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Schumacher: Title is still a possibility
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Schumacher: Title is still a possibility
Posted By: James Allen  |  15 Apr 2010   |  10:52 pm GMT  |  82 comments

Michael Schumacher is adamant he’s still got every chance of winning an eighth Formula 1 World Championship this season despite taking his time to get back up to speed.

Schumacher: Not giving up (Darren Heath)


After the opening three races, he is one of only five drivers not to outqualify his team mate.

The 41 year old began the season with a sixth place finish in Bahrain, but struggled to tenth place in Australia, a week later, and retired after just nine laps in Malaysia with a wheel nut problem.

However, the Mercedes GP driver said today in Shanghai that he was pleased with his start to the season and expects to be challenging for the title.

“Indeed yes I do [think I’m still in with a chance of the title] because if you take the points system and you see that like Fernando, he had a retirement in Malaysia [and] for whatever reason it can happen to all of us.

“I had mine in Malaysia and at one point of the season it will hit the guys fighting for the championship. So if we have a quick enough development speed, there is no reason why we cannot fight for championship,” said Schumacher.

“There is such a long season ahead and development is so important. We all know how quickly the rate of development is. I’m pretty sure we have potential to develop this car. It’s far from thinking this season is over for Nico [Rosberg] and even for myself.”

“I’ve been around long enough to know about what I call the wave of emotion,” he continued. “In winter everyone was very emotional and supportive, that was the wave, and then there is a natural falling off.”

Schumacher sits tenth in the championship standings, 30 points behind championship leader Felipe Massa and hasn’t yet got onto the level of his team-mate Nico Rosberg.

However, this weekend’s Chinese Grand Prix provides happy memories for the German as he scored his most recent Formula 1 victory at the circuit and the 91st of his career in 2006 before he retired from the sport.

In classic Schumacher style, he prefers to focus on the challenge ahead rather than dwell on the disappointment of the last three races.

“Whether you’re the reason for it or whether it’s just a natural happening, is not important. The results have not been as great as some people have expected, even myself, but the competition is high. So it is natural I don’t have the same positive feeling from the media.

“I know exactly what I’ve been doing, I know what’s going on and I have no reason to be disappointed. I still feel very happy, whether people like it or not.”

I spoke to Ross Brawn after Melbourne about Schumacher’s “rehabilitation” to the sharp edge of F1 competition and he seemed to think that it was on target, in terms of the pace and consistency he had been able to show when things were going normally. He seemed to be pretty proud that Schumacher’s performances so far vindicate his decision last summer to hire Rosberg – perhaps Schumacher’s performances say more about Rosberg than they do about the Great Man.

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  1. the corpse says:

    I personally think he is out of the championship fight, but it is just my personal opinion.

    1. Henry says:

      I dont think anyone would doubt his driving ability, but I do agree that he wont win it. Statistically if you look at it, he could easily still win but if you look at the cars pace, they are behind three teams by enough that regular race wins and podiums wont happen often enough without other teams failures.

      He was always going to take a little time to get up to speed, new tyres, new cars and so on, but I can see him winning a race maybe more later in the season, but unless mercedes improve dramatically he doesn’t have the car for it, and for the moment he is being out-performed by rossberg.

  2. James Punt says:

    “perhaps Schumacher’s performances say more about Rosberg than they do about the Great Man.”

    I can’t buy that. Three years off has taken its toll. He doesn’t look as fit and he will not thrive on racing with the midfield. If he gets stuffed by Rosberg at Barcelona my guess is that he won’t be racing in 2011.

    Rosberg will dine out on it, but is he any better than last year vs. Katayama?

    1. Rafael says:

      What James predicted would happen is what seems to be happening:

      Rosberg is not getting the praise he deserves because “it’s not that he’s doing well, but instead it’s that Schumacher is trash now”.

      No – Rosberg deserves better than that. He has performed very well and he needs the credit he deserves.

      Sure – Schumacher isn’t the beast that he once was, but I don’t think that his current performance is that bad. Truth is that Nico has outqualified a solid teammate fair and square. Rosberg is a talented driver.

      1. James Allen says:

        I didn’t write that bit in quote marks, where did you get that from?

      2. Ryan says:

        I think the quotes are supposed to be in the voice of “generic naysayer,” not as an attribution to you, if that makes any sense.

    2. Adam Taylor says:

      “kazuki nakajima”
      I believe Katayama was different generation lol

    3. David says:

      “perhaps Schumacher’s performances say more about Rosberg than they do about the Great Man.”

      I buy it, and this strikes me as astute. I doubt that Brawn is blustering. It is very tiny fractions of a second splitting NR and MS at this point, and the rust will continue to flake off Schumacher’s racecraft as the season progresses.

      Championship? Maybe not! But mid-field fodder? No way.

      1. Gil Dogon says:

        In my eyes, if you look at the first three races, then the top two performing drivers, who have not put a foot wrong, are Roseberg and Kubica. I guess you can say they are also the two biggest positive surprises of the start of the season.

      2. Howard Hughes says:

        “the rust will continue to flake off Schumacher’s racecraft as the season progresses.”

        Excellent point beautifully expressed!

  3. Tim says:

    Championship is certainly a hard ask from here. Mercedes seem to be around 4th quickest atm, so jumping to a position dominant enough to make up the points deficit seems unlikely without some on-track misfortune for the others.

    More interesting is how Schumacher’s pace develops in comparison to Rosberg. His best lap is generally good, but he doesn’t seem as consistently fast yet.

  4. Stephen Kellett says:

    “I know exactly what I’ve been doing, I know what’s going on and I have no reason to be disappointed. I still feel very happy, whether people like it or not.”

    In all walks of life, this is how you should judge your acheivements. You are your own benchmark.

    I think he has got it spot on. He’ll surprise people later this season. His attitude is in the right place, the future, not the things that failed. That is the attitude of the type of person that succeeds.

  5. TriedTrue says:

    The Championship is wide open at this point. There is no one dominant team. Red Bull has it’s issues with reliability, Ferrari seems to have a similar issue but to perhaps a lesser degree, McLaren are not quite there on pure performance and have made some judgement errors. Merc GP is off the pace for sure, but they have the resources to make up the ground as the season progresses. I’m not saying that Schumi is going to walk with it but only a fool would write him off at this stage of the season. Anything can (and will) happen in this years WDC fight.

    1. I couldn’t agree more, you only have to remember back a few years when the media seemingly had gifted the championship to Alonso in 06 and come the end of the year he would have been in the box seat if his engine didn’t let go in Suzuka while leading.

      Admittedly the car isn’t quick enough yet but within a few more races I’d say as long as he’s within reach of the championship and the car develops….well we all know what he’s capable of – would you bet against him in the sitch? Old age and fitness are rubbish, come on he’s probably still fitter than Button now!

      1. J says:

        I must correct you on “we all know what he’s capable of” I think it’s more like: What he WAS capable of. Indeed he WAS a great and deserving champion. NOBODY fools nature even you are M.S.!

  6. Nick H says:

    I think Schumacher is kidding himself here, in truth he looks out of place in F1 now as a 41 year old plodding around the midfeild whilst the big guns in the form of Button,Hamilton,Alonso,Massa and Vettel are fighting it out at the front.
    You should have stayed retired Michael!

    1. Marty Harris says:

      “plodding around the midfeild (sic)”?

      In which of the races so far have we seen Schumacher practising, qualifying and racing in the midfield?

      1. Nick H says:

        Did you watch the Chinese GP Marty?

        Did you see how Schumacher was overtaken by all the other top drivers?
        Worse than that he was passed by other midfield runners in far worse cars.
        The truth is Schumacher is a has been who is well past his best, his display at Shanghai was EMBARRASSING!

  7. Richard Foster says:

    3 years away, huge changes to the car and two unlucky races are hardly a fair way to judge a comeback so far. With the exception of Bahrain where Schumacher was very respectable he hasn’t had an opportunity to show what he can do.

    You can forget Melbourne, I remember many a race where he was stuck behind other cars in the past (and likewise races where he overtook everyone) and Malaysia was a retirement.

    I agree with James Punt Barcelona will be the big test a track (despite some changes) he knows very well and the fifth race of the season. If he can’t switch it on there and beat Rosberg I imagine the comeback will be a swansong before he retires again, if however as he keeps improving he gets back up to his best then bring on 2011!

  8. Adam J says:

    I think everyone tends to forget that we are only 4 races into the season. There are still 16 more to go! Schumacher has plenty of time to improve… but same goes for everyone else so we’ll see…

    1. the corpse says:

      improving it’s one thing, winning the championship it’s another.

  9. Pierce89 says:

    Nick H. must be Nick Heidfeld.

    1. Craig from NZ says:

      that was what i thought as well!!

      1. David Jerromes says:

        …does make one wonder if any current or former F1 drivers are writing on this site….James??!!!

        On the subject of your post, well, we definitely shouldn’t rule MS out, however winning the WDC this year might be just a tad too optimistic, but here’s the crunch question….

        ….WOULD YOU BET AGAINST HIM WITH YOUR OWN MONEY??

  10. Henry Manney says:

    The lyrics of a certain song come to mind :

    “you gotta know when to hold ‘em, know when to
    fold ‘em, know when to walk away, and know when to
    run”.

    Schumacher apparently hasn’t heard the above song. Perhaps a recording of Wagner’s “Goetterdaemmerung” would be more appropriate. You know, the “Twilight of the
    Gods”.

  11. Dougie says:

    I don’t buy into the Schumachers past it mentality, I think 3 years out and limited testing is going to take a few races to get back up to speed, even for a 7 times WDC.

    However, if he wants to do it this year, he is going to have to be up front by Barcelona and the Mercedes will need to be a consistent contender for wins then too.

    Realistically, I see steady progress for Schumi who’ll be up to speed for the 2nd half of 2010 and the championship challenge in 2011.

