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Corinna Schumacher: ” Michael needs a challenge”
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Corinna Schumacher: ” Michael needs a challenge”
Posted By: James Allen  |  27 Dec 2009   |  9:41 am GMT  |  22 comments

There have been several reactions to the news that Michael Schumacher will race again in 2010; Bernie Ecclestone is relieved and the signs are that every team will benefit financially from Schumacher’s return. But perhaps the most interesting reaction came on Christmas Eve from Corinna Schumacher, long suffering wife of the seven times world champion.

corinna-schumacher

It is well known that she was relieved to see Michael get out of F1 in one piece back in 2006 and so for her his decision to come back promotes, predictably, mixed feelings,

“My husband’s choice turns our family upside down, but he needs a challenge, ” she said in a statement. “I understand his decision and to be honest, I think it’s fantastic. When he said that Ross Brawn had called I realised straight away; he had his passion back. Michael’s love for racing is huge. Without this limitless passion, none of this would have been possible. And it is this passion which makes Michael the man he has become. I knew it when he was a driver and I had complete faith in him. He knows perfectly well what he is doing and he knows I will always support him. He just needs a challenge, that’s the way he’s built.”

Perhaps the most relieved person is Bernie Ecclestone, who said that 2010 was now set to be a “jaw dropping season” and few would disagree with him. The feedback to this site has been largely thrilled and excited by the prospect of such an array of big names racing against each other.

But what makes Ecclestone smile is that this comeback is very good for business at a vital time. There are some major TV contracts due for renewal and it was known to be a concern in F1 circles that it would be hard to match the values seen in the early 2000s, given the financial difficulties most broadcasters are facing. Schumacher’s return, especially in Germany, the most lucrative TV market for F1, is a real boost and that is something all the teams should benefit from, as they share 50% of the commercial revenues under current arrangements, not to mention the interest of new sponsors attracted into the sport to benefit from this new-look show.

The emphasis is off the manufacturers and the politics and back onto the drivers.

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22 Comments
  1. dstaisey says:

    Yeah… Without Kimi F1 has lost for me. There was interesting slideshow on itv-f1, Schumacher career in pictures, a reminder of what he was. If people are regarding F1 as the entertainment business and to opt to have Schumi back and loose Kimi it has lost all the appeal for me.

    1. AK says:

      Well, it’s not Schumacher’s fault if Kimi is bored of F1. To start with, he got booted out due to his own lack of motivation and patience at Ferrari (Michael had to wait 5 years to win his first title with Ferrari). Secondly, he was not interested in signing for McLaren or Mercedes when they were clearly interested. I am sure no fan would mind having another world champion on the grid (whether it be the German or the Finn).

      1. dstaisey says:

        Who said Kimi is board? .. very same people who orchestrated his departure! Is it wrong to have personality any more in F1?! Kimi was in wrong era in F1.. He would be two times world champion with Ferrari if Michale and Weber wasn’t there in the pits. F1 is becoming entertainment business ever more, but with WWeber the main star from behind it has nothing to do with me any more. Bernie should realize that sooner or it might be too late when the hype of return calms. The show might come back to reality and realize all the cheats Kerpen guys did, more harm than good for F1. And true fans know that! Maybe thats why he has stick with Vettel in public.

  2. Sledge says:

    James – between the 4 drivers championship winners on next year’s grid I can count 11 championships in total. Would you know if the number of championship winners and the total number of championships between them is a record for a starting grid? The closest period to this that I can think of is Senna-Prost-Mansell era, but I’m sure they had fewer between them.

    1. George says:

      Well Prost never drove against Mansell after he won his championship, but in 1993 there was
      Nelson Piquet – 3
      Alain Prost – 3
      Ayrton Senna – 2 (won that year)

      That’s the highest tally I can think of, 1985 had 7 if you count Alan Jones

      1. Wow – people do like to forget Piquet was there too!!
        ;)

        At the end of the 1991, there were technically 9 titles on the grid:
        3 each for Prost, Piquet and Senna

  3. Ted the Mechanic says:

    Thanks for understanding Corinna. If one person could have prevented this it was you…

    And as for Bernie’s joy, that’s why poor old Nick Heidfeld never stood a chance as long as Michael was not saying “No” to Ross. Can you imagine Bernie try to wring a few extra million out of tough TV execs with the pulling power of Nick Heidfeld…

  4. Tezza says:

    Well put James,

    Michael timing couldn’t have been better for F1. To a point I am pundit that welcomes him back into the fold. I wonder how much the other drivers will have to up their game?

    A British vs German team i going to prove fascinating and if Ferrari have got it right this season Alonso and Massa could create a sensation or two.

    It will be shame that all the supreme efforts the new teams will be putting in, could pale into insignificance come race day.

    Guess where all the cameras will be pointing in Bahrain!

  5. Jimmi C says:

    Hamilton, Schumacher, Alonso, Button. When was the last time a grid had four (or more) world champions on it, all in race-winning cars?

  6. rpaco says:

    Well it’s not like it was in Graham Hill’s day, when any crash guaranteed injury and a good chance of a fiery death. Still he must look at
    Stowe and remember that no matter how good he was (maybe is) the car can always break.

  7. Chris Crawford says:

    It’s funny because when I told louise (my wife) the news the first thing she said was ‘i wonder what his poor wife is saying about that….’ which I though was a good point…..

    But good on her, if anyone could have stopped him it would have been her, more than the pain in the neck would have.

    1. AK says:

      The reality is (as pointed out by Martin Brundle in a Times article) that Schumacher has had more injuries in his amateur bike outings than in his 249 F1 appearances. So I think it’s a no-brainer for his wife, as he’d be safer in the sport he excels at.

  8. Paulo Amore says:

    James… So it’s going to a be a vintage 2010 season…. Unlike Concorde, i’m not going to miss seeing Schumacher race in the flesh….

    Other than Monaco… Which are the stand out GP’s to visit…

    I know, under what criteria…..

    Maybe you could point us in the right direction as follows :-

    1) Cash no object. Best pit lane passes. Where to buy them etc.

    2) Best track location for ease of entry (i mean traffic) close to a great party city…

    3) Best value?

    What do you think. A wee featurette coming up? Hook up with a travel agent or something and i’ll book through you… Your coverage seems to be uber balanced as would your advice and travel agent hook up. I for one would pay for the right advice! Time poor etc.

    1. James Allen says:

      When you say unlike Concorde, do you mean that you missed the chance to fly on the plane? I just managed it with a couple of months to spare and I’m so glad I did. The best bit was not the speed, it was seeing the curvature of the Earth. When else would you ever get to see that?

      As regards your questions, you could do a lot worse than to hook up with Halcyon Events, which is owned by two mates of Jenson Button’s and they do some very good packages which get you close to the action. If I were choosing, I would put Monza top of the list because you have to experience the tifosi and the unique atmosphere of Monza. Also this year will be great with Alonso’s first appearance there for Ferrari and Schumacher coming back as the anti-hero now. Will be great. Spa is a must.

  9. michael c says:

    mmmm – well if the conspiracy theory stuff stuck then Michael would have spiced up Bernies (and Brawns) show for a (relative) pittance for himself

    1. Ted the Mechanic says:

      Perhaps Bernie threw in a bit of a sweetener for Michael as well…

      It wouldn’t need to be declared anywhere would it. Or would it?

      1. James Allen says:

        Mercedes have to be careful as the unions are being tough on this F1 adventure so paying MS as fortune was out. But his name and presence is sure to attract sponsors and I would imagine there will be some mechanism whereby he is paid additional fees out of that money, separate from Mercedes

      2. Ted the Mechanic says:

        And it’s not like Willi Weber to undervalue his star attraction…

  10. Chris crawford says:

    Monza and Spa. That’s my 2 fav tracks. Oddly probebly unlike everyone else, I’m not to fussed about going to Monaco. Don’t get me wrong though, I would love to go to Monaco and experience the parties and the rich lifestyle but for the racing I wonder if it’s too restrictive for watching.

    Monza the speed and atmosphere must be incredible.

  11. Joe Tanto says:

    I’m thinking back to Brazil 06, during the commentary James mentioned bumping into a guy from Wales at Interlagos, that sold his house and spent all his money to attend Schumacher’s last races, ” because thats how much it meant to him “.

    All the circuits will enjoy boosted ticket sales, very welcome, in these difficult economic times. Look at Valencia, there must have been many that bought tickets and made travel arrangements at short notice.

    I think this year Silverstone will sell out much earlier than usual. Almost feel sorry for Donington missing out, it would have snatched the race at a perfect time. Sad for them how things turned out.

    Freddy Pontin used to run ads showing a thumbs up and saying – book early. I think anybody wanting to go to F1 should heed his advice. The tickets, hotels and flights around the classic races are going to be like gold dust.

    The draw of seeing Schumacher race is going to be very powerful, for casual fans and the hard-core alike. Especially if he is on form and his car is good.

    I bet the guy from Wales is getting very excited!

    PS. We enjoyed your book, my wife hinted James probably does a Damien Hirst, and has an assistant to help sign all those books, ours could be an Enzo signature…
    I assured her James signs them all himself, so she’s going to buy one every year to get the set! :)

  12. Lacey says:

    Say yes to this message and we’ll spare an made up critter!

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