him," the Scot wrote in his Telegraph column.
"The trouble is at the moment he is not enjoying himself and he does not look consistently competitive," added Coulthard.
But Schumacher's manager Kehm told Bild newspaper: "The guys should all know Michael better than that.
"He shows again and again that he is a fighter. The fact that he is disappointed after a race like Istanbul doesn't disprove the hunger that he has, in fact it reinforces it," she added.
Mercedes' racing boss Norbert Haug agrees: "He is driving like a hungry youngster.
"Of course while the results are missing, there is criticism," he told SID news agency.