  12. Lalit says:

    I think Rosberg should be concerned with how close Michael is in terms of lap times… he is the one who needs to make his career still.

    I really hope for Rosberg’s sake that Schumacher can be back to speed in terms of results, and then beat him a couple of times.

  13. camp6ell says:

    all this new sponsorship money coming in this season, and reliability is worse than ever before? i’ve never seen so many total failures and sluggishness. how can we improve the show?
    (i’m talking about your site, of course… what did you think i meant?)

  14. Mike M says:

    I was never a fan of Michaels but I think he still has what it takes.

  15. Peter says:

    The Championship is maybe a bit unrealistic but only a fool would say Schumacher should retire. While he was well outperformed in Bahrain, he’s been unlucky in Melbourne and Sepang and just needs a clean weekend without any drama. People fail to mention though that his 3 starts off the grid so far this year have been fantastic.

    1. Marty Harris says:

      Indeed! Why has no one seemingly picked up on Schumacher’s electric starts? Made a place in Bahrain, a couple in Malaysia and would have made a haul but for being bumped off in Australia.

      As for “well outperformed” in Bahrain … I’d say to be within three to four tenths (on a long circuit) and 6sec down over race distance would count as an impressive return.

  16. Boo Boo Foo says:

    People tend to forget how long it took Schumacher to forge the Ferrari F1 Team into a winning team between 1996-1999. The first two years were lean years, and the Team needed to reinvent it’s winning culture once more. Their last Driver’s Champion was Jody Scheckter all the way back in 1979 and it really did seem as though it was never going to happen again – notwithstanding some close runs with Pironi in 1982 and Alboreto in 1985.

    The capacity to build a winning team around himself is something which can’t be underestimated. Indeed, with Ross Brawn at the helm of the Mercedes Team, there’s a winning synergy in place which has existed since Schumacher’s days at Bennetton all the way back in 1992-1995.

    Like most messageboards and blogs on the internet these days, people love arguing about opinions, and ultimately the practice is a bit like trying to draw a smell – that is, it’s an exercise in exasperation… so kudos to you James Allen for providing yet more of the opportunity! (smile)

    Granted, Nico Rosberg has had the silghtest jump on Schumacher thus far, but I personally don’t read too much into that. The German connection is simply so overwhelming in that Mercedes Team. The company is doubtless going to spend whatever it takes to put that Mercedes name back on top. And Schumacher knows this. If anyone in the F1 Paddock is ideally positioned to make use of that unique confluence of circumstances, Schumacher is that man.

    My perception of Nico Rosberg is that he lacks the strength of character, the assertiveness if you will, to fashion the Mercedes Team around himself, but Schumacher can do it. Lord knows he is a powerful personality.

    The Ilmor engine is still one of the most powerful in the field. In fact, it’s fast becoming the modern Cosworth of it’s day – given how many teams are using it now. And it’s quite remarkable that just 2 seasons ago, the Honda F1 Factory was owned outright by Honda, after having poured hundreds of millions of dollars into it’s development. 2 years later, it’s now owned by Mercedes, and that’s an investment which the company doubtless intends to continue build winning cars from.

    As Ross Brawn once noted, by definition, every World Drivers Champion is in the right car, at the right time. Rosberg and Schumacher aren’t in that car at the moment, but they’re close. If anyone has the runs on the board to fashion an F1 car which “is close” into an F1 car which “is now king” then Michael Schumacher is that man.

    He did it at Bennetton in 1992-1995. Against the all conquering McLaren’s and William’s of the day. And then he took on an even bigger challenge at Ferrari during 1996-1999.

    He’s uniquely qualified to do it again I would wager. And he’s still with Ross Brawn. Only a brave man would write Schumacher’s comeback off this early. He might not win this year, but Mercedes aren’t going to want to squander this opportunity. They’ll spend what it takes.

    And Michael Schumacher will help spend that money very wisely.

    1. snoozer says:

      One of the most sensible posts I’ve read in a long time.

      Agree entirely….

    2. Jas Mudhar says:

      This is an excellent evaluation of the situation at Mercedes GP team and Michael Schumacher…such a relief to read an intelligent article like this.

  17. Paul says:

    “perhaps Schumacher’s performances say more about Rosberg than they do about the Great Man.”

    I agree – why is everyone having such a hard time believing that rosberg is just doing a really good job? I think Schumacher will get to grips with rosberg before the end of the season, but give rosberg the respect he deserves. He got unsuspectingly thrown against the most successful f1 driver of all time, and he’s just got his head down and driven – and he’s bloody quick! Go Nico!

    1. Liambula says:

      With only three races gone so far and with vitually none of the drivers establishing an early stranglehold in the title race,there’s all to race for.No driver or team is to be written off.So I wouldn’t rule anyone out at the moment.It could be the talented Alonso,the resilient Massa,the dark horse Rosberg,the out and out quiker Hamilton,the resurgent Australian Webber,the very promising Vettel or the legendary Schumacher who’ll walk away with the coveted title.What a season it’s shaping up to be!!!

  18. matt nz says:

    Development is the key here. In both 97 & 98, the Ferrari started the season significantly off the pace of the Williams and then McLaren.

    However continous improvement by Ferrari both years, combined with some legendary Schumacher drives, kept him in the hunt until the final race of the season.

    Only a fool would write off the Schumacher, Brawn Mercedes combination so early in the season. Schumacher is open that he is not up to speed yet, and the power circuits such as Spa and Monza that will suit the Mercedes engine are later in the season.

    Schumacher certainly has a chance but if offered an even money bet on any driver this year, the new Schu-clone Vettel would be my wager

    1. ajag says:

      The Schu-clone Vettel I like this one. As a German Schumacher Fan I was quite upset when Schumacher retired thinking that for many years to come there will be no successful German driver. No there is Vettel, this guy in many ways, impresses me more then Schumacher already!!!

  19. Jake says:

    The new parts coming are very promising. Schumacher has asked for a lot of stuff, and Rosberg is in general agreeing with the direction of development. This is how Red Bull got good fast, by having drivers that agree

    Once the front end sticks how Schumi wants it, look out. He will be able to enter every corner faster than he is now. Pole position runs will be possible, and from there, race wins

    1. Andy C says:

      Well that and having Adrian newey and team would have helped ;-)

  20. Jon says:

    Not to have a cheap shot or I told you so.. but before the first race there was something I didn’t like.

    I didn’t like the talk of the body language in Bahrain like Schum was powerful and in control and Rosberg was a passenger. It’s what happens on track that should be over analysed not winks and facial expressions in PR events.

    I am very happy that Schumacher is in F1 this season because it gives all the other drivers credability. F1 is not something you can dominate just because you are you. They are all human (not superheroes) and there is alot things that need to come together to be dominant. Both from the driver and the team side.

    I have greatly enjoyed Schumachers interviews in the last 6 montsh or so. With his records, he could be really arrogant but instead he is being honest. On Top Gear TV show, he admitted that the car plays a very large part in F1. You could say that he who has won the most championships, is he who has driven the most championship calibre cars. But of course there the role that the driver plays. Which is surely alot harder now then it was in the early 2000′s. The cars are close together in pace, and the top 10 drivers in F1 are all pretty close in talent. What seperates them is the little things. Not raw pace.

  21. Sam says:

    Interesting views from Ross Brawn. I was watching an interview with one of the mix martial
    arts fighters who was a big fan of Bruce Lee. he felt that Bruce was the best of the best at his time. He said if we can wake up the on form Bruce now n put him in the ring with top guys in the business, he would lose. Because the level of the competition increases as the time passed by. James do you think that is the case for Schumacher?

    1. James Allen says:

      We will see. Never underestimate Schumacher

      1. Thebe says:

        I agree with you entirely James

    2. Vic says:

      Bruce Lee’s Martial Art and Work ethic was years ahead and is still years ahead of the current current crop of martial artists, maybe Schumacher comes into that category somewhat, mainly work ethic wise i believe.

      Vic

      1. Sam says:

        I don’t think you know much about MMA and UFC fighters.
        He was, no doubt, but the sport moved on.
        And that was an opinion from former champion by the way. He surely knew what he was talking about.

      2. Vic says:

        This is not really the appropriate place to discuss this, but i base my opinion on being a student myself and by listening to teachers who have dedicated their lives to JKD (Jeet Kune do). The problem with JKD is that there are only a handful of people in this world that are teaching true JKD, Bruce Lee’s actual martial art. Dan Insanto is the main culprit for giving JKD and Bruce Lee a bad name, the reason being that he was not allowed to teach it at a big scale (only had permission to teach a handful of students), so he used Bruce Lee’s name and came up with a new martial art called JKD Concepts, which is essentially 1st generation MMA, everyone seem to be mistaken that this was Bruce Lee’s actual martial art and hence his legacy, He essentially used Bruce Lees name to make money by opening martial arts schools world wide under his instruction, hence everyone seems to be misguided when it comes to Bruce lee, including your former champ.

        The only fighter in MMA that you could say uses some of Bruce Lee’s concepts is Anderson Silva, and bar his embarrasment in UFC in Abu Dhabi, he actually toy’s with everyone and is arguably the best fighter in the world just now. Hence Mr Lee was and still is years ahead.

        I’m happy to discuss this further, in a more appropriate place.

        Vic

    3. the corpse says:

      you could see rosberg’s confidence is sky high, after his last podium, and beating schumacher. Schumacher is getting closer. When he beats nico, we’ll start watching the nico we saw the seasons before. Now he is in the zone.

  22. k miles says:

    I think after 3 years out and then ONLY 7 days of testing shcumacher is doing FANTASTIC!! I doubt he’ll have any chance for the title this year, but MERC GP will be back next year with schumi as the leader.

  23. Paul Mc says:

    As a diehard Schumi fan i just cant see how he can go from being outpaced by Nico to winning a WDC this year. Even in practise for China he looks all over the place. With such a huge points differential between winning and finishing midfield he could be out of the championship before half way.

    I remember being so nervous watching the climatic races of his championship winning years hoping he would win, i now find myself nervous for completely different reasons, namely hoping that he improves and shows us all that he has not come back to play second fiddle to the young guys.

    On a side note, im not fond of his approach and mindset at the moment. Since when has it ever been ok to be outpaced constantly by your team mate no matter what team your in?

    1. Thebe says:

      It may not mean much to most people, but just the thought of coming back to F1 at 41,I think that’s an act of bravery.When Michael decided he was coming back to F1 ,he knew the risks,he knew that he would have these type of reactions if it happened he couldn’t get up to speed right away.He is the most successful F1 driver in the history of the sport so naturally there is going to huge focus on him and his performance.

      Let us not forget that this is driver who has been criticised all his life, there has been times when people would label him a cheat and I admit some of his acts have been questionable.

      Michael has been in many title fights where from the start he would have so many problems,retirements,crashes and his rivals taking all the points initialy but then out of nowhere he would find a way of turning his luck around.From his fights with Mika Hakkinen to Alonso there have been seasons where it was a bit doubtful whether his Ferrari would win easily like 2003 .

      My advice to most people never underestimate Michael Schumacher’s determination and Will to prove people wrong.Monaco Grand Prix,the whole world was against him,people baying for his blood but the next day he drove like a champion,you could see why he was a unique human being,most drivers would not be able to drive that kind of race especially when things where that bad.

      My opinion Nico is doing well at the moment,he has rose to the challenge of having Michael as his team-mate,but he is not that much ahead of him speed wise,I mean Michael has been out of it for three years that’s a very long time.Imagine what will happen once he settles in and starts driving on the limit like he used to.

  24. Lewis Jones says:

    Schumacher for another title? Ah, that’s a negative.

  25. MacGraw says:

    I think it is far too early to make absolute pronouncements.

    The guy has been out for 3 years and has come back at a time when there is very limited testing: he needs time in the car.

    He is already close to Rosberg (who has been driving for the last 3 years whilst Schumi has been sitting on the pit wall) and in his first race back he beat the current WDC. What do people expect: a guy who hasn’t competed for 3 years to come back and whip the field? If that happened, it would make a mockery of the drivers we’ve been watching for the last 3 years.

    Give him at least half a season before passing judgement.

    F1 has a habit of making rash pronouncements. Bahrain was boring. Australia was suddenly all wonderful because of changeable weather. It is ridiculous to make judgements based on single performances or unusual events.

    1. Alias J says:

      He wasn’t entirely sitting on the pit-wall. Watch my post below.

  26. The Kitchen Cynic says:

    It’s not as if he’s a few tenths behind a team-mate like Alonso, Lewis or even Massa. This is Nico “Journeyman’s Journeyman” Rosberg we’re talking about here…

  27. Nomessingabout says:

    You guys are just so full of it. I am sick and tired of people jumping on the media bandwagon criticising drivers’ performances, Schumacher’s included. As if you had nothing left to say you cling on to the same old stories regurgitating what has been said before. Can’t do this, can’t do that, is out, is in, will leave… boooooring!!!!! The man has been out for three years, so what do you, or the media for this matter, expect? Get a grip and get real, get a life!

  28. john brink says:

    It is amazing how people are so critical of the guy who dominated the sport for so long and because of his love for the sport he is now back. I think that he is busy getting the car and team to his liking and there will be a lot of people eating their words in a few months. So far he has only really finished one GP cleanly. How different would it have been had he not suffered mishaps. I see today in 2nd practice he is only .1sec off Rosberg, so it is getting better. at this rate he will be about .3sec ahead of Rosberg by the end of the season. !!!!!And then lets read what everyone is saying about how the old school is showing the ‘prima donna’ youngsters the way

  29. Monoi says:

    Strange how some people were criticizing Schumi after Melbourne, saying that he could not even get past Alguersuari.

    Didn’t the latter make life difficult for some of the top drivers as well in Malaysia? It seemed to me that he did, so maybe that explains the problems Schumi had in Australia getting past? Mucho silence from those critics on that though.

    I think Michael is there to have fun, could we all get off his back?

  30. Liambula says:

    Do not dismiss this man shumi just yet.He still is a champion with a record that none of the current crop of drivers will ever achieve.Shumi is just bidding his time.Wait till he strikes next,then a pandora’s box of “Hey,he’s winning too much isn’t good for F1″ will be opened.

    Let’s face it;Most brits,including British journalists don’t like him at all.Or are they jealous?

  31. My opinion is that it’s great schu is struggling s bit. Im a big fan and hope and looking forward to seeing him work his way back up to his usual excellence. If he does it that will confirm he is not only in the top F1 drivers list in the history, but the best of them.

    I do wonder if his ‘luck’ has gone. With s bump, puncture this morning, wheel coming off last weekend.

    But you make your own luck in F1 they say so hopefully we can see him back, becuase let’s face it we all want to see a titanic battle with Michael in the mix

    I do rate Nico though, very very professional and sure he can hold his own over Michael. Good on him I say.

  32. Andy says:

    Heikki Kulta of Turun Sanomat wrote a column yesterday on the bad atmosphere in the Mercedes garage. According to him, many of the experienced mechanics have requested to be transferred from the race team to the factory because the drivers do not get along, poisoning the mood in the team. Apparently this started when Schumi refused to let Nico’s engineers to study his Friday practice data in Australia. To fuel this further, Michael is reportedly unhappy with the team for not being able to produce an oversteering car that would fit his driving style.

    Do you have any insight into this drama?

    1. Eric says:

      Suppose you could call it spin, but Rosberg’s comments made in the past few weeks, including as recently as at this event, seem to contradict that view.

  33. Donbrizio says:

    Michael Schumacher probably thought Brawn will be enjoying the same advantage they had last year from the get go, because that’s the only reason I could come up with why Schumacher has even considered coming back to formula one. This is going to be one hell of a costly mistake, those who advised Schumacher to come back should have known better, I don’t see Schumacher winning a race this season, or even getting on the podium for that matter, unless something as chaotic like Singapore happens again. The way I see it, aside from beating their respective teammates, Schumacher is the man every young gun out there want to wipe the floor with.

    1. Thebe says:

      I would like to think that a successful driver like MS would not come back to F1 without taking into account that F1 cars have changed a lot from when he was driver.Yes he probably had certain expectations about his team because they did win the championship last year.

      When Michael went to Ferrari in 1996 ,Williams was a very dominant team at the time,Ferrari had not won a Championship in 20 years .Show me a younger driver who like to race for a midfield team , most young drivers aspire for teams like Ferrari because I they know that their chances of being in a competitive car are always good.Michael could have went to Williams back in 1996 but he chose to race for a team that had not won in 20 years,yes I am sure the money was there but,you have to admire the man’s hunger for hardwork.

      I suspect it is the same hunger that has brought him back,new team,age 41 ,the cars have changed a lot from when he was winning races in 2006.I think he has an enourmous self belief and I think most people overlook all these things.

  34. Vic says:

    You know what, well done to the guy for coming back and giving the fans something to look forward to, give the critics something to talk about. Well done for not sitting at home and coming into a hugely competitive environment, more competitive than he has probably ever been involved in at an age where most people think is too old with the younger generation on blistering form.

    I thank the guy, Thank You Mr Schumacher!

    Vic

  35. Carlm21 says:

    No chance. Mercedes missed out big time on not signing Kimi Raikkonen. Schumacher will be out by the end of the season and it will be time to get the cheque book out for Raikkonen in 2011.

  36. Olivier says:

    ! ! ! for goodness sake ! ! !

    He’s not doing a Fisichella or Badoer, is he? And he would’ve been on the podium if he did not have the wheel nut failure in Malaysia, wouldn’t he?

    I also don’t like sentences that start with “The 41 year old …”. We know he is 41, there’s no need in repeating it over and over again. Unless I am missing your point here.

    We’re only three races down in the year. Schumacher will be super rookie of the year. You’ve read it here first :)

    As to Raikkonen. Yes I miss him as well. But I can’t see him wearing grey. He belongs to Red Bull.

  37. Alias J says:

    Consider the following information.

    While Nico Rosberg continued to race and test (and compete) in F1 throughout the last four years, this is what Schumacher was up to.

    - Oct 06, Schumacher retires. He sets fastest lap on the final lap of his final race. Is 0.715s quicker than anyone else.
    - Nov 07, tests Casey Stoner’s Ducati bike at Valencia. Is 5s slower.
    - Nov 07, tests Ferrari F2007 at Valencia, tops the time-sheet.
    - Nov 07, loses to Mattias Ekstrom at the Race of Champions final at Wembley.
    - Dec 07, races in a taxi-cab to catch a flight with his family and their new dog.
    - Feb 08, tests F2008 at Jerez, finishes 3rd and is 0.109s slower than Kimi Raikkonen.
    - Mar 08, finishes 4th in a bike race in Milan, mostly contested by amateurs.
    - Apr 08, tests the Ferrari F2008 in Barcelona, finishes 2nd to Alonso, is 0.1s slower.
    - May 08, tries to enter a superbike event in Oschersleben, Germany, under the name of ‘Marcel Niederhausen’ but is forced to use his real name due to insurance reasons. Finishes in 28th (out of 39)
    - Jul 08, while trying to overtake a slower lady driver on the road in his van, crashes into Martin Kingham, a car dealer standing by the side of the kerb (who is ok, btw).
    - Nov 08, gets knocked out by Carl Edwards of USA in the quarter-finals of the Race of Champions at Wembley. Wins Nation category for Germany however, as he is partnered with Sebastian Vettel.
    - Dec 08, crashes out at Florianopolis charity karting event.
    - Feb 09, crashes on a superbike while testing at Cartagena, Spain. Injures his neck.
    - Jun 09, pretends to be The Stig on Top Gear, tops the time charts with the Ferrari FXX (later the laptime gets knocked off because the FXX couldn’t pass a speed bump test).
    - Jul 09, agrees to return as stand-in driver for Felipe Massa. Practices in a F2007 at Mugello and is 0.2s quicker than a F60, although on slower tires but a faster car.
    - Aug 09, practices karting with Luca Badoer at Lonato, calls off comeback as he finds out his neck is fractured.
    - Sep 09, races at the CIK Karting International event, which is also attended by Carlos Sainz (Sr).
    - Oct 09, leads at the Goldpokal karting race at Wackersdorf, but gets hit by a driver named Fuchs on the final lap and hence finishes 4th.
    - Nov 09, loses to Mattias Ekstrom (again) in the finals of the Race of Champions in China, but beats present day F1 Champion Jenson Button and present day F1 Runner-up Sebastian Vettel on the way to the final.
    - Nov 09, finishes 7th at a karting event in Las Vegas. Loses to Bas Lammers but beats Nelson Piquet (Jr) in 8th.
    - Dec 09, wins karting event at Florianopolis (overall). Massa is 2nd.
    - Dec 09, finishes 5th at the ‘Wintercup’ kart race in Kerpen, Germany.
    - Jan 10, tests a GP2 car at Jerez, is 0.4s off the lap record set by Kamui Kobayashi.
    - Feb 10, tests the Merc W01 car at Valencia, is 0.5s faster than team mate, although Nico Rosberg has seating problems.
    - Mar 10, is 0.3s slower than Nico Rosberg at Bahrain GP qualifying.
    - Mar 10, is 0.043s slower than Rosberg at Australian GP qualifying.
    - Apr 10, is 1.044s slower than Rosberg at Malaysian GP qualifying, loses a nut.

    Quite amusing. It puts into perspective what kind of ability Schumacher has that ‘somehow’ he can manage to lose a regional kart race at his birth-town one week, and then the next week he goes on to beat the present-day F1 world champion in an international buggy race.

    Imagine the day when this 41-year old guy stops playing around is able to regain his ultimate potential. And then – decides to stop dyeing his hair anymore. ;)

    1. James Allen says:

      Wow – have you been following him around or something?

    2. Martin P says:

      That is scary. Someone get a restraining order!

    3. Alberto Dietz says:

      Precisely. Game, set, match Alias J.

  38. wilson says:

    @Carlm21

    Oh please. Raikkonen? Give me a break. He used to be awesome, but the guy was a joke in 2008 and most of 2009. I was a huge fan of his, but it seemed you actually needed to light a fire under his arse to get him to do anything even remotely special after he won the title. A title, might I add, that was only winnable for Ferrari after all the work that Schumacher had put in there. Raikkonen had no interest in being a team leader, and putting a third of the effort into developing the team as Schumacher had.

    Which leads me to Schumacher now. Like many others have already said above, I think a LOT of people are going to be eating their words in a few races time. Seriously. This is Michael Schumacher. He’s been out for 3 years, and he’s pretty much already on the pace of his team mate. After 3 YEARS, and a vastly different Formula 1 ecosystem, be it Car characteristics, Testing rules, Rules in general, etc. All that, and he’s already pretty much on the pace after 3 years, and only 3 races (2 of which were severely compromised).

    Seriously. I know it makes great banter to slag him off right now, the first time he has ever looked remotely vulnerable to attack (no matter how deceptively thin the reasons may be), but really, you’re just setting yourself up to look ridiculous. Sure, he would have loved to have been thrashing people around from the first race, but as we see now, after three years that just was not realistic. But now that he is here, I believe he is staying here. All the media bullsh*t is just galvanizing his will to show people more than ever, that he has lost absolutely nothing. I really believe this. Were he to quit now, it would look a disastrous footnote at the end of an illustrious career. We know this, but he certainly knows this more than anyone. He’s having fun, sure, but I think his staying in the sport for the full 3 year contract has never been safer.

    If he had come back and easily won in his first season, I’d say he might’ve thought ‘ok, enough is enough now’. But now that it has been a bit tougher, and the car needing a bit more help on the development side, and especially that the media has jumped on him prematurely, I think he’s rock solid in his head to prove the naysayers wrong.

    This is Schumacher. I don’t want to sound like some sort of fanatic, as I am most certainly not one for him, love/hate would best describe it. But really, remember who it is we’re dealing with here. This man is something else. Write him off at your peril.

    1. Andy says:

      You better check your statistics, to call Kimi a joke in 2008 and 2009 is a joke in itself. Last year his driving was nothing short of miraculous in a worst car Ferrari has produced in ages, and in 2008 he was fighting for the wins and the WDC, being the closest rival to Hamilton in WDC points ahead of Massa, until an unfortunate streak of 4 races starting from the European GP (11th GP of the season) during which he didn’t score a point for a reason or another (some of his own fault, of course).

      He certainly isn’t a team leader, that you got right, but at least I watch F1 for the racing talent these guys have, not how well they lead the team.

      On Schumi, I agree with you and wouldn’t write him off yet. Friday practice now in China was already taking him to the right direction. He may start causing trouble for the rest of the bunch soon.

  39. Teaflax says:

    All this reminds me that though I never much liked Schumacher, the worst part was always the willingness of his fans to make excuses for him (before for his cheating, now for being clearly outpaced by Nico). I did not see one single Schumi fan before the start of the season saying that he would need several races to start beating his team mate or work out how to pass Alguersuari in a slower car. He still has his cockiness, but his time at the front of the field is over bar Mercedes improving their car drastically.

  40. jeff davis says:

    i think scguey is as good as ever and as determined. i noticed today he said that new parts are coming for spain but no new car till 2011. could you see him ease his way in ready for a propper assault on the title next year. develop and maybe win a couple, get back up the pointy end with one eye on next year ?

    jeff

  41. jeff davis says:

    Anyone who thinks he is past it is mistaken. he loves the technical aspects of making a quivk reliable package and with ross he is in his element. his peers too are noticing a return to form as am i. fourth quickest today. i think there is plenty to come from the great man yet. As for quitting.. I dont think that’s his style.

    Jeff

  42. A says:

    Michael is the best driver ever and still has a chance of winning if the car is made better.

  43. Lady Snowcat says:

    Hmmm…

    Why does the saying “If it looks like a duck, swims like a duck and quacks like a duck, then it probably is a duck” come to mind when I hear Michael justifying (sorry but it sounds like that to me) his place on the grid this year in a decent car….

    Well he looks out of place, drives out of place and speaks out of place… sort of like a certain politician saying that he loves the Arctic Monkeys….

    Of course he may prove me wrong and I too think Nico is a half decent driver, but Nico isn’t a real superstar and that makes Michael’s performance just very anaemic … but that can happen when you get older… and when you:-
    1. Don’t have the ability to drive n million practice laps (more than the opposition) to get the car that you want; and
    2. Don’t have droite de seigneur over your team mate

    But they’ll be a lot of happy people if he comes good and in the meantime Michael, just keep quiet and let your driving do the talking….

  44. lightningmad says:

    mmm, really interesting this. few people look at the facts. 3years away, (during which time things have changed a huge deal)and 3 races in, hes already only just over 100th of a second off of his team mate, Rosberg, whom people are slating as being average, yet Rosberg outqualified Vettel, Massa, Hamilton, Alonso, Button in Malaysia. Outqualified rubens, lewis and kubica in Melbourne, and is consistent so far, I think that says a lot about Schumi. Yet Schumi gets no praise? wakey wakey people. The car is around 4-5th quickest, and that is roughly where he is performing. No one is slating Rubens this season for being mid pack, yet he was the best thing since sliced bread last year. Schumi has outqualified him every race. The car is a big factor right now. Rosberg is wringing that car out, and putting it higher up than it deserves to be, cudos to him. Schumi is gaining every race in a car that doesnt yet suit his style. No different to Button needing a car that suits his style. It took Mansell 3-4 races to build up his pace in 94 didn’t it? after everyone expected him to be up front from the first race too.

  45. Marty Harris says:

    Perhaps we should get the Schumacher “critics” into perspective.

    To a relatively small minority of fans he was the anti-Christ and they’re crawling out of the woodwork now and trying to belittle his progress thus far, which frankly is impressive. We know the haters are a tiny minority because Schumacher wouldn’t have racked up hundreds of millions of dollars worth of endorsements if the general fanbase and public didn’t like him. And look what’s he done to ticket sales this year.

    And most of these haters seem to be British. In a sad but familiar manner the British treated the arrival of Schumacher as an excuse to dredge up World War II. And the Damon Hill run-ins didn’t exactly discourage them.

    When you see anyone British who knows anything about F1, whether its Martin Brundle, Damon Hill, Murray Walker, Jackie Stewart, even yourself James! … talking about Schumacher, they always give intelligent and fair analysis.

    What we’re left with are a group of mainly British fans, mainly informed through a ludicrous daily press, who constitute the Schumacher doubters. Plus a smaller group of mostly older fans who are excessively influenced by a couple of old guard established motorsport writers who’ve always shown a bias against Schumacher (for faults they idolised in Senna!)

  46. M__E says:

    yes maybe it does say more about the quality of rosberg rather than the falling short of the expectations on schumacher.

    Rosberg has been a quality driver for a few seasons now, he got some very impressive results out a below par williams with his time there, he has an excellent race craft and tactical awareness and racing brain, his only weakness is consistency at the moment, but I would say by the end of the season he will have got on top of that and maybe be banging on the door of a WC next year, when Merc are up to par to the top runners again.

  47. The Vermanator says:

    I’m really interested to get your real view James. In your opinion, is Schumacher past it?

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