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Schumacher: “I’m still one of the best”
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Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  11 Mar 2012   |  4:02 pm GMT  |  265 comments

On the eve of the new F1 season Michael Schumacher has said that he is still one of the sport’s top draws and expects to compete for podiums this season in the new Mercedes.

Speaking to Gazzetta dello Sport the seven times world champion said, “I was out (of F1) for three years, I’m now 43 and I don’t know if I can compare myself to when I was 30. But I know I’m still one of the best in the world, that I’m motivated, that I enjoy myself and that most people are happy to have me still in F1.”

Bernie Ecclestone has endorsed that last point, speaking today in an interview on F1.com, the official F1 website, the 81 year old was asked whether he thought Schumacher would have a breakthrough this year, “If the car is fast enough, yes. I do hope that’s the case,” he said. “For him and all the Schumacher fans. He is still a big name and we all profit more from a successful Michael Schumacher than from a beaten one. Ask in the USA – he is still the biggest name there.”

Schumacher has played his part in patiently building Mercedes into a title winning outfit. As part of the Ferrari team with Ross Brawn which set the benchmark in the 2000s, the German knows what it takes to win in F1 and to beat the current benchmark, Red Bull. Schumacher and Brawn know how hard it is to keep a team at the very top and they know the signs that it’s beginning to slip. That will be Mercedes’ moment to strike and the timing looks positive for the Brackley team.

“We’ve set the basis for a future at the highest level,” Schumacher said. “But I doubt we will reach it this year.”

As to whether he sees himself in the cockpit as part of that future, Schumacher said, “Right now I’m focussed on the project, I don’t see the need to start discussions on the future.”

There is little doubt that the main candidate for Schumacher’s seat would be Lewis Hamilton, soon to be a free agent, should the 2008 champion wanted to look around for alternatives to McLaren, who have Jenson Button under contract for three more years.

Mercedes is definitely building nicely for a championship assault, with Ross Brawn and a highly experienced management team around him. A driver of Hamilton’s calibre would be the final piece of the jigsaw. Vettel is committed to Red Bull for a few more years and Alonso is locked in at Ferrari on a five year deal.

Likewise Hamilton wants to win more championships and needs a team that will put him at least on level pegging with Vettel, preferably give him a faster car, better pit-stops and all the other little details. McLaren looks like it has a quick car this year; he may feel he’s better off sticking with what he knows.

Whether – and how aggressively – Mercedes go after Hamilton this year, will show us how highly they rate Nico Rosberg. Ross Brawn and other management figures speak highly of him and he certainly has had a good advantage over Schumacher in qualifying. But last season Schumacher performed better in a number of races and it leads one to wonder whether Rosberg has that little bit extra. Equally, Mercedes and McLaren will be looking at how Hamilton attacks the F1 season. Last year, by his own admission he had his eye off the ball,
“Last year quite a lot of times I went out and enjoyed myself thinking that these things don’t affect you but in actual fact they do, they have a knock-on effect. It takes you two days to recover, you miss two days of training and your mind is somewhere else when you get to the race, ” he said.

That’s not what a top team wants for its £12 million + a year investment. Hamilton says he’s fully focussed on F1 again now. So is Schumacher.

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265 Comments
  1. Irish con says:

    I would love to see a Michael championship charge this year. I don’t think it will happen but a podium looks certain. I think a Michael win would be a good news story for f1 this year. I think nico can win races in the best car but he won’t win in a car not the best as alonso, Lewis, Michael, Kimi, and Michael have shown us over the years they can do.

    1. Webbo says:

      Hamilton has only won in a McLaren. It will be interesting to see how he fares when he’s not driving for a top team. I’m wondering, though, why You don’t mention Button, the guy scored a win in a Honda, and Vettel, who scored STR’s only win so far.

      1. Stuart Harrison says:

        Both Button and Vettel had the weather and unusual setups to thank for their wins when not driving for top teams. I don’t mean to take anything away from their achievements, but they clearly weren’t fighting on a level playing field otherwise they would have had similar results all season (and they didn’t).

        Personally I can’t understand Hamilton wanting to move away from a top-three team – I don’t see Mercedes in the top three yet (but who knows what will happen this year). With the door closed at Red Bull (supposedly) and Alonso happy at Ferrari, there’s pretty much nowhere else to go.

    2. kenny5 says:

      James,

      You are making a big assumption there in thinking that hamilton is better than Schumi…

      Hamiltion, with his english carry on would never survive in a focused German team.

      1. EffWon says:

        Does this stereotypically focused and cinical German team you speak of have;
        British HQ
        British Team Principal
        British Chief Executive Officer
        British Technical Director
        British Technology Director
        British Chief Strategist
        British Race Engineers
        …by any chance?

        I also heard they might have won the Driver’s and Constructor’s World Championship a few years back operating as a British team with a British driver, whatever happened to him?

        It’s not like there’s any connection between Hamilton’s current team and Mercedes, like an engine, or Norbet Haug, or… who’s that driver again?

    3. Wayne says:

      I agree with this all. A Schumacher win would be a great story this year. Whether you are a fan of the man or not, you have to respect his tallent and success. I felt myself willing Schumi to do well last year and was quite suprised with myself! I cannot recall the race but on one occasion he ‘was robbed’ of a podium by the hateful DRS (was it Canada?) and I was gutted for him! This from a huge fan of Damon Hill back in the day, which is why I was so suprised with myself for wishing Schumi well last year.

      1. dzolve says:

        I think it must be because we like the underdog so much and, ironically, Schumi was the underdog last year. I’m sure if he started winning regularly he would be absolutely detestable again!

      2. Wayne says:

        lol, you are probably right :)

      3. J Humphreys says:

        +1

  2. Matt says:

    I’d be surprised to see Schumacher walk away if Mercedes look like getting their act together after suffering through the poor Mercedes cars. Isn’t his best chance of restoring his reputation to at least challenge again before retiring.

    Also fascinating to see someone in Hamilton’s position seeming to only just understand what it takes to succeed. It seems so obvious from the outside.

    1. Kevin Green says:

      I cant see him having an option unless he delivers a top 3 whilst above or just behind Rosberg, He would near certainly have served his purpose well as far as car development goes from Mercedes point of view im quite sure.

      End of the season or even possibly before then time to switch in a driver who can deliver with the potential the car now has (obv thanks to him and his gifted development input) But it would seem the cars there or thereabouts to deliver results but him (Shumacher) i dont think so.

  3. SK Anand says:

    Truly one of the greats of the sport. And yes he is a top draw, and that could be seen in the response he got from the Indian Grand Prix.I started watching Formula 1 in the late 90s because of him. Great for the sport!

    1. Trent says:

      Agree completely.
      Older drivers also provide an important link and comparison to the previous generations of drivers in the sport. Let’s not forget Schumacher raced against Senna, Prost, Mansell and Piquet. It’s great to still have him around.

      1. Webbo says:

        Indeed, he has even beaten Senna in 92 in his first full season, despite driving an inferior car. The guy is a major talent. Perhaps the reason why he didn’t shone in the last two years is that he was 3 years away and still needs to catch up with F1′s changes?

      2. jjpm says:

        and because the W02 was even inferior to the W01 performance wise. And its not Nico’s results that would prove the contrary.

      3. Wayne says:

        Agree 100%.

      4. Don Farrell says:

        +1

  4. Geeza says:

    Schumacher is a legend I hope Mercedes win a couple of races !

    1. Wayne says:

      I think a Schumi race win would be the biggest ‘feel good’ story of the year (and I’m not even a fan). I don’t think anyone wants to see a legend return to a sport and not win just…… one…… more…… time…….!

  5. Chris says:

    I really hope Michael has his breakthrough this year. I don’t know if Mercedes are just quite ready for wins yet, but certainly podiums are in the picture, especially with Ferrari on the back foot. As for Hamilton, i think he should be able to fight for the championship. I’m a huge Jenson Button fan and i want HIM to win the championship this year, but Hamilton will be right up there. This season is shaping up to be a good one!

  6. goferet says:

    There’s no question about it that the Kaiser is still one of the best of the current grid & it can be argued that he’s the out right best for one can almost be sure that of the current drivers in the circus absolutely no one would still be hungry enough & capable enough to duke it out at the age of 43.

    And if Schumi could slightly improve his qualifying pace this year then top drivers are going to start to get worried for the Kaiser showed us last season that he’s still a demon off the line though ironically, in the past, Schumi used to be one of the most cautions drivers at the start especially if he wasn’t on pole.

    Actually the whole of F1 needs to give Schumi a big thank you because it’s due to his stubborness that we make history this year with 6 champs on the grid, a less driver would have thrown in the towel a long time ago.

    So no, Kimi isn’t the one to thank for the 6 champs stat because the smell of dosh was bound to make him come back running sooner or later.

    Yes, I wish my original hero the best of luck this season, hopefully he wipes the smirk of Britney Spears face (& he just might do it with loose rears this year) but whatever happens, it appears this is Schumi’s last season & hence the unwillingness to dwell on the future.

    As for the super cool Lewis Hamilton, for sure the Mclaren deal is signed for all he wanted all along was an equal car before jotting on the dotted line & it appears his & our dreams have come true.

    Meanwhile, Lewis was involved in lots of extra curricula activities last season, for sure, Nicole & her US mates have been a bad influence and yes we were dismayed when those two got back together.

    Plus Lewis said he had too many balls in the air last year e.g. Investments, buying of properties and the like, so you see, the happy bubble story was BS from the start.

    P.s.

    Senna used to chase the fastest seat on the grid while Schumi believes in rolling up your sleeves up and helping a team develop from the ground up i.e. The hard way.

    Hmm… I say those two cancel each other out though Senna still comes out ahead in my book because he had flair both on & off track.

    1. dzolve says:

      Good post ferret.

      However much I disliked the “Kaiser” in his previous career, I wouldn’t begrudge him a win this season!

    2. Serrated_Edge says:

      ‘Schumi believes in rolling up your sleeves up and helping a team develop from the ground up i.e. The hard way.’

      He joined a team that had won the drivers and constructors title the season before! hardly building from the ground up!

      1. For sure says:

        Huh, its like saying that Hekki joined Renault which had won the drivers and constructors title the season before. Does that mean he was thinking he is joining a top team?
        Nope.
        Schumacher was well aware that he isn’t going to be enjoying BAR budget when he joins, plus the team was downsizing. He and Ross Brawn have been in the business for long enough to know that they were not going to repeat the success they had in 2009.
        So please be informed before commenting.

    3. F1Fan4Life says:

      [mod] Schumacher prefers to build a team from the ground up as opposed to Senna? That is a load of …

      Schumacher went to Benetton, and then the core elements of the team moved over to Ferrari. He didn’t just decide to go there himself, alone, and build it, so don’t muddy the waters with that ‘fact’. If he didn’t have Ross Brawn & co, it would have been a different story. Secondly, it was Ferrari, the biggest team period. Not hard to commit to the biggest team in the world isn’t it? I’m not bashing Schumacher here, but I think we should give proper facts without bias. I’m rooting for Schumacher to pick up a win this season, but he wasn’t a saint, and he certainly wasn’t a benevolent miracle.

      1. Manish says:

        @F1Fan4Life.. Mate I do believe in the saying, “Every one’s got a point of view”, but the fact here is that Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne joined ferrari towards the end of 1996, simply put towards the end of the first year of Schumi’s ferrari stint. I guess you can google that much out. It was the “dream team” that followed him from Benetton not the other way around(even James will vouch this point). So I would rather say please do google or ask someone who knows before you punch those keys on your keyboard.

        Secondly the so called Biggest team, at that point in time was without a world champion for 16 years when Schumi joined Ferrari.

        Third he may not be a saint, but he certainly was the best when it came to being a team player, if I recall James from his biography of Schumi, “he made the team look good by his relentless fights and his wins(just like Vettel does it now for Redbull)”. The OTHER big teams started complaining that their drivers were not so hardworking as Schumi was.
        These are the “Facts”, go anywhere, ask anyone, You will get the same answers.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        Touching on that though is it not interesting that Schumacher went to Mercedes on the back of Brawn winning the title and believing with the support of Mercedes coming in he would be in a dominant position again and on that of course Ross Brawn and his surrounding people would be on the team THE main reason for his success at benetton and Ferrari!!

      3. Webbo says:

        I wonder if Senna had the balls ‘to commit to the biggest team in the world’, as You write, instead of chasing the fastest car, could he have achieved a title in a Ferrari or would it have ended in tears?

      4. André Hildebrandt says:

        That truely is a good Question.

      5. Kevin Green says:

        Lol you should start an article [mod] you maybe need to check out some Senna archives on a certain wet race in Monte carlo, infact im sure its also in the Senna film have you seen it???.

        If not do and you will know what i am talking about when you see it in that very very lesser team Senna was driving for at the time i could rattle on another dozen or so justifiable Senna races but im sure that one is the one rthat will settle the doubts on Senna in any ones mind lol

      6. David A says:

        @Kevin Green- He started his career at Toleman (a poor car), but what Webbo is talking about is that he went to a very strong Mclaren, then jumped ship to Williams after seeing Mansell and Prost take the title.

      7. F1 says:

        Yes David A you are quite right. it’s so obvious to see yet most people don’t get it.

      8. Kevin Green says:

        And in the same way you could say Schumacher is following Brawns tail and thats because he recognises Brawn and there direct communication as being the biggest part of his success!!

      9. lecho says:

        Year or two ago in one of the “F1 Racing” issues I’ve read an interview with Senna’s first karting coach. He said that he persuaded Ayrton to join Ferrari instead of Williams, but he refused to because he wanted to be in a title challenger rather than a fridge Ferrari was back then.

      10. Rodger says:

        When he went to Ferrari the team hadn’t won the championship in something like 17 years. He couldve stayed at Benetton and added about another 4 titles to his haul.
        Instead he did what very few world champions do and went to a poorly performing team.
        People easily forget this, but it is why, in my eyes at least, he will always be the greatest.

      11. BBob says:

        Actually you are bashing MS here. Your confusing the horse and the cart mate. Schumi built those teams. The core management team went along with him. They teamed up with him because they new if they produced the goods that Schumi would deliver without question. And he/they did just that.

      12. F1Fan4Life says:

        This is exactly my point, the Ferrari team did deliver. They had core elements from a team that won 2 titles. I simply don’t agree with anyone that says it was all down to Schumacher. He was great at testing and improving a car, as is Alonso, but testing regulations have limited that ability. By the way, he did lose in 05 and 06. If he was such a singular God in F1 then the bottom line is Ferrari would not have let him go. That is the most compelling fact here.

      13. Kevin Green says:

        Perfectly worded his success far from reflects his single talents/skills ability.

        I Always argued Villeneuve for one was a better driver throughout there time aside for 1 he was lucky to land in a very fortunate cirumstance of complete team picture at the time of his success BUT on that the one thing that he does have over at least 95% of all drivers post Senna is this gift of interpertation/understanding what the car is doing in a tech language if you like back to the team/designers, and i fully believe that is his purpose and use as far as Brawn and Mercedes are concerned.

      14. F1 says:

        Villeneuve a better driver driver than Schumacher? Did You really write that?

      15. David A says:

        Jacques Villeneuve spent the majority of his career after 1997 underperforming in a variety of cars. He is nowhere near Michael Schumacher’s level. Maybe he’s better than Ralf Schumacher.

    4. Dan Orsino says:

      Simple question, why did he retire?

      1. eric weinraub says:

        In my estimation he retired for these reasons 1) mental and physical exhaustion 2) he was pushed out by Luca to make way for Kimi 3) Demands of being a father and husband.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        eric
        1) he became a father in 1997 and 1999, so your argument of demands of fatherhood are literally misguided
        2) he wasn’t pushed out by LDM, he was told that Kimi was joining Ferrari in 2007. Marlboro were willing to pay crazy wages to have both drivers there but Schumacher chose to leave the team.

      3. F1 says:

        I think his retirement had to do with Massa’s seat, who would lose his seat to Kimi, if Schumacher were to carry on at Ferrari. A shame Kimi was sacked in the way he was, though.

    5. hero_was_senna says:

      “ironically, in the past, Schumi used to be one of the most cautions drivers at the start especially if he wasn’t on pole.”

      I’m certain James remembers well, as do many commentators and fellow competitors, that Schumacher could never be described as cautious off the grid.
      In all the years of his competing, he pushed the limits of the “one move” off the line rule more than anyone else. Vettel did it to Button at Suzuka last year and everybody screamed for a penalty, how quickly everyone had forgotten.

      The other point to remember is that usually Schumacher was racing for the Championship, so if on a given day he was caught up with the midfield, he would take his time and score the maximum points he could.

      Look back at his career and his wins and failures at winning the Championship.

      1994, won, but took Hill out. Last race
      1995, won with 2 races remaining
      1997, took Villeneuve out. Last race
      1998, stalled on grid. Last race
      2000, won with a race remaining.
      2001, won with 4 races remaining.
      2002, won with 6 races remaining.
      2003, won with incredibly scrappy performance at Suzuka. Finished 8th.
      2004, won with 4 races remaining.

      Ultimately Schumacher needed to win before the final round otherwise he was hopeless, making errors of judgement or as in 2003, finishing 8th at Suzuka whilst Barrichello won.

      Schumacher deserves a place in the pantheon of F1 greats, but I’m talking top 10, not number 1, his subserviant team-mates sadly removed any of his entitlement to be called the Best. All that “Britney” has proven is that he’s faster than an old man who I think peaked back in 2000.

      1. Don Farrell says:

        …”Ultimately Schumacher needed to win before the final round otherwise he was hopeless”…. give me an example of a World Champion that opted to wait until the final round to win? ;)

        Senna was notorious for running rivals off the road…. Senna would never win a race now he’d be landed with so many penalties… surely this means he’s a fake in your eyes as well?

        I’m sure if we ‘scrutineer’ any World Champions credentials we will see flaws and acts that raise an eyebrow every now and then….

      2. F1 says:

        Truth is Senna started all those unsporting actions that later were performed by drivers like Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton, too. From the drivers before Senna, Farina and Brabham had the mantle of unsportsmanship.

      3. Kevin Green says:

        [mod]
        I can only think of 1 deliberate take out by Senna and that was in retaliation to a mirror situation that Prost had put on him in the previous system but NEVER could you point at Senna in the same way for deliberate very dangerous needless moves as you could with Schumacher

        Remember a couple seasons ago when he tried to push the guy (Barichello) who assisted him into winning most of his world championships into the pit wall at 200mph approx????

      4. Don Farrell says:

        @Kevin – I have to agree with you there… I was disappointed to see Schumacher been so reckless and stupid to endanger Barrichello’s life in that race… but I think Schumacher had hit a low-spot in his desperation to have a successful comeback. Since then he has got his act to together and watching him race wheel to wheel with Hamilton 2011 mid-season reminds us of what he could do when he’s in the right frame of mind.

        As for former world champions making dangerous moves I’m sure it’s always happened but ironically enough its only since Senna’s death that driver etiquette has been subject to proper rules and regulations.

        I also think racing drivers now are putting to much faith in the knowledge that they can walk away from any accident because of the amazing advances in the driver protection in modern F1 cars. This knowledge/reliance on the fact that they can walk away from a 180mph accident if their risky overtake goes wrong is a dangerous thing – bit like playing with fire… it’s only a matter of time before somebody doesn’t walk away unscathed.

      5. Kevin Green says:

        Yeah the cars are near bulletproof safety wise now (best example BMW Kubica crash) and that’s why personally i feel there’s room for 8 more cars on the grid on top of the 2 that’s currently empty i reckon with the sudden commercial surge through the new tv rights packages there will be a lot more interest in taking up slots on the grid from car manufacturers and other commercial tycoons etc.

      6. eric weinraub says:

        You mean a man who who 4 titles after 2000…and that number should really have been 5 possibly 6 titles… Ferrari had the best car in 2005 but Michelin were cheating and an engine failure in ’06 along with that horrid decision by the stewards in Monaco.

      7. hero_was_senna says:

        eric, you may want to revise your recollection of history.
        Ferrari didn’t have the best car in 2005. What they did have was a FIA directive that meant that Michelin and Bridgestone had to produce tyres that lasted a race distance.
        Michelin had all the top teams running their tyres, whereas Bridgestone had only Ferrari.
        Michelin wasn’t cheating, they just done a better job.
        As regards the “Monaco” decision, I would imagine you must be the only fan who believes that Schumacher was penalised unfairly. I’m a Ferrari supporter and I found his actions disgraceful, unsporting and essentially cheating.

      8. Pierce89 says:

        2005 Ferrari best car?
        Michelin cheating?You do realize Michelin built perfectly legal tires and Brawn and Bridgestone threw a fit because the Michelins were better (and they “expanded” on track. Imagine that, a tire expanding when it gets super hot) don’t you? Also it didn’t happen in 2005. 2005 was the year you couldn’t change tires for the whole race and the rock hard Bridgestones were basically just slow.

      9. F1 says:

        As for the tyre thing maybe you mean 2003? Or are you referring to Indy?

      10. eric weinraub says:

        To answer my critics… Yes, I am unrepentant Schuey fan!!!! But, Michelin were cheating in 2005 and finally got caught in ’06 when they were ordered to stop having tires that turned into slicks … EVERYONE knew the 2005 Ferrari was the better car on LEGAL tires. AS for Monaco, I saw the Ferrari run wide and without reverse had nowhere to go! As for the tire expanding crap, no way. Why do you think the Michelin runners at th eend of the race had barely 1 tire that wasn’t slick?

      11. Andrew M says:

        1. Michelin cheating is just ridiculous, as if the FIA would allow tyre companies to run two entire seasons of illegal tyres.
        2. If we’re playing the “what if” game for 2006 (which I think is fun but kind of pointless) and Schumacher never had his Suzuka failure, he would have gained a net 12 points over Alonso, and he lost the title by 13 points, so that alone wouldn’t have made a difference. Also, while we’re talking engine failures, Alonso had one himself in Monza which robbed him of a podium. If we’re talking questionable grid penalties, Alonso had one in Monza too (which if I remember at the time was generally held to be far more questionable than Schumacher’s at Monaco). etc etc etc

      12. Kevin Green says:

        Quite accurate hero.

      13. akky says:

        kevin green a very selective memory you have of ayrton, have you forgotten portugal 88 when senna pushed prost at 200mph towards the pitwall?! hmmm and how about when in frustration he drove into the back of mansell in Australia, yes that was the same season in which he was beaten by schuey despite having a superior car. hmmmm
        sour grapes disorder apparently doctors call it.

      14. Kevin Green says:

        as for the overtake b******s he held that line before prost even came alongside and if anything slackened it barely comparable to Schumacher and barrichello watch them both again!

      15. Diarmuid says:

        I think you will find that his stall in 98 was the result of Ferrari mechanics not putting dry ice in his radiators after the first aborted start. This caused the car to overheat. It was not Michaels fault.

      16. Kevin Green says:

        Wowzers Diarmuid thanks giving clarity on that one i never knew the Dry Ice was related to the operation of the CLUTCH and related systems!!! lol

      17. Ayan says:

        Diarmuid is right. engine temperatures do effect the bite point settings of a race car. especially when there is a radical rise in temp. which wud have hppnd due to engine getting overheated. true.

  7. DK says:

    Frankly, I don’t see Schumi as one of the contenders for WDC. Perhaps he deserve a podium before he really call it a day.

    The idea of Lewis goes to Merc next season will be really exciting.

  8. Tank says:

    A nice 2011 tribute video of the Schu I came across, seems fitting.

    http://www.myvideo.de/watch/8370524/Michael_Schumacher_2011_Spirit_of_Champions

    1. Charalampos says:

      Nice video!

  9. savec says:

    schumacher is a waste of time and resources. What ever little money he brings in by being beaten by Rosberg all the time, the team spends on rebuilding front wings. It would be a much better investment to take a young driver and give him half of what MS is getting. They’d get the same results for much less expence. Rosberg will humiliate him again this year, like he did in 2010 and MS will run with his tail between his legs. unless MAMG is in a bubble between teams again, so schummy can’t under perform and then get behind Nico with saved sets of tyres

    1. Jay says:

      Nonsense. Schumacher produced some excellent performances, like in Canada, Belgium and Italy, so he is not a waste of resources. He’s an F1 legend, who is still capable of duking it out with the young guns at the age of 43 despite not having all of his original speed.

    2. Ahmed says:

      Show a bit of respect please.

      1. For sure says:

        Please blame the nature of internet as it is the only place where adults and kids can have serious discussions.

    3. kfzmeister says:

      Haha, Lol. You must be out of your mind.

    4. MISTER says:

      Unbelievable. Who are you to call him a waste of time? You might want to check the statistics to realize what he achieved and did for this sport.
      Michael is a legend.

    5. Kevin Green says:

      Far from a Schumacher fan savec but you do have that quite wrong what Schumacher undeniably is is a unique development tool while working with certain people ie Brawn for 1.

      He is Probably the best as such since senna to have in the race seat from that point of view but on that if by the seasons end the Mercedes is on the pace as such I doubt he will be in the seat come race days, whether he remains with the team for testing and development purposes after that remains to be seen I feel he should as he is one hell of a development tool to have.

      He (Shumacher) could be the difference between bridging the gaps Newey creates in a season or not from another angle!.

  10. savec says:

    and maybe he should look to himself to find what needs to be improved instead of arrogantly seeing himself as one of the best and constantly blaming the car for his incapabilities. It’s not the cars fault Rosberg starts the race infront of Ferrari and McLaren and schuey only behind much slower and KERS-less teams

    1. mo kahn says:

      what have you been drinking?

    2. David A says:

      He knows his limitations, and isn’t being arrogant. And I don’t know why you’re lying that he often started behind KERS-less teams.

      Perhaps you ought to get some fresh air?

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      It could be argued he was being arrogant when he said “one of the best” but looked at in a different way, he’s right, he’s one of 24 drivers out there. All F1 drivers are some of the best in the world.

  11. Thomas says:

    I was never a Schumacher fan during his Benneton & Ferrari days, but I am probably not alone in hoping to see him win a race or two before full-time retirement (at the end of this season?).

    Good drivers always know when to jump to their next team, so I imagine Hamilton will be watching Mercedes’ progress as close as McLaren’s.

    But what of Alonso? Surely, he will not stay with Ferrari if they cannot give him a title shot. Maybe he’ll end up at Mercedes, or back at McLaren if Hamilton is not there.

    Jeez, bit too early for the Silly Season, isn’t it?!

    1. Webbo says:

      Instead of considering jumping ship when times are hard, Alonso should grow up and try to rebuild the stricken Ferrari team in a similar way Schumacher did in the nineties (or Lauda in the seventies).

    2. SH says:

      Same here – I was never a Schumacher fan when he was winning everything in a dominant car. Now that he’s struggling I’m really hoping he can win a race or two.

    3. hero_was_senna says:

      I was never a Schumacher fan, but I am a Ferrari fan and for that alone, I thank him for his contributions to the teams records. I thank Todt and Brawn equally.
      What I find unforgivable though, is that he needed the support of his team-mates to win as often as he did, he just refused an equal beside him. Isn’t it interesting that Trulli was offered a Ferrari seat around the time Massa joined the team. He wouldn’t have pushed Schumi too much.
      If Michael wins a race this year, then I hope he wins because of his skill and not because of some major bad luck to the competition. Personally, I hope he doesn’t win.

      1. JPS says:

        Alonso is much better in that regard, right?

      2. Kevin Green says:

        To be fair though there has never been any point to date that Alonso has benfited from a Team order that resulted in anything as such yet?? and i think Alonso’s talent like for like at any time in various team’s/circumstances clearly outshines Shumacher.

        To be fair regarless of how many more titles or not Alonso wins if you ask credable people in 5 yrs time the best driver Post Senna im pretty sure the majority will vow for Alonso.

      3. F1 says:

        It is Ferrari’s system to have a clear #1 policy. You cannot blame Alonso, Räikkönen, Schumacher, Irvine, Scheckter or whichever Ferrari driver for that. It is the Ferrari president’s politics to race the team the way they do, it is not the driver’s decision. It was the decision of the people in the pits to change the running order in some races like Hockenheim 1999, Malaysia 1999, Austria 2002, Indy 2002, Brazil 2007 or Germany 2010, just to name the most obvious. And to be fair the same thing happened at McLaren too with Häkkinen and Coulthard, remember Melbourne 1998? At Jerez 1997 for example the team strategists even went as far as implying intra-team orders between Williams and McLaren, hence Villeneuve had to give up his win in the last lap after being ordered to finish behind the McLarens. And in the same race, Coulthard was ordered to move over for Häkkinen as well, so that the third placed driver could finally win his first race. Strange how people can completely forget this.

      4. hero_was_senna says:

        Good points, F1. People forget so many occasions that people other than Ferrari implemented team orders.
        Don’t forget Ronnie Peterson was contracted to be number 2 to Andretti in 1978. That’s just one occasion, there are countless.
        Hockenheim 1999, Salo who was replacing Schumacher was ordered to let Irvine through because of points for the Championship. Malaysia was the same, it was support for Irvine.
        Indy 2002, was a mistake by the drivers that let Barrichello through, it wasn’t team orders.
        Brazil 2007 was a Massa making way for Raikkonen because the points would mean the championship. It was a no brainer.
        Germany 2010 was for the same reason, ultimately Ferrari knew that Alonso was their sole chance to win the championship that year.

        But you mentioning Jerez 1997, when 2 top teams worked together to prevent Irvine assisting Schumacher for the Championship to my mind is the most disgraceful use of team-orders I have ever witnessed.
        This was blatant anti-competition practice, yet no-one has ever called Patrick Head or Ron Dennis cheats!!

      5. F1 says:

        I never heard Schumacher refused an equal team mate. Do you have a source for suzch a claim? I heard that Prost refused Senna, and Senna refused Warwick, but I didn’t hear such things about Schumacher.

      6. hero_was_senna says:

        The first I heard about it was an article in Motorsport News IIRC, Briatore was saying that the only condition Schumacher asked for was that he could leave if Senna was ever signed. Briatore had said “with Schumacher, why would I need Senna”

        Subsequently, when Herbert started running Schumacher close, the Benetton team stopped Herbert seeing any of Schumi’s data. Brundle said the same thing of their time together in 1992, once he got closer, Schumacher didn’t want to speak to him.

        Now we get to Ferrari, and we have Irvine, Barrichello and Massa as his team-mates.
        Lets be honest, there were a few times that Irvine and Barrichello were ordered over for MS, and it wasn’t a secret that he was number 1 in the team.
        When they competed in Australia then Malaysia, it was Barrichello who had to fly back to Europe to test some tyres then fly back, with all the jet lag involved, so Schumacher was fresh for the race.

        No matter how good these team-mates were, they were not Top 5 material. Why was Hakkinen never courted to Ferrari, or Villeneuve or Montoya. If there was potentially a faster team-mate he was refused.
        Schumi was informed in 2006 that Kimi had been signed for 2007. Schumacher had been given the opportunity to stay with the team, but he ran and hid. That, for me, is why I hope he doesn’t win anything for Mercedes

        You’re right, Prost refused Senna at William.
        Senna refused Warwick at Lotus but for very different reasons. After all he had no fear to join Mclaren with Prost there, did he?

        In case you don’t know, Senna knew that Lotus didn’t have the budget or infrastructure to support 2 front line drivers, the team management admitted afterwards he was completely right. Warwick himself in interviews will admit the same thing. Senna didn’t refuse him for fear of competition.

      7. Kevin Green says:

        Interesting how you touch on Montoya “hero_was_ senna” as that is one of the F1 drivers that i rate in top 5 or 6 post Senna days alongside Villeneuve Kimi Kubica and the obvious best Alonso

      8. David A says:

        “Schumacher had been given the opportunity to stay with the team, but he ran and hid. That, for me, is why I hope he doesn’t win anything for Mercedes”

        MSC left because Massa (who back then was young with some promise and wins under his belt), would’ve been out of a seat, not because he “ran and hid”.

      9. Aussie Fan says:

        @herowassenna.

        I guess you don’t rate Button’s 2009 championship either then, seeing as thought he had a “number 2″ driver in Barichello as a teammate & there were races like at Germany where Barichello had to make an extra pitstop whilst Button took the win & Barichello was left to ask Brawn how & why?

        As for data sharing, thats up to the team, not the driver, as seen at Red Bull over the last couple of years, where both drivers have access to each others data. Sometimes you will see one of the drivers purposfully not showing their true hand until qualifying because of this very fact, they do not want their teammate to see just how fast their setyup is cvapable of going until it is too late for the teammate to copy their settings after qualifying when parc ferne conditions exist.

        To single one driver out for this mentality is spiteful in the extreme, considering that they ALL are competing against each other & ALL will fight for every last advantage.

        Also Rosberg has openly stated recently that MS has always answered ANY questions he has about the car or setup etc COMPLETLEY OPENLY & HONESTLY, so go figure….

      10. F1 says:

        hws, do you have proof that Schumacher refused a team mate or not? I have seen proof that Senna refused a team mate and Prost too, can you show me evidence that Schumacher did this as well?

      11. hero_was_senna says:

        @ David A.
        Schumacher may have claimed he left because of Massa being without a seat, but frankly, top sports people have a selfish streak to them to become winners.
        If Schumacher wanted to continue, do you honestly think he would have considered Massa in his plans. Get real!

        @F1.
        I already answered that, It was in an interview with Briatore before the 1994 season began. He said that the contract with Schumacher was simple, the only thing he had in there was he could leave if the team were to sign Senna.

      12. Kevin Green says:

        2 posts in a fortnight hero! were on a roll Xx

      13. hero_was_senna says:

        Che??

      14. JPS says:

        I don’t know how to take any of the stuff “hero_was_senna” says. At one point he sounds like he is defending Schumacher (comments re ferrari always having a #1 driver, examples of other cases of team orders), and at another, he sounds like he is diminishing him as a coward who never wanted an equal in the same team (original post). Pick a side. My comment regarding Alonso not being any better, was really stating this is a a Ferrari policy. However, it could very well be that Alonso, like many before him made it a Ferrari policy, by arranging a conract that prevents competition from having the same car. Even though it probably isn’t official, I think majority of us here can agree that it is extremely unlikely Alonso will ever want to work with Hamilton again, regardless of what he may say in public.
        I also stand by my original statement that Alonso is no better than Schumacher in that regard, or Vettel, or Hamilton, or Prost or Senna or anybody else for that matter, except perhaps Raikonnen…who genuinly appears to really don’t give a damn who his team-mate is.

      15. Kevin Green says:

        Your forgetting Button in your point of argument too!! he never seems to care who he partners either in a team.

      16. hero_was_senna says:

        I am, in fact, defending Ferrari’s policy, I was never happy that Schumacher took so much of the credit for winning.
        Whilst I can’t question his commitment to the team and his work ethic, I can question his sporting ethic regards rivals and team-mates.
        I know that someone will mention Senna driving Prost off the road. Personally I thought that was one of the most disgusting pieces of driving I’ve ever seen, but there was reasons for Senna’s actions.
        Re: Senna refusing a team-mate, it was Warwick in 1986, and the reason was he knew, and the team subsequently admitted, that Lotus didn’t have the funds to run 2 cars equally.
        Prost refused Senna to join him at Williams, because he knew he couldn’t beat him.

  12. Vinola says:

    I have a hunch that Nico Rosberg and Mercedes will win races this year and surprise many.

    1. durannarud says:

      What was your hunch last year?

      1. Aussie Fan says:

        That he would have a hunch? hehe :-)

      2. Brian Ben says:

        Only I reckon; if there will be anyone winning for Mercedes this year—it certainly won’t be Rosberg…

  13. Bones says:

    Love him or loathe him, Schuey is a legend and we should all be pleased to see him in F1 still. It would be good to see him mixing it for podiums on a regular basis.

    1. AndyFov says:

      I agree. Even if he is in decline, and I’m not certain that he is yet, he still gives good value.

  14. F1racer says:

    Agree with Bernie, even though Schumi is 43, Schumacher is synonymous for F1 brand even today, like Michael Jordon was for NBA in the world.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Schumacher was in America a few years back on holiday with his family and Jos Verstappen. They went to a Nascar school and stood in line before going out for runs.
      Whilst I felt it was great that he was humble enough not to pull rank or try to say who he was whilst being instructed, it shows just how well America knows him.
      There’s only three reason why he’s known in America, it’s for Indy 2002, the staged finish which Barrichello won, and the Michelin fiasco in 2005 where the Michelin shod teams all withdrew at the start of the race.
      Also don’t forget, that in America, Ferrari is a recognised luxury sporting brand and known from when they competed at Le Mans and Daytona etc, not because of their exploits in F1.

      1. markdartj says:

        I think BE is a bit confused. Yes, Schumacher is a big name in the USA, but his first name is Tony (NHRA), not MIchael. They say a racer has to have self belief; seems MS has it in spades. Still, wouldn’t it be great to see a Schumacher/Alonso/Raikkonen podium?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        With Alonso on the top step, I can live with that :)

      3. David A says:

        Schumacher is known in the US because he not only won 5 of the 7 US Grand O
        Prix he competed in, but because he was such a successful driver in the history of F1, which does still have an interest in America, despite not being the main motorsport. It’s ludicrous to twist things round and claim he’s only famous for negative reasons.

    2. Kevin Green says:

      If that is the Angle F1 is coming from then its over comercialised and very Wrong. Branding is for who the teams are, what’s on the cars and what’s around the cars ie advertising boarding etc etc but NOT in the car that is about who are the best available and up and coming drivers at the time. not because they are recognised and regarded through history etc.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        James would you not rather and find it more appropriate to have Schumacher as opposed to a certain young Spaniard sitting next to you on Sundays????

  15. Antonis Papadakis says:

    well what they (and me) wait for is Kimi

    1. Don Farrell says:

      Kimi who ;)

      1. Brian Ben says:

        Raikkonnen.

  16. Me says:

    Some people (especially British) love downtalking Schumacher (for mainly nationalistic reasons, Britain vs. Germany thing, Hill thing, yawn) but any objective F1 fan knows he is one of the best of all time, if not the best.

    Currently, at age 43 he is not at his best clearly but still will give anyone a run for their money if the car suits him, which it hasn’t for the last 2 years.

    1. For Sure says:

      Not sure about that, may be media people, but I reckon Schumi has more fans in UK then Damon.

      1. Martin says:

        He might have more younger fans now in Britain because he is still racing, but at the time Damon had legions of fans far out stripping any schumi supporters over here.

      2. zombie says:

        I second that. I still remember the rousing response he got from the crowd at ‘TopGear’ when he took the helmet off and revealed himself as “The Stig”. I have never heard the crowd go so crazy any rockstar,hollywood actor/actress,sports personality on the show.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      I’m Italian, so that argumnet doesn’t work with me. I’m also a huge Ferrari fan and I respected his ability, but not his working practices.
      I don’t disagree with you that he’s one of the greats, but your last point about if the car suits him, all I have to say, at his peak, he drove the 1996 Ferrari to 3 wins, a car that Irvine never got to grips with. He hasn’t out-performed Rosberg at all, which is a good indicator that maybe he’s not of the same skill as he once was.

      1. F1 says:

        Maybe he is not of the same skill, but perhaps he needs to overcome the fact of having missed three years of F1 racing? Maybe he can be better this year and simply needed the last 2 years to adapt again? We will see.

  17. Steve Zodiac says:

    Since returning to the sport Schumacher seems to be a more open and modest person than previously and he seems to know his own limitations. It is interesting to see the gradual slide in Ferrari’s fortunes since he and his mates left. It is also true that maybe Nico doesn’t have that last little bit as he should probably have left Micheal for dead by now.If Hamilton does want to move,it probably is the only place to realisticaly be considered.

    1. daphne says:

      re “and he seems to know his own limitations.”

      Good point, but that is what breaking your neck on a motorcycle will do to you. He knows he’s mortal now, with a wife and kids and castle in Germany, and that niggling uncertainty MUST play a part in toning down the derring-do / bravado we saw from him in the past 90′s and 2000′s.

      1. F1 says:

        Isn’t his castle in Switzerland?

    2. Dave Aston says:

      Maybe Hamilton could go to Red Bull?

      1. F1 says:

        He will never go there as long as Vettel is there because he would lose out even worse compared to what happened at McLaren. Vettel is a better driver than Button who has got the better of Hamilton anyway. I would be very much surprised to see either Alonso, Vettel or Hamilton teaming up ever again. 2007 is still very much remembered when Mac’s drivers stupidly lost the title to Kimi while on the other hand Massa was moving over for Kimi.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        No fear!!

  18. CarlH says:

    I think it’s likely a Mercedes driver will win the championship within the next 3 years. Wheather it is Rosberg, Hamilton or whoever else they might recruit, they will have Michael to thank for a sizeable part of it.

    The knowledge of the sport and the ability to develop a concept he will have brought to the team cannot be overestimated.

    1. Trent says:

      I’m not a fan of any particular team in F1, but it’s a pleasure to watch Mercedes put the right ingredients together and for things to start to fire. From an organisational management point of view, it’s a fascinating case study. Would love to know more about how Ross Brawn does what he does.

      1. Rob G says:

        Great comment, couldn’t agree more.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        There’s something magic about how Brawn and Schumacher communicate and translate that into a car there no doubt about that.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Wow, heard it all now!!!
      Schumacher’s knowledge of the sport and his concepts have turned around Mercedes.
      Obviously, exactly what he done at Ferrari and Benetton before that.
      On that basis, Alonso has turned Ferrari into a complete mess?
      Kimi and Grosjean have obviously worked wonders at Lotus in the 3 months they have been signed up.

      Pity the poor engineers and designers who actually design everything to the best of their ability and facilities but don’t get the recognition they deserve.

      I’ll make a prediction now. Mercedes will never win a World Championship if they keep so rigidly to the concept of the RRA.
      Haug has said often, that the reason Mercedes bought Brawn and renamed it Mercedes was because of the budget restrictions being set in place by the FIA, they didn’t want to go into a spending war.

      1. F1 says:

        ‘Alonso has turned Ferrari into a complete mess?’

        I hope Alonso will lead Ferrari out of their mess. If not, they should sign Vettel to join him in 2015 and see what happens.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Hey Friend,
        I completely agree. I was being sarcastic with my previous comment.
        I believe Alonso is the real team leader at Ferrari, and I believe he is that good a driver, that like Schumacher 15 years ago, if the car isn’t winning, it’s not because the driver isn’t good enough.
        I’m not sure how bad Ferrari are at the moment, it may be midfield or it may be that they were hoping to dominate and haven’t got the car working well enough yet.
        But the last regime needed to be removed and a new one installed to move onwards.

        To misquote Einstein: “The definition of Insanity, is to do the same thing over and over and expect different results”
        Sorry Aldo, but you had to go.

        Regards Vettel, I struggle to accept he’s not just mega fortunate to be in a Red Bull at the moment, with a team-mate who’s been told how to behave. It’s so reminiscent of DC’s role at Mclaren.

      3. Aussie Fan says:

        And alonso hasn’t always had a teammate whom was told to behave?? hahaha we saw what happened when he didn’t, he simply spit the dummy & left (McLaren)… hahaha love your logic hero_was_senna, very one dimensional.

      4. F1 says:

        ‘hahaha love your logic hero_was_senna, very one dimensional’

        Yes it’s his subjective opinion but he didn’t claim not to be objective, though.

      5. CarlH says:

        Who said Schumacher had turned around Mercedes?

        If you read the intial comment properly you will see that I said a championship winning driver with Mercedes would have Schumi to thank for a ‘sizeable’ part of it. Never did I imply that Mercedes were an operation that relied solely on Michael, or that the designers shouldn’t get any credit.

        You might also notice that I mentioned his ability to develop a concept. Nowhere did I say that they we his concepts to begin with.

        Read comments properly before going off into a rant.

  19. Fred says:

    I agree with Michael, and we will see his true performance when he gets a good car. Remember Button was beaten over a season by Barrichello when they had a poor Honda, but as soon as they had a good car, the better man emerged.

    When Schumacher gets a good Mercedes he will blow Rosberg and anyone else away. Do you agree? Vote now … http://www.f1predictions.net/polls/results/index.php?pollnum=17

  20. Paul says:

    whether he can reach his old level over a single lap still remains to be seen but in terms of the focus, the analysis and motivating the team around him this man is second to none. You only have to read his quotes to see that his understanding of the sport is on another level from the others. That is part of the genius of M. Schumacher. He clearly still has the focus, patience and work ethic. Ross Brawn and himself are underestimated at the peril of others!

  21. Sebee says:

    Of course you are!

    Now go stop Vettel!

  22. William Wilgus says:

    Hamilton is ‘hit-and-miss’ regarding how he performs. I wouldn’t want him on my team.

  23. [MISTER] says:

    Michael is great. He’s experience is invaluable to a team like Mercedes who are building their team.
    So far I was dissapointed with Mercedes for not building a quick enough car to challenge for podiums, but I understood it takes time especially in times like these when the bar is set so high.

    I would love to see Michael on podium this year. I am sure it will happen if what we saw in testing is the true pace of Mercedes.

    Go go Michael!!!

  24. George Freed says:

    As a big Lewis fan, since his arrival in F1, massively disappointment in his attitude. I have been a fan bacause he appeared to have coupled his amazing speed with determination, hard work and a level head.

    These drivers are under massive pressure, and it is hard for us to relate to it. But it does seem astonishing that someone paid £12m +, with all the gifts and opportunities to become one of THE great is simply wasting it. 27 years old doesn’t seem that young to me, especially when you see how mature vettel is.

    My other concern is that Lewis simply may be lacking in the intelligence stakes, which is so vital in the current F1.

    1. TheBestPoint? says:

      Wouldn’t get to caught up in the way his comments are slanted by media including yours truly.

      I remember few weeks back during testing when he commented on how mclaren’s programme had included aggressive fuel loads. Next thing you know media outlets reporting disappointment with the car/Benson &Anderson concluding that aggressive fuel loads equated to low fuel and running with this theme-it turned out that by aggressive he meant high load and there were very good arguments showing that was what he meant right from the start but Journalists don’t care about checking or confirming facts anymore.

      Hamilton’s media problems include a combination of not knowing how to play the press and his urban speech style that allows them to wilfully misquote him. i am hoping that the cotton guy starts restricting media access because it is such a running theme as to be ridiculous.

      Leading up to this interview was k rosberg, couthald and co comments about his private/social life so obviously they are going to run with this angle but 2010 was the year he was frequently in the states between GrandPrix not 2011.

      In one beginning of year interview he tried to explain how he had got his training wrong last year-OVERdoing the physical in the preseason which also had a negative impact. We didn’t get press reports/images of him constantly out and about last season so whatever social excursions he mentions were already in moderation-POST race china nightclub notwithstanding, he looks to be saying that they will be set at or near zero this season. i would bet that comments now being quoted in isolation were again taken out of context.

      When he got rid of his Managerfather for reasons i now appreciate, having watched the Nic Hamilton documentary, he was always going have to transition.

      This is the season to see if he has got the balance right.

  25. T Nelan Esq says:

    I’d love to see Michael and Lewis as team mates racing against each other. There would be drama!!

  26. Rob Newman says:

    Schumi was my hero during his Ferrari days. He has clearly shown that he is no quitter. I really admire that. If Ferrari hