Posted on November 20, 2009
Schumacher and Mercedes: is it serious? | James Allen on F1 – The official James Allen website on F1

Today has seen a groundswell of stories about Michael Schumacher talking to Mercedes about making a return to F1 next season. I’ve had dozens of readers asking whether this is the case or not, meanwhile Eddie Jordan has stuck his neck out and said on the BBC website that the deal is on and Schumacher will be racing in silver next season.

The Telegraph’s Kevin Garside, who no longer covers F1 on a regular basis, has gone overboard on the story today too, albeit with no quotes or attributions. The authoritative end of the German media is strangely silent on the matter.

Schumacher: "Never say never" (Darren Heath)
The rumours are being fanned by Norbert Haug’s suggestion that the Mercedes driver line up would feature some “surprises”.

So is it serious?

Let’s take a step back and assess this situation. Schumacher was very eager to make a comeback this summer when Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo asked him to stand in for the injured Felipe Massa. Schumacher recently admitted that his decision to go for it was emotionally driven, rather than rationally driven and he regretted letting it become public before he had been able to assess whether his injured neck would take it.

The neck will supposedly be fine by the end of the year so physically he should be cleared by doctors to race, if he wants to.

Schumacher’s spokeswoman, Sabine Kehm says that she does not think he is in discussions with Mercedes nor that he will come back full time next season, but then she added the caveat that with Schumacher, you can never say never. His decision to go for it last summer was as big a shock to her as it was to the rest of us.

But the 40 year old said that what attracted him was the idea of doing just a few races, to get the buzz again. He was not keen on doing a whole season. In a recent interview for a Shell PR handout, Schumacher said that he did not want to be seen as a “Grandad” in Formula 1.

“There’s lots of talk about me returning to Formula One, ” he said. “I was very close obviously this year to replacing Felipe, but whether I’m going to race in the future or not, we will see. I guess my neck by the end of the year or beginning of next year will be fully fine, but I will be 41 – and that would make me the grandad of F1! I’m not sure I want that.”

But once again this is a moment of need, this time for his old friend and colleague, Ross Brawn. Brawn however said yesterday to Gazzetta dello Sport that Schumacher and he working together next year was not a likelihood.

This week has been a tough one for the new Brawn/Mercedes alliance. McLaren has hijacked the PR agenda with a bold swoop for World Champion Jenson Button. Mercedes needed a quick win in return and these rumours about Schumacher give them that instant boost, whether they are true or not. The attention is back on Mercedes.

Schumacher still has a profile to maintain for the benefit of his many sponsors and all this attention is a win for both him and Mercedes, regardless of whether anything comes of it. Would it be good for F1? Undoubtedly. Does F1 need it? More debatable now that we have some really strong storylines, like Hamilton vs Button, Hamilton vs Alonso in rival cars and the continuing rise of Vettel. It’s not as if Bernie Ecclestone needs a new trick to get interest in the sport going.

I’ve said all along Mercedes long-term target has to be to get Sebastian Vettel once his Red Bull contract expires at the end of 2011 and they need a stop-gap until then. Lewis Hamilton must also be a target. Button didn’t fancy being that stop-gap and has bought the McLaren dream of the “British Ferrari”, which Ron Dennis is peddling to him.

The reality of Schumacher and Brawn reprising their all conquering partnership at Mercedes would have been easy to imagine a few years ago, but now it is hard to see what is to be gained from it. I can see Mercedes wanting to have Schumacher on board as a consultant, as he is to Ferrari. He never raced for them in F1, but he raced for them in sportscars in 1990 and 1991. He and Mercedes are one of those relationships doomed never to happen in F1 terms.

Driving in F1 today is nothing like as time consuming as it was in the days of endless testing. Over the summer, Schumacher was very excited by the idea of racing again.

Will it happen? I would be very surprised, but as he says, “never say never.”

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Schumacher and Mercedes: is it serious?
205 Responses

  1.   1. Posted By: Jon Veal
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:11 pm 

    How about Rosberg as a number one driver heavily mentored by Schumacher. The number two seat filled by a number of drivers over the season – Schumacher, Heidfeld…
    Would allow focus on drivers championship whilst also having drivers with the ability to assist with constructors and also be a pull for the sponsors.

    [Reply]

    John M. Reply:

    Rotating a second seat would probably be a bad idea. Look at the performance of drivers that came into seats mid-season in 2009. The inability to test and get a feel for a car really puts people behind the eight ball. Even an experienced driver like Fisichella was unable to get the Ferrari up to pace.

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  2.   2. Posted By: Monktonnik
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:12 pm 

    I’ll stick my neck out and say no. I would imagine that he is contracted to Ferrari.

    [Reply]

    declan Reply:

    i think so too. it also has to be remembered that we haven’t seen massa back in a car properly; and i’m sure that ferrari would like schumacher as a backup just in case.

    [Reply]

    michael c Reply:

    a very interesting point – amidst all the ‘who goes where’ stuff it is assumed that Felipe will make a good comeback – which must be far from certain given the level these guys now operate at – and James on a related point – why did Fisi find the Ferrari so difficult to drive ?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It was a difficult car to drive and he also struggled particularly with braking, and the way the car sjowed down due to KERS. I sat down with him on Friday in Abu Dhabi and he was quite deflated about it, although still proud to have raced for Ferrari.

    Segedunum Reply:

    The Ferrari was an incredibly difficult car to drive. Getting KERS to work, and especially under breaking, was completely different. The Ferrari is also a very aerodynamically driven car as to where it generates its grip. It simply doesn’t have the mechanical grip that the McLaren does and I think that scuppered drivers like Fisichella and even Raikkonen.

    Josh Reply:

    Schumacher in a Mercedes? I think we’re forgeting his blood relationship with the italian horse stables of marenello.

    Yes it would be great to have him back, but only in a Ferrari.


  3.   3. Posted By: Alex
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:13 pm 

    I, for one, hope Michael doesn’t come back to the sport or, if he does, it’s an a very temporary capacity only.

    I want to see new drivers facing new challenges, not champions of yesteryear treating us all to a dose of nostalgia. I actually stopped watching F1 for many years during Schumacher’s reign, we have all seen what he is/was capable of and I’m not sure what more he can show me.

    But, more importantly than any of this, there is a distinct risk he will struggle. Even if he’s on form and Ferrari isn’t it’s going to tarnish the man’s illustrious legacy and does anyone really want to see that?

    [Reply]

    mo Reply:

    what a ridiculous thing to say.
    why are you applying a time factor to drivers, whether or not they should be allowed back in f1.

    if schumacher can deliver great drives, and great racing, who cares that hes raced in the past?

    you say ‘theres a distinct risk he will struggle’

    …..you do realise he beat both Button and Vettel, in this years race of champions, in equal machinery, at the same time, on the same track.
    ….i somehow dont see him struggling…..

    [Reply]

    Martin Collyer Reply:

    Not sure that the Race of Champions is relevant. Didn’t Kovalainen beat Schumacher in ROC a few years ago?

    [Reply]

    Andy Fov Reply:

    It could well go badly, but so what? He’d still hold all his records.

    Everybody seems to fear the worst, but there’s nothing wrong in taking on a difficult challenge. If MS were to race for Mercedes, on equal terms with Rosberg, and was prepared to put his reputation on the line I’d have enormous respect for him – regardless of how it all panned out.

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  4.   4. Posted By: Maverick
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:15 pm 

    “Mercedes needed a quick win in return and these rumours about Schumacher give them that instant boost, whether they are true or not. The attention is back on Mercedes.”

    No it’s not. The attention is on Schumacher and that’s precisely why Mercedes shouldn’t sign him.

    [Reply]

    michael c Reply:

    and why they might not (although it would be great to see him in an F1 car next year) – to paraphrase Joe Saward – if he wins its him – if he loses its the car

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  5.   5. Posted By: GQsm
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:16 pm 

    The plot thickens

    [Reply]

    Josh Reply:

    Mercedes need to buy Vettel out of the Red Bull seat now and in 2010 put the german lad in a Mercedes (whilst even paying for a Raikkonen seat at Red Bull to secure the deal).

    Can you imagine that? Then you would have your dream teams in

    Mclaren: Button, Hamilton
    MERCEDES: Vettel, Rosberg
    RED BULL: Raikkonen, Webber
    Ferrari: Alonso, Massa

    I mean we all know a Mercedes-Vettel hook up is in the pipeline but its strange no one is talking about a mouthwatering deal between Red Bull and Raikkonen. He is the image of Red Bull – a finish “playboy” daredevil who likes to drive fast and party hard. (A marketing dream if that’s what you’re trying to sell!)

    Bring on TWENTY TEN.

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  6.   6. Posted By: Vitali Krupenka
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:16 pm 

    Humm… Returning of Schumacher will great event if so… But weather will it the same Schumi as Ferrari one… Or not? Or more than… Mysterious…

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  7.   7. Posted By: Robert Jennings
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:17 pm 

    Whilst I would relish the return of Schumacher, I can’t help but feel that his family may have something to say about a full time return. I’m sure that whilst safety has improved since he first entered the F1 arena, the dangers are still there – we bacame a bit complacent until Massa’s crash. Does Michael really need to race for anything now? 7 world titles and 91 wins say no. However, perhaps Michael wants to just tidy up his stats – 100 victories looks alot nicer in the F1 history books.

    [Reply]

    Charlie B Reply:

    But 9 victories wouldn’t happen in one season. It would be another long term goal and by then he would be too old in my opinion.

    [Reply]


  8.   8. Posted By: SLVAaron
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:19 pm 

    Yeah I really can’t see it happening, however when Jenson visited mclaren earlier in the month I said nothing was happening there either

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  9.   9. Posted By: Mike B
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:21 pm 

    “I can see Mercedes wanting to have Schumacher on board as a consultant, as he is to Ferrari.”
    ====

    Oh yeah, Mercedes wants to put wet tires on a dry track for sure

    [Reply]

    Segedunum Reply:

    Oooooh, below the belt.

    Yes, that whole Malaysia thing was very weird and it did sort of look like Schumacher trying to be Ross Brawn. Whatever the whole thing was hushed up if it did happen and Raikkonen kept his mouth shut about it. Would Alonso do the same?

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  10.   10. Posted By: Phil
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:30 pm 

    Can you really see Ferrari releasing Michael from his contract to race for Mercedes! Eddie Jordan appears to have opened his mouth before thinking what he is saying.

    [Reply]

    declan Reply:

    perhaps he meant world champion ralf schumacher !

    [Reply]

    RDN Reply:

    as is usual :)

    Does anyone expect more from EJ.

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  11.   11. Posted By: Aaron James
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:31 pm 

    I would love to see Michael racing again. It would increase my interest 1000% in the sport.

    But, and I say this with a heavy heart, he’s not a spring chicken anymore and he made promises to Corinna that he really ought to keep.

    We saw what happened in a heartbeat to Felipe. Felipe is in the prime of his health. I hate to think what would happen to Michael if that happened to him or worse, he did a Silverstone redux.

    Michael has achieved all there is to achieve and I feel there must be a slight restlessness at his more sedate life now. But a return to the cockpit, as an active driver, I’m not sure it is right for him now. Maybe in 2008 it could have, but not now. And especially not with his crook neck.

    Mercedes would be best off paying Raikkonen some mercenary money and counting the days until they can lay their hands on das Wunderkind as you say James.

    And just think about it, Latin Ferrari, Anglo-colonial McLaren, Teutonic Mercedes.

    My interests in the sport transcend nationality, but the sheer neatness (well other than Mercedes British factory) of the cultural make-up of these teams would make fascinating observation.

    [Reply]

    Frank Reply:

    “I would love to see Michael racing again. It would increase my interest 1000% in the sport.”

    A vert good point here. Two elements, good for him and good for the show. It is 100% good for the show although not very sure for him. Forget about Kimi bring Michael back.

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  12.   12. Posted By: jose
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:36 pm 

    I hope it does.
    If brown could give button a winning car, imagine if he could do the same with schumacher.
    Could be as great as lauda’s comeback.

    [Reply]


  13.   13. Posted By: Amritraj
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:39 pm 

    Hi James,

    How seriously should we treat Eddie Jordan’s word? Does what he says carry any weight?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    You’ve watched him on TV this season. You be the judge.

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    Lewis Jones Reply:

    Haha James, nicely put!

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    Stephen Hill Reply:

    Well he “predicted” a lot of driver changes this year and those changes proved to be correct. So, who knows!

    [Reply]

    Paige Michael-Shetley Reply:

    Which means no, you can’t give him any weight. ;)

    [Reply]

    Dani Reply:

    As a HUGE Schumacher fan, for me this a critical moment for Eddie Jordan. If what he says ends up being true, he can be trusted as a “reliable source”. If not…. it will be very hard taking any of his opinions or analysis seriously in the future after getting us all excited like this!

    [Reply]

    Crispin Reply:

    Indeed.

    Let’s all think back to what he said about Massa’s accident….

    [Reply]

    Brace Reply:

    not all of us are from england, james :)

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    You have my sympathy…

    Josh H Reply:

    Very diplomatic there James!

    [Reply]

    Aaron James Reply:

    I.e. we can safely assume this is a load of self-promoting b.s.

    [Reply]

    Craig March Reply:

    He called the pole and winners more often than not before the race! :-)

    I know, I know, apples and oranges…

    [Reply]

    Guy Reply:

    So not much then :)

    After the Vodafone court case i really can’t take Eddie Jordan seriously!

    [Reply]

    Andrew Scadden Reply:

    fanning the fires James?
    god knows we all would love to see Mr S (in his prime) up against Lewis. – reality check??

    (i want to swear) f m i wouldnt have said Jenson would leave Honda/Brawn but it happened…
    lets all sit and watch and if KING michael of F1 returns then hell it will be an amazing season -so long as gnome chops lets the british GP happen.

    [Reply]

    Tom - Australia Reply:

    As interesting as this driver market is, I’m patiently waiting for the BBC to announce the broadcast team for 2010.

    If only Leggard had a contract paying him 17 million to stay away….

    As for E.J – the less said the better. Corporate Coulthard can go too.

    What we really need is…… Kimi commentating ;)

    [Reply]

    Mike from Medellin, Colombia Reply:

    Kimi commentating would give us plenty of opportunity to hear the sound of the engines.

    James Allen Reply:

    “What’s happening here? Let’s wait and see…”

    Pete Reply:

    No, please not Kimi commentating…he has the most boring boring voice in the world!

    Antoine Reply:

    James

    does that mean you are coming back to commentary then?

    Paul Reply:

    Hmm… normally I’d say Eddie was full of speculative BS, but in this case I would suggest he does have a special connection to Schumi…

    [Reply]

    Charlie Reply:

    James…are you being subversive?

    Honestly you crack me up.

    [Reply]

    Da Reply:

    I like Eddie, he’s a character, but I think his report from a “reliable source” that Massa had but a simple “knock on the chin” after his crash in Hungary just about sums him up for me!

    Martin Collyer Reply:

    There’s more in this post on Jordan than there is on Schumacher.

    Since the original article is largely about winning the PR Fight of the Week, perhaps Mercedes should sign Jordan for something.

    [Reply]

    Segedunum Reply:

    You also have to remember this is the guy who went to court over a completely verbal and alleged ‘contract’ Vodafone gave to him over the phone in 2003………… The credibility track record is not fantastic.

    john Reply:

    Eddie Jordan during the storm in Japan predicted qualifying would have been cancelled,but after 15 minutes Race Control decided to continue the session.
    So I´d say this Schumacher comeback is not likely.

    [Reply]

    Segedunum Reply:

    Yes I have. He has actually been right about a few things on race weekends which has pleasantly surprised me, but the things he’s been wrong about have been howlers…….

    Saying that a KERS car would have no chance, McLaren should scrap their car etc. etc………….

    [Reply]

    Glen Reply:

    I’d say the coverage on the BBC has been poor. They do seem to drag things out for way too long in the build up coverage. ITV did a much better job, especially in the their last year when they could loosen up. I miss the adverts. They were handy for making tea and toast.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    I miss Murray. God, he’s a hoot!

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  14.   14. Posted By: Rudy Pyatt
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 6:50 pm 

    No, no, no, no, NO. Please NO. He needs to keep his promise to his wife and not put himself at further risk.

    I am uncomfortably reminded of the great Mark Donohue, who came out of retirement with tragic consequences, after managing Roger Penske’s racing operations.

    Michael needs to continue his emulation of another Penske great, Rick Mears, as a consultant to the team that made him one of the all-time best, mentor-in-residence.

    [Reply]


  15.   15. Posted By: NickB
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:00 pm 

    This would have disaster written all over it….like when a football manager goes back to his old club for a second spell, but he’s never as successful the second time around.

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  16.   16. Posted By: Elliot
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:08 pm 

    It’s now or never for Schumacher, isn’t it?

    Clearly Mercedes and Ross Brawn have a spot to fill until they can prise the prodigal son from Red Bull. Ferrari have Alonso locked in as their main man.

    Who better than a German legend to steal all the headlines for a returning Silver Arrows? The sponsors would eat it up – especially pitted against the all-Brit McLaren.

    Michael will never have a better shot for one last shine in the limelight.

    [Reply]

    tod1888 Reply:

    James:If Schumacher does make a return and if as reported in some cicles Jacques Villeneuve finds a berth at one of the new teams. There could be 5 world champions on the grid come March 2010.Would this be a record?

    Thinking about it if Kimi found a seat it could be 6 world champions.

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  17.   17. Posted By: Young Slinger
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:09 pm 

    Just like the punch drunk boxers who come back physically flabby – in this case mentally flabby. To race at the highest level after this length of time out, is irrisponsible, the high performance of modern F1 cars do no lend themselves to it – just look at the young drivers this past season who have struggled. Stay retired, Michael, do not become a laughing stock.

    [Reply]

    dwinter Reply:

    Poor analogy. George Forman made a comeback at the age of 45 having trained by eating cheeseburgers and then won the heavyweight world title. :)

    I think it will be very interesting if Schumy makes a comeback. We’ll just have to wait and see I guess.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Last time I saw him in Abu D he looked as fit as a butcher’s dog

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    Sam Reply:

    And don’t forget what he did in the race of champions. The performance he delivered proved that his era is far from over.

    He may be not as good as what he was, lapping 4 seconds faster than anyone in a wet Barcelona, back in 96, he could easily give a lot of troubles to championship contenders, at very least.

    Segedunum Reply:

    The point is, he is still faster than all of the supposed new ‘stars’ coming through at a lower level now.

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  18.   18. Posted By: Chris
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:19 pm 

    It probably won’t happen, but I think there’s a lot in it for Mercedes. Now that Button the champion has left, they could do with a “box office” driver for alongside Rosberg, who will be an unknown quantity. Publicity generated from it would be immense as well.

    Schu is bound to be rusty, but assuming his neck recovers and he could get himself up to race fitness, it’s hard to believe he would not be on the pace.

    If it’s the choice between Schumacher and Heidfeld, it’s a no-brainer really. Schumacher has won 91 more races.

    [Reply]


  19.   19. Posted By: UnicornF1
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:31 pm 

    I would go a bit further…
    Not only Schumacher to join Mercedes, but also Raikkonen!
    Mercedes hasn’t announced ANY driver yet, so why not these two???

    [Reply]

    Charlie B Reply:

    I just don’t think it would work, it wouldn’t be like Hamilton Alonso but it just wouldn’t. There is respect but that’s about it.

    [Reply]

    Pat Reply:

    There is NO WAY Schumacher would jump in the same car as Raikkonen – throughout his career he has ensured the odds are always heavily stacked in his favour and has never had the nuts to have someone in the same car as him remotely likely to be consistently quicker than him – unlike a certain current World Champion who I am glad to say seems to want to seek out the best to pit his skills up against to quash the doubters.

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  20.   20. Posted By: ani
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:32 pm 

    Should we take the german media’s silence as a sign of serious discussions going on .
    BTW EJ, you doesn’t even put kimi in the picture . British thing or u r 100% sure about him not being there. Don’t tell me to read the article ( again ) , I am a fan but I’m not completely blinded , Kimi can’t be that bad .( for u base it on what u ‘gleaned’ from ferrAri – wonder what it is)

    [Reply]

    lynnduffy Reply:

    EJ is not British, he’s Irish.

    Speaking as a padd, IMO he did great things as a team owner and as a businessman, and I enjoyed his autobiography – but he’s a woeful TV pundit. More interested in being interesting than being right.

    James – are you ever going to post about what you’ll be doing next year? What about broadcasting a live commentary online if you’re not working for a broadcaster during races?

    [Reply]


  21.   21. Posted By: John
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:38 pm 

    Schumi coming back racing is as likely as Jenson leaving Brawn and going to take on Lewis at McLaren!

    Oh, hang on …

    [Reply]

    Graeme Walker Reply:

    Brilliant, my thoughts exactly….

    [Reply]


  22.   22. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:40 pm 

    The dream is one thing, but from what Ross has said it is extremely unlikely.

    There is also the question of Schumacher’s brain speed, as we know when racing the brain needs to be well ahead of the car and running at mach1 in all directions. Schumi used to be one of the best, but he is a few years out now and it is a sad medical fact that one’s speed of reaction and thought slows. He may still be lightening fast, but now only as good as the others. I think there is little or no doubt that he used to be better than the others.
    It would be sad to see Schumi go the way of those who should have gone at their peak but came back to lesser effect, it diminished the great achievements of their former years.

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  23.   23. Posted By: Michael S
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 7:58 pm 

    I think if anything MS will be there is Massa is not responding well after the wreck… I hope he does not come back… It reminds me of boxers here in the States that come back past their prime. Ali was a great but stuck around way too long… I want to remember MS as he was not as a 41 year old

    [Reply]

    Elliot Reply:

    What if Michael S comes back in a hugely competitive Merc and wins the WDC?

    [Reply]


  24.   24. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:05 pm 

    I have very mixed feelings about this. As much as I would love to see Michael come back, I would hate to see Michael become the target of excessive criticism. He is a legend who deserves the highest level of respect.

    There would bee just too much attention on his performance, and surely the pressure of competing for the WDC under the spotlight would be too much, even for him.

    Going to Mercedes would be a huge decision for Michael as he is valued for his loyalty to Ferrari over the past 13 years. They would have to provide him with something extra special to make him come back. What could they provide to a man who doesn’t need money and doesn’t need to prove himself?

    James, have you noticed that Michael’s favourite word is “obviously”? Was this obvious to you when you worked on your books with him?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No, but I remember when he started in F1 he used to talk about “circumstanshions” instead of “circumstances”. I did many interviews with him in which he said that word.

    [Reply]

    Ali Reply:

    When he said that word, I think he was referring some predicaments having “tension” in it. So “circumstension” should be MS-type new English word.

    Yes.

    [Reply]

    Howard Hughes Reply:

    I also believe that in an interview in his very earliest F1 days he told a packed press conference that his father’s favourite hobby was screwing.

    I’d like to have been the colleague who informed him cautiously that the correct English word is carpentry…

    [Reply]

    Amritraj Reply:

    Even Vettel tends to use ‘obviously’ a lot…May be he picked it up from his idol, MS.

    [Reply]

    Charlie B Reply:

    Vettel also says nevertheless a lot too.

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  25.   25. Posted By: Pat
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:05 pm 

    I can name 2 people who would like to see him back to really bill 2010 as a re-unification fight…. Hamilton & Button.

    [Reply]


  26.   26. Posted By: MorrisOx
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:07 pm 

    Cast your mind back to another time in F1, and those rumours that surfaced suggesting Jackie Stewart was seriously considering a return to F1 at the behest of Bernie Ecclestone, then still boss of Brabham.

    It was a great yarn, got heaps of column inches, but anyone who knew the agonies of Stewart’s final years the sport knew it was highly unlikely.

    There’s nothing new under the sun.

    [Reply]


  27.   27. Posted By: Chris W
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:11 pm 

    If it does transpire that Schumacher returns to F1 I’ll no doubt watch the races with some kind of interest, but, well, it won’t really move the sport forwards. Will it?

    Nostalgia’s not what it used to be, and all that.

    [Reply]


  28.   28. Posted By: StJimmyL
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:13 pm 

    I’ve got an idea for a movie!!!

    Stalone & Kip Pardue can star – Oh, done it already! It’s called Driven!!!!

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    uh, you mean ‘drivel’ I think!

    [Reply]

    Joe Tanto Reply:

    Take that back.

    [Reply]


  29.   29. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:19 pm 

    Very patchy news on MS today. Could he be testing the water?

    I just went to the BBC F1 blog. Legard has not written anything for them since his Abu Dhabi Grand Prix predictions.

    Given the amount of news in F1 over the past few weeks, I think this is utterly shameful and shows that he has no passion for the sport. Murray Walker is over 80 and keeps himself busy.

    James, how could Michal test between now and March 2010. Could Mercedes provide him with a customer owner Brawn on a private track?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No.

    [Reply]


  30.   30. Posted By: Charles
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:20 pm 

    I don’t think Vettel moving to Mercedes or Ferrari is really as certain as some people seem to think. Red Bull certainly have the money to keep him happy, all they have to do is continue to give him a winning car. It’d be silly for any driver to walk away from that. The only way I can see Vettel leaving Red Bull is if he is just so successful over the next two seasons that he feels the need for a new challenge, like Alonso’s move to McLaren.

    [Reply]


  31.   31. Posted By: Chris Hawkins
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:38 pm 

    If Button had wind of this, then his move makes much more sense!…..

    [Reply]


  32.   32. Posted By: Mattw
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:38 pm 

    I would be very surpriesed if Schumacher is up for a full time return.

    He clearly fancied a few races in a Ferrari last year. Kimi had been put in the shade by Massa, and I bet Schumacher saw the opportunity to settle an old score.

    However this Mercedes story is completely different.

    [Reply]


  33.   33. Posted By: martin_tf
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:52 pm 

    Next year is really starting to look exciting isn’t it? We have 4 teams (Merc, McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull) look able to produce potential race winning cars and therefore 8 drivers in with a chance of taking a few wins each. Schumacher’s return would just be the cherry on the cake.

    [Reply]


  34.   34. Posted By: Paige Michael-Shetley
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 8:54 pm 

    I’m not going to make any kind of prediction on this. We’ve seen too many twists and turns this year in F1 to make any kind of prediction when it comes to the behavior of the drivers. There’s no way anyone could have predicted Schumacher to commit to a comeback (before aborting it due to his neck), and if anyone had said Button would leave Brawn/Merc for McLaren, we would have been crazy.

    One thing I will touch is James’ commentary on Merc’s slated drivers. It’s pretty clear Vettel is at the top of their list. But James, what do you base Hamilton being a Mercedes target on? Inside word (i.e., Norbert being a fan of his), or just speculation based on Merc wanting the top drivers? I’m not sure any other team would win a race if Hamilton and Vettel are paired!

    [Reply]


  35.   35. Posted By: Les D'Amico
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:02 pm 

    What are the chances Norbert Haug buys out Vettel’s contract and he joins Rosberg at Brawn?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Very slim. But for 2012 Vettel is surely the target

    [Reply]


  36.   36. Posted By: Rick J
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:05 pm 

    I see someone above has used the allusion to Mark Donahue that I also made here on your blog James, when the rumours of Schumacher’s return to F1 first came up a few months ago. Since then on reflection, I find myself thinking also of Niki Lauda who retired when as he put it he “got sick of driving around in circles” only to come back and win another, perhaps even more significant World Championship. I think now that if he wants to return – bring it on Michael! Looking back at older drivers, so what about age when often it is merely a number? Schumacher is immensely fit – more so than most half his age and he clearly still has what it takes behind the wheel. The concerns expressed here about freak accidents like Massa’s are of little meaning as they can can happen to anyone in an open cockpit car – age has nothing to do with it. Frankly I think Michael should continue until he has taken the record as the oldest driver in F1 history. En route he will probably also take the record as the oldest winning one – (perhaps from Nuvolari on both counts?). He is a born racer and loves it, besides he’s more skilled on 4 wheels than 2 which is where trying to learn how to be fast at his age he might really hurt himself. Again I say – go for it Michael! It would be fantastic to see him in the Mercedes.

    [Reply]

    Martin Collyer Reply:

    “Niki Lauda who retired …..only to come back and win another ….World Championship.”

    Yes, but a hell of a struggle against Prost, by his own admission, he was much younger than Schumacher too.

    “…he clearly still has what it takes behind the wheel.”

    How do you know that Rick? Any evidence?

    “…Michael should continue until he has taken the record as the oldest driver in F1 history”

    Good idea, that will be another fifteen years then. Louis Chiron was fifty six when he came out of retirement to drive a Lancia D50 at Monaco in 1955, qualified 19th, finished 6th, lapped 5 times.

    [Reply]

    Rick J Reply:

    Martin, you have challenged me on 3 points I think:
    - First – so what if he struggled against Prost? No shame there surely. And of course he was younger, but again, so what? these days geriatrics are summitting Everest. Mansell won his WDC at 39. I believe Sir Jack was 46 when he so nearly won the championship in 1970?
    - To Schumacher’s ability; How about Florianapolis? R.O.C.? I think few here doubt that he still has what it takes to warrent a place on the grid.
    - And thank you for the info about Chiron – I was too lazy to go look that up! I return to my point about geriatrics. Still, I must confess that perhaps the tongue was planted in cheek somewhat on that one.. Cheers!

    [Reply]

    Rick J Reply:

    James, could you change this please? I meant to address this response to Martin – not Michael. Thank you!

    Martin Collyer Reply:

    Rick

    I don’t think the R.O.C. is necessarily a good indication of Schumacher’s current speed, I’m no expert on R.O.C. but I doubt the races are GP length. Didn’t Kovalainen defeat Schumacher in the final once?

    “…so what if he struggled against Prost?” No shame you say, I agree, but Lauda had, at that stage, had two seasons back in F1 to get back up to speed. Will Schumacher have that luxury? Plus, Lauda was significantly younger and had no neck injury.

    “Mansell won his WDC at 39″ in a car that was so much better than the opposition that he scored almost twice the number of points of the runner-up, his team mate Patrese, a fine driver in the latter part of his career, but not a ‘Great’. (Note to Mansell fans, this is no criticism of him, he had a good car and took advantage of it, exactly as a professional driver should.)

    Sir Jack had a good final season in 1970 but he was 5th in the championship twenty points behind Jochen Rindt who, sadly, missed four races.

    Despite all of the above, I’m not against older drivers, it’s the 3year layoff and the neck injury that make me doubtful. I also think Schumacher’s best years were behind him when he retired in 2006. Alonso beat him to the WDC two years in a row and while the 2005 Ferrari was poor, the 2006 car was OK. Yet, Alonso beat Schumacher by thirteen points, not a thrashing but a comfortable victory.

    Martin

    PS I know nothing about geriatrics on Everest.

    Rick J Reply:

    Martin, you are missing the point. Some drivers do so for the money (Keke Rosberg perhaps?), some for the glamour (and the $$! – Eddie Irvine?), some because they are haunted by personal patriarchal dragons (maybe Damon Hill?), some because it is a deadly compulsion (Senna?). Whatever. But there are those individuals who race because they love it, they just LOVE it. Such as Tazio Nuvolari, Mario Andretti (in motorcycle racing the name Joey Dunlop leaps to mind) – and Michael Schumacher. As I recall towards the end of his life, well into his sixties, Nuvolari was still climbing into racing cars – and had to be lifted out of them. At 54 Mario was still racing in Indycar and only quit because he realised he had better make the choice to go before he was shoved out. So he went on to LeMans. All I am saying is if the teams want him back, and the fans want him back, and the sponsors want him back, and he WANTS to be back – bring it on Michael! I’m done. Thanks!


  37.   37. Posted By: F1 Kitteh
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:10 pm 

    He seem to be in the know from time to time? Anyway hope he’s right as I don’t think having heidfeld in the other car isnt very exciting.

    [Reply]


  38.   38. Posted By: Brace
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:19 pm 

    Unless they give him a car 2 second faster than the rest of the field (including his team mate), I think he’s not up to it anymore.

    [Reply]


  39.   39. Posted By: Steven
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:28 pm 

    No.
    It’s ridiculous to be honest. If it happens I’ll eat my virtual hat. Schumacher has always ‘loved’ Ferrari and there’s more chance of Piquet Jr being F1 World Champion in 2010 then Schumacher joining Mercedes in my opinion.

    [Reply]


  40.   40. Posted By: DNH
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:37 pm 

    He got his arse whooped by Alonso last time they were both in competitive cars, except this time he has Hamilton and Vettel in the mix as well.

    Does he really need to humble his unique reputation by mixing with drivers (some former world champions) who are nearly half his age?

    Nice story, good PR for Mercedes, but seriously?

    [Reply]

    Sam Reply:

    Perhaps, you have overlooked the car factor.
    Alonso wont dominate Massa like he did which means he is still a match to everyone if he is as good as he was in 2006.

    If you are afraid of embarrassment or reputation, you will never achieve anything. I meant not “you”, in general.

    But then again, i don’t think it will affect his reputation negatively even if he is way off the pace. He will earn respect for the spirit.

    [Reply]

    DNH Reply:

    Agreed you are right, I just don’t want my final image of the greatest F1 driver to be a negative one. My final memory of Nigel Mansell (who was responsible for me becoming hopelessly addicted to F1) is of him beached in a gravel trap in one of the poorest McLaren cars I have ever seen.

    [Reply]


  41.   41. Posted By: Armando
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:51 pm 

    Next Years Mercedes:

    James – How far along do you think the design of the 2010 Mercedes has progressed, and how munch influcence could MS (or whatever driver signs up with Merc) have on its design at this point in the development cycle. This really isn’t a question specific to Merc., more just a general question, which seems relevant given how drawn out this year’s silly season has become.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    The car is very well advanced now. It’s late for fundamentals like cockpit dimensions

    [Reply]

    Brenda Reply:

    can you tell me the dimensions of button and kimi? are they about the same?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Button’s a bit taller, similar build


  42.   42. Posted By: Tejas
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:55 pm 

    i think most ppl here would rather not see him back..

    i for one was excited and hoping to see him back this season for those 4-5 races.. but as a full time he rather leave his legacy and prob let kimi get the seat..

    just my 2 cents..

    [Reply]


  43.   43. Posted By: Kevin McCaughey
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 9:57 pm 

    I don’t think it will happen, but I would love to see it nonetheless! I wouldn’t miss a practice session, a moment of qauli or anything, I would just be glued to the TV from Friday onward.

    Maybe he needs to get something out of his system? He has an itch he just can’t scratch.

    I still think, in a competitive car, he would give anyone on the grid a run for their money.

    For me it would be him up against Alonso that I would love, I think Alonso is in the same class as Michael, with only Lewis knocking at the door….

    [Reply]


  44.   44. Posted By: Buck
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:04 pm 

    No doubt Schumacher coming back for a full season or two would be a huge boost to F1′s tarnished image of late, and then if Raikkonen and Villeneuve also found seats, imagine 6 WDC’s competing against each other in the same season? A publicist’s dream come true.

    But I think it may be simply hype that won’t go anywhere as there’s a really good possibility that it could end up being a lose-lose proposition for both Schumacher and Mercedes once the season actually started. If Schumacher is simply average or even bad when he comes back, that initial excitement would wear down pretty quickly making them both look foolish, Schumacher for not knowing when to say quit, and Mercedes for not being able to win races even with one of the greatest drivers ever. Can either of them take that chance?

    Schumacher especially will be aware of this risk to his reputation and may have even been spooked by watching how badly Felipe’s actual replacements faired, especially Fisichella who was not thought to be a slow driver. At 41, four years since his last race, and with extremely limited testing he will be even more handicapped than Fisi.

    But then who knows anymore? The craziest season ever just refuses to end! What’s next? James Dean rumored to be driving F1 in a Porsche next year? haha

    [Reply]

    Rudy Pyatt Reply:

    But if F1 remains unfinished business for Porsche, might we see them on the grid in the next few years, if only as an engine supplier?

    [Reply]

    Buck Reply:

    Now there’s some serious rumors circulating about Michael Caine racing 2010 in a Mini Cooper. Eddie Jordon was watching The Italian Job on DVD whilst having a few Guinesses and stumbled on to an easter egg that revealed the secret to him.

    [Reply]


  45.   45. Posted By: Paul
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:06 pm 

    I really hope so; just for a season, it’d be just too good.

    [Reply]


  46.   46. Posted By: MirlingStoss
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:14 pm 

    Realistically don’t see a MS(driver)/Brawn reunion for 2010. MercGP and MS would gain some media coverage from any speculation (benefiting both!), but too many potential downsides.
    Ferrari blessing….doubtful.
    Fitness…..doubtful.
    Fast enough…doubtful. = Big risk for both parties.

    AND if itv were still covering F1 in the UK, what an opportunity for Saxa salt to grab some advertising in any commercial break following
    Eddie Jordan’s opinions, more than a pinch needed!

    [Reply]


  47.   47. Posted By: Michael
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:16 pm 

    As much as I love Schumi, I’d much rather see Heidfeld get the seat. Dude’s been in F1 for ten years, and he’s driven cars that have ranged from total crap (Prost), to a car that could win races here and there, but wasn’t a threat to win every week (BMW Sauber), and he’s one of the few drivers to podium for Williams in the post-R. Schumacher-Montoya era. If he gets the seat, then he has a great boss in Ross who will give him a car capable of running up front at each Grand Prix.

    [Reply]

    Rudy Pyatt Reply:

    yup

    [Reply]

    Martin Reply:

    By my count there has been Heidfeld, Webber, Rosberg, Wurz and Nakajima drive for Williams since Montoya won Brazil in 2004. Only Nakajima hasn’t podiumed.

    [Reply]


  48.   48. Posted By: Schumacher and Mercedes: is it serious? « F1 ShortMessage
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:21 pm 

    [...] jamesallenonf1.com] CategoriasÚltimas Tags:Michael Schumacher Comentários (0) Trackbacks (0) Deixe um [...]


  49.   49. Posted By: Craig March
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:43 pm 

    We all want to see Schumacher back racing in F1 but we are all dreaming if we think he can still be competitive when you factor his physical condition and the changes to the cars when he last raced.

    It’s like wanting to see Ali box Mike Tyson, or the 1960′s Manchester United team vs the 1999 treble winners. Something to argue about down the pub, but it’s not realistic.

    Having said *all* that, I have my fingers crossed that he does return.

    [Reply]

    C.M. Reply:

    I’m not so sure about “We ALL want to see Schumacher back racing on F1″.

    The guy ruined the F1 as a sport for many people after the Austrian GP, even for a Ferrari fans withteam orders with Jean Todt. Just when you thought they would care about the F1 fans, the guy makes a fool of the sport in US GP. Then again parking his car in Monaco and lying that he had some sort of a problem…

    Maybe I’m too justice for all kind a person and I can’t close my eyes when I see something like this happening. When I see or hear about him, I don’t remember all the GP’s he won or the glory he had, I remember the Austrian, US and Monaco GP and all the dirty things he did.

    So don’t want him back, even if he comes, he may not be beaten just by Alonso this time, but for many others and I think he knows it.

    [Reply]

    Craig March Reply:

    Obviously you can’t deny those incidents but I was referring to the fact that it would be a spectacle to see him racing against Hamilton, Button, Alonso, Vettel and others in the 2010 setup.

    [Reply]


  50.   50. Posted By: Chuck
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:54 pm 

    I don’t know whether it will happen or not. But it would make for the most exciting opening of a F1 season I can remember… and I have been following F1 for more than 20 years.

    [Reply]


  51.   51. Posted By: Steve
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:56 pm 

    I’d prefer to see Kobayashi in the Merc. He’d give Rosberg a hurry up.

    What’s the latest on our favourite Japanese charger James? Is he going to find a seat in ’10?

    [Reply]


  52.   52. Posted By: Nick
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 10:57 pm 

    If Mercedes are considering Schumacher this really does look like they didn’t expect Button to leave. But despite what Button says about wanting the challenge, I think there must be some other reason.

    [Reply]

    Pat Reply:

    Why ?

    [Reply]

    Nick Reply:

    Because Button is saying goodbye to:

    1. Ross Brawn, in my view, the best team principal.
    2. Almost certainly a great car for 2010 – because they haven’t had to spend too much effort on this year’s.
    3. A team built round him.
    4. A manufacturer’s backing – don’t forget Button backed out of his Williams contract when BMW pulled out of the team.
    5. A team mate that he can beat.

    Therefore, to me it doesn’t add up, there is something missing. As can be seen by Ross Brawn’s/Fry’s reaction, something went seriously wrong on the Mercedes side of the negotiations.

    Whatever, Button gets full brownie points from me for going up against Hamilton in a team that Lewis has made his own.

    [Reply]


  53.   53. Posted By: Nick H
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 11:03 pm 

    Mercedes are looking more desperate by the day, signing Schumacher back at his age would be ridiculous.

    [Reply]

    Lewis Jones Reply:

    Are you actually Nick Heidfeld posting here!!? But a fair point.

    [Reply]


  54.   54. Posted By: Graeme Brown
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 11:09 pm 

    The desire for Michael to prove himself against the next generation of drivers – Hamilton, Vettel, Kubica – makes perfect sense, and I’m sure the likes of Lewis Hamilton would relish the chance to take on the master. I hope he comes back, but only if he’s up to the job at the age of 41 – love him or hate him the man’s a legend and it would be terribly sad to see him tooling around in the midfield. There are guys now who could give him a run for his money, and the cars are closer than ever so it would be a fascinating scenario.

    [Reply]


  55.   55. Posted By: Lady Snowcat
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 11:30 pm 

    Although Michael is no longer helping on the pitwall I understand he’s being paid by Ferrari to help with their road cars…

    The idea that that could sit alongside him driving a Merc in the highest profile motorsports series in the world seems somewhat far fetched….

    [Reply]


  56.   56. Posted By: Kevin
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 11:50 pm 

    Michael, if he decided to come back, would be as quick as ever. It’s not a few years that slows one down in the car, it’s desire. If you have the ability to perform at the level he has, it doesn’t go away. I think he would love to drive, I just don’t think he is interested at all in the rubbish that goes along with BEING a driver

    [Reply]


  57.   57. Posted By: Sy
        Date: November 20th, 2009 @ 11:58 pm 

    so.. if the media reports are to be believed.. seems Michael’s no longer needed by the Ferrari F1 operation so his consultantcy contract is for road-car operations only.
    Sure I don’t imagine Alonso thinking Michael’s much needed on the pitwall.
    I reckon, even at 80% of his former self, Schumacher would run rings around the majority of the field; who else is as consistently good over a year? Only Alonso comes close!(Heidfeld’s reliability doesn’t count for much when he’s reliably finishing just-barely-in-the-points)
    Also I’m guessing the new regs mean that the demands won’t be as extreme as they were previously.

    I’m 100% for Michael’s return,
    but still wanting Lewis for champ next year,
    and still sad over Kimi’s departure.
    (That’s gotta be the priciest choc-ice in history!)

    [Reply]


  58.   58. Posted By: Timem1
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 12:17 am 

    Elliot, you are spot on. Schumi is still young and fit enough to pull this off but that won’t be the case forever. To all you guys who are against it all I can say is ARE YOU OUT OF YOUR MINDS? Schumi coming back would be spectacular. The guy is a legend and F1 is not like boxing or football. You can be older and still be a winner in F1. Mansell did it and he was never in Schumi’s league when it came to physical fitness and mental sharpness. Michael would come back and in a very short time he’d be at the sharp end of grid. It would be fantastic to see and we’d all be fortunate to be able to see Schumi stick it to the young guns one last time. Talk about excitement.

    [Reply]

    Rudy Pyatt Reply:

    I don’t want him to come back, as I stated before, for his safety and his family’s peace of mind. But if he wants to badly enough, obviously, he will.

    HIs ability to compete at the front wouldn’t be the issue. I have no doubt that he would do exactly that.

    Analogy: Mark Martin retired, came back, and is in with a shout at stopping Jimmy Johnson’s four-peat of NASCAR titles. Big, heavy cars, 36 race schedule, 43 car door-to-door packs at 200 mph and all.

    Mark Martin is 50 years old. Old age and guile puts him ahead of much youth and exuberance. IF Schumi comes back, it’ll be the same thing for him.

    [Reply]


  59.   59. Posted By: Flintelli
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 12:37 am 

    I’m sorry, if Eddie Jordan is saying it will happen then it must be true!!! Especially when he comes out with little gems like, no KERS car will get pole position this season! Or McLaren have built a dog of a car and should just scrap it! I have no real reason to disbelieve him!!!!!!!!

    ha

    [Reply]


  60.   60. Posted By: RobbM
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 12:53 am 

    Hi James

    Cool Entry, i like how you’ve alluded to the Hijacking of the PR agenda a couple of times, are you giving us a hint that you feel this is all smoke and mirrors as Brawn/Mercedes Vrs McLaren bitch-slap each other for headline space … Or do you feel there’s some fire in MS returning.
    I personally think his wife will turn round and say no, its her and the kids now he’s had his fun …
    you’ve met them what do you think -
    Is MS doing this for real on this?
    will Ferrari really let him go to such rivals??

    Rob

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    I don’t see it, personally

    [Reply]


  61.   61. Posted By: california
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:14 am 

    i think he would do fine. he is still very competitive in karting (racing this weekend in las vegas) and it is the perfect opportunity for him. if he ever is going to make the move then it has to be now. i say go for it.

    [Reply]


  62.   62. Posted By: grelly
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:14 am 

    Does anyone believe Vettel to Mercedes?

    [Reply]


  63.   63. Posted By: Patrick C.
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:24 am 

    I’d much rather see Kimi in this seat, never was a huge Michael fan. On the flip side, Michael would pack the stands at the races. As for him struggling to match the speed of the others, I think Jenson is going to have a harder time matching Lewis than Michael would driving the latest F1 car after a couple years away.

    [Reply]


  64.   64. Posted By: Ben
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:26 am 

    Whilst I do not believe these rumours myself, one thing I do find interesting is Luca di Montezemolo’s continual drive to try and get 3 cars per team. 3 car teams are never going to happen, particular given at the moment there are more potential entries than grid slots (Qadbak and Lola both wanting in on Toyota’s vacancy)

    Luca di Montezemolo has said the third car would be for Schumacher – it makes you wonder whether the aborted comeback over the summer reignited Schumacher’s desire to race in F1 again to the point where Schumacher has made noises about a comeback. Given the problems Ferrari had making room for Alonso in the team (a move that has been in the works for over a year now) it would have been impossible to make room for Schumacher too (axing Kimi has been damaging enough for Ferrari – axing Massa as weel, particular as he has been a loyal driver for the team and is currently injured) would be impossible to spin.

    Whilst Luca di Montezemolo does not necessarily want Schumacher to drive for Ferrari again in F1 (there is no doubt in my mind that he is concerned Schumacher was becoming bigger than Ferrari towards the end of his driving career) losing Schumacher to another team – particularly a manufacturer team – is a situation he would want even less.

    Whilst I do not think Schumacher is going to return to Mercedes, I do think he has seriously contemplating a return as I can see no reason why Luca di Montezemolo would continue to promote such a fanciful suggestion as the three car teams.

    [Reply]


  65.   65. Posted By: Roger
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:46 am 

    Button steals the thunder by signing to McLaren, Mercedes take the thunder back by
    starting the Schumacher rumour – all sounds
    like a lot of one-upmanship with little credibility….

    [Reply]


  66.   66. Posted By: Martin P
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 2:02 am 

    One very big reason why it won’t happen – the Tifosi.

    I honestly believe he was genuine about the “Ferrari family” thing.

    Can you really see him “betraying” them like this?

    [Reply]


  67.   67. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 2:54 am 

    James, sorry for this off-topic question, but being based in Colombia I would love to know what the international make-up of followers of your website is?

    Your blog is the only serious piece of F1 commentary that I have found and I’m sure that you are grabbing more of a global audience.

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    It’s pretty widespread, biggest in UK, Aus, US and Canada, but Costa Rica is represented! Don’t forget that the ITV commentaries went out in many countries around the world. Sadly not Colombia.

    [Reply]

    Ali Reply:

    Yeah and don’t forget torrents, James. That also helped your widespread recognation.

    [Reply]


  68.   68. Posted By: Tim L
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 3:36 am 

    NOPE…not going to happen watching him here in Las Vegas Super Nationals (SKUSA) he still has it …the smoothest in the field, he stuck the motor in Q and passed 15 in 12 laps in heat one….stay tuned…

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Send us some photos, will you

    [Reply]

    Rudy Pyatt Reply:

    or vids!

    [Reply]

    Pat Reply:

    There’s loads here….

    http://picasaweb.google.com/snats13/DropBox#

    [Reply]

    Tim L Reply:

    What address….email that is.

    [Reply]

    Tim L Reply:

    I have a number of my one photos however here is good site

    http://ontrackpromotions.ifp3.com/2/90921/#/gallery/09-snatsxiii-misc-photos/


  69.   69. Posted By: Cess Parper
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 4:08 am 

    I don’t believe anyone should take this MS comeback guff seriously for a moment. Yet again EJ has demonstrated his foolishness as an FI commentator, but I guess we’ve had all season to get used to it. For MS sitting in for an injured Massa at his beloved Ferrari is one thing. But re-starting his carrier at Mercedes after a four year break is surely too risky an adventure for both parties (let alone the ear-bending from her indoors), no matter what the record books say. As for Norbert Haug’s “surprises” remark, it represents little more than Mercedes attempt to rain on McLaren’s parade. If the Ferrari is up to it in 2010 my money’s on Massa to make a fairytale return to FI and take the title and even if Marenello can’t come up with a championship winning car next year, I predict this will be the second season in his F1 career that Alonso loses out to a top flight team mate once he realizes Ferrari are no more ready to tickle his nuts to the exclusion of all others anymore than McLaren were.

    [Reply]


  70.   70. Posted By: Qiang
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 5:25 am 

    James,
    Do you think Sutil will be considered by Brawn?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    THey know a lot of about him from the Force India collaboration. Haven’t heard his name mentioned so far

    [Reply]

    rpaco Reply:

    Sutil already signed for one of the new teams. (it was reported elsewhere)

    [Reply]


  71.   71. Posted By: Sam
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 7:33 am 

    James, you obviously know Schumi more than anyone here and The Edge of The Greatness was very entertaining by the way. It reminded me of the first Rocky film when you described how young underdog Schumacher upset the legendary Aryton Senna.

    Back to the topic, I wander what makes you think that Schumi only wanted to do a few races?

    In my opinion, he does want to do the whole season more than just a few races.

    Yes, he doesn’t want to do anything longer than that but his eighth title was unfinished business to him.

    With Alonso in a Ferrari and Lewis in a Maclaren, if a challenge excites him, he will be most excited by that.

    Does F1 need it? Not even a question.
    His name is still a very powerful global brand. The fans went nuts when he announced to come back.
    And that disappointment could be a source of motivation for him.

    As Bernie said “we used to have superstars but now we have champions.”

    [Reply]


  72.   72. Posted By: Ian Blackwell
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 7:56 am 

    I do not really think it will happen for the simple reason that he will probably be way too expensive. Mercedes could probably buy Vettel out of Red Bull right now or get Kimi Raikonnen for Schumacher sort of money and either would prove quicker and a more lasting solution. He is probably more likely to be in the running for some sort of management/admin role.

    I am not that keen to see him back anyway. He might have won all those races and titles but he was one of the most boring drivers to watch. The only time he ever did anything interesting was when he tried to play dodgem cars with his championship rivals, or park his car in the middle of the track in qualifying, or pass his own teammate on the final lap.

    If by some miracle he does make it to the grid next year how competitive do you see him being? Would he be doing this for some money and some fun or would he be serious about competing for a title?

    [Reply]


  73.   73. Posted By: Spyros
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 9:31 am 

    A 41 year old Schumi, walking around the F1 paddock dressed in silver??? Honestly?

    I don’t buy it, it sounds like Merc wishful thinking, perhaps Ross Brawn thinking out loud about what to do with Button gone…

    I don’t see Michael’s motivation in this. He’d risk his reputation, he would be seen to betray Ferrari (unless Todt can sugarcoat the transfer, somehow) and he really doesn’t need the money..!

    I’d consider him as a likely candidate for a high-profile publicity role of some sort, in Todt’s “new” FIA, but a Merc driver?

    [Reply]


  74.   74. Posted By: matth
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 10:03 am 

    Off topic I know, but having seen Children in Need last night it struck me that James Allen is a dead ringer for Big Chris – Rory The Racing Car’s mechanic! It’s uncanny!

    OK back to the discussion…

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Without the Manchester accent!

    [Reply]


  75.   75. Posted By: Paul Mc
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 11:08 am 

    Haha good ol Eddie stirring it up! Bernie should get EJ in the FIA PR department. He’s gotten F1, Schumi and himself all over the media.

    I wonder how painful was it to see Rubens driving so well last season. Schumi probably sat there thinking he could of easily won another WDC if he was in that Brawn.

    Personally I don’t see him coming back but if he does I’m packing my bag and going to Spa to see the master at work.

    [Reply]


  76.   76. Posted By: LMW
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 11:31 am 

    Can’t see it happening.

    MS’s spokeswoman not ruling anything out keeps the ball (and print press) rolling, so this is more publicity for MS and Mercedes/Brawn, after McLaren got the headlines last week.

    [Reply]


  77.   77. Posted By: Josh
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 11:40 am 

    I think Mr Allen’s best guess on this is the most valid rather than EJ’s PR words, writing two autobiographies I’d hope so anyway!

    EJ really has spoken some junk this year and the sexual tension between him and DC occasionally made my toes curl.

    [Reply]

    Neil Barr Reply:

    Two autobiographies? That sounds more like Eddie than James. Perhaps that’s just the foreword …

    [Reply]


  78.   78. Posted By: F - Akinzo
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 11:43 am 

    James,

    Is there the slightest chance that the surprise Mercedes Benz are talking about is Lewis Hamilton? This could be payback for Button or the plan all along.

    After all why has he been on mute since the whole Macca-Button signing?

    Your thoughts

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    No Hamilton is staying put for the time being

    [Reply]

    Brace Reply:

    You really need to get real! :)
    Massa makes surprise switch to Lotus to make his dream come true since he always wanted to drive for Lotus after seeing his idol Senna.
    James, any thoughts on this probable scenario! :)

    [Reply]


  79.   79. Posted By: Rich m
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 11:48 am 

    The other good blog is joe sawards – hope James doesn’t mind me mentioning that. I think the two compliment each other well actually with slightly different perspectives

    [Reply]


  80.   80. Posted By: Peter
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:33 pm 

    Schumacher is already racing for another team……………Forget Mercedes……He is racing for Tonykart this weekend in the USA in Las Vegas for the Supernationals Kart race in the Superpro KZ2 class!

    [Reply]


  81.   81. Posted By: rpaco
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 1:43 pm 

    Dear old Eddie likes to stir things up.

    [Reply]


  82.   82. Posted By: MIKE LEA
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 3:25 pm 

    It would be very exciting to see Schumacher back in F1, up against Hamilton, Vettel etc, but I can’t see it happening. He surely wouldn’t have signed a new deal with Ferrari if he was considering a full-race return. I could understand why Mercedes might make a play for him, as he’s clearly a better bet than the solid, but unspectacular, Heidfeld. f he did return, he’d have some pre-season testing to get up to speed, so would have no problems finding the limit again, but he has nothing to prove whatsoever. This story is just too good to be true.
    I’d love to see him take on Le Mans again, though. Montezemolo dropped hints this year that Ferrari should come back to the 24 Hours…who better to lead the team than a formula 1 world champ! What do you reckon, James? Would the greater technical freedom at Le Mans tempt Schumi back into a glitzy new Ferrari LMP1?

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Maybe. He was very fast there the one time I saw him there in a Mercedes

    [Reply]


  83.   83. Posted By: Steve Jones
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 4:06 pm 

    Schumacher racing for Mercedes next year? My heart says yes – I’d love to see him back. But my head says no – what’s he got to prove, what’s in it for him? Easy to see the upside for Mercedes. Not so sure what MS has to gain.

    James – I can’t see him coming back, personally. But if he did how do you think he’d get on? It’s 3 long years since he hung up his helmet as a race driver. At 41, could he really come back anywhere near as strong as he used to be?

    [Reply]


  84.   84. Posted By: Paige Michael-Shetley
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 4:30 pm 

    I’ve thought more about this, and I think it’s a really bad idea for Schumacher to come back.

    It’s one thing to sit out for a year and then step in the very best car by a significant the next season while having plenty of opportunity to test, as Prost did in 1993 with Williams and the FW15. Schumacher has now been away for three seasons, and he won’t get to test over the offseason until about a month before the year starts; realistically, he’s probably not going to be very competitive. And while the Merc should be very good next season, I think it would be naive to say it will be as dominant as the FW14/FW15, which would make things much harder for Schumacher.

    The absolutely best option for Mercedes right now is to do everything they can to sign Raikkonen for a couple of years. He provides the team with one of the elite talents of F1 who would be motivated by the opportunity to drive a top car and compete for the championship. He’s shown he can lead a team (McLaren), and he’s got a relationship with key figures at Mercedes. He will have no problem signing a short-term contract and being a gap driver until Mercedes can take a run at Vettel, which Button probably wasn’t willing to do.

    [Reply]


  85.   85. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 4:43 pm 

    Hi James, just read the excerpt from your book on the ITV-F1 website. It was very amusing to read about Ross Brawn traveling with the team on easyJet!!

    Just ordered your book. I hope that my mail forwarded in London manages to get it to reach me in Colombia before Christmas!

    [Reply]


  86.   86. Posted By: Olivier
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 5:03 pm 

    I am not going to get carried away about this. I don’t want to be disappointed again like last Summer.

    But if it were to be true … man, that’d be awesome :)

    okay, stop it!

    [Reply]


  87.   87. Posted By: carlm21
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 6:31 pm 

    Nick Heidfeld will race alongside Nico Rosberg in 2010.

    [Reply]


  88.   88. Posted By: Racing not Politics
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 7:29 pm 

    Like you James, I really doubt MS will drive in F1 again but I certainly would like to see it

    [Reply]


  89.   89. Posted By: Bison
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 8:55 pm 

    I was a big Schumacher fan but would not love to see him coming back to F1. He is not the same man that left so see no reason for him to come back. I doubt he is thinking of coming back either.

    Why did Sabine have to say the words “never say never”? she knows for sure Michael isn’t coming back I don’t see why she had to get the media started again.

    [Reply]


  90.   90. Posted By: davidturnedge
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 9:20 pm 

    If he must race do Le Mans or Indy. Or NASCAR! Imagine if Michael won Le Mans, or an Indy Championship or finished his first year in NASCAR in the top 10. Now that’s a LEGEND.

    [Reply]

    Elliot Reply:

    Nigel Mansell. Been there, done that! =D

    [Reply]

    davidturnedge Reply:

    Yup! Legend!

    [Reply]


  91.   91. Posted By: fishking
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 9:58 pm 

    nothing is imposible we wait and see if Schumacher will be faster than lewis, alonso and vettel.

    james do you think HAMILTON will be lead driver with number 2 status on his car. i don’t know how it gonna work out. but button complains a lot.

    [Reply]


  92.   92. Posted By: guy
        Date: November 21st, 2009 @ 11:18 pm 

    James help me alleviate the boredom of the wife watching strictly on sky plus – what is the purpose of the delay announcing rosberg as mercedes driver please?

    [Reply]


  93.   93. Posted By: Ronald Ooms
        Date: November 22nd, 2009 @ 4:18 am 

    Ross Brawn is in no hurry to sign the second driver. He can easily do that in 2010 before the season starts.
    Kimi Raikkonen would consider a return to the cockpit if the car is capable of winning races and the championship.
    The only way for him to find out is, driving the Mercedes car. And testing starts somewhere in 2010, yes?
    So don’t be surprised when he should step into the cockpit and test the car. This reminds me of late 1992. With the prospect of Alain Prost winning the 93 championship with two fingers up his nose, Ayrton had no desire to drive a Mclaren with no Honda power. So he looked for other options. Testing the Penske Indycar car in the USA sparked rumours that he would go to the American counterpart of F1.
    He did test for Mclaren MP4/8 Ford Cosworth V8 in 1993 and found the car competitive enough to race the new season.
    So, if Brawn won’t announce a deal with a driver who will partner Rosberg, than that is my thought that this Raikkonen test might happen. We just have to wait and see. They are in no hurry and don’t need to. It’s better to wait and make the right decision than to speed things up and make the wrong decision.
    About Schumacher? No way that his return will happen. It’s good PR to have those rumours and it helps Mercedes in the spotlight as all attention is gone to them now after the Button-Mclaren announcement.

    [Reply]


  94.   94. Posted By: Nick clarke
        Date: November 22nd, 2009 @ 10:17 am 

    First time I have seen this site James! Well done and thanks for your knowlege on this issue!

    [Reply]


  95.   95. Posted By: Segedunum
        Date: November 22nd, 2009 @ 3:09 pm 

    No it won’t happen, and it would be stupid for it to happen.

    Given that Schumacher has had such a huge commitment to Ferrari this extends beyond any contract, and for him to turn up for Mercedes now to relive the glory days he never had with them just looks daft.

    Additionally, I don’t think Schumacher’s wife will be impressed. Given that he’s now in his forties, and I don’t doubt he could still do it, but in two or three years he’d have to go over retirement all over again.

    He’s said many times before that his time has passed, and Schumacher is such a mentally tough person that once he makes a decision he doesn’t go back on it.

    [Reply]

    davidturnedge Reply:

    Oh, that AGE THING AGAIN.

    Let me tell you, I’m in my 40s and I would be competitive in an F1 car… I am sure I would be… if only someone would give me a chance… please…

    [Reply]

    Segedunum Reply:

    You don’t have what Michael Schumacher has behind him and you would both have to face a decision over retirement in two or three years, maximum.

    [Reply]

    davidturnedge Reply:

    Ummm… I was being funny… dolt!


  96.   96. Posted By: Mike from Medellin, Colombia
        Date: November 22nd, 2009 @ 4:24 pm 

    James, any more new on MS?

    Haug just repeated his soundbite on a “suprise driver line’up” . Wili Weber has confirmed that MS talked to Mercedes after Abu Dhabi.

    [Reply]

    Segedunum Reply:

    That doesn’t tell us anything new. EJ said he saw Schumacher, Brawn and the guy from Mercedes deep in conversation at Abu Dhabi an that’s what he has based his prediction on. However, a lot has happened since that race and it’s been clear that Brawn were counting on Jenson waiting until the Mercedes deal went though.

    [Reply]

    Rich C Reply:

    Haug just means it will be a surprise to *him, because nobody’s telling him anything!

    [Reply]

    James Allen Reply:

    Very witty!

    [Reply]


  97.   97. Posted By: peter
        Date: November 22nd, 2009 @ 9:44 pm 

    No. But its good PR until they announce Kimi. 73% of the German Auto Motor Sport readers want Kimi in the other Mercedes car.

    [Reply]

    Segedunum Reply:

    Kimi is definitely the logical choice, but it’s a question of whether Kimi actually wants Mercedes and wants to be in another corporate environment. He’ll have less politics than he did at Ferrari though. He is adamant that going rallying and doing other forms of racing during the year, especially with no testing, keeps him sharp. A one year deal might be palatable both to him and Mercedes – especially if they want to try and prise Vettel away and maybe do a swap. ;-)

    Strangely, I don’t think money is an obstacle to such a deal.

    [Reply]


  98.   98. Posted By: davidturnedge
        Date: November 24th, 2009 @ 9:40 am 

    Of course Kimi will take the Mercedes spot…

    [Reply]


  99.   99. Posted By: Michael S
        Date: November 25th, 2009 @ 4:12 pm 

    All this press is great for Mercedes. However, if they don’t land Kimi or Schumi it will be a huge let down. I almost feel bad for Heidfeld who knows if his name is called you will hear a pin drop.

    [Reply]

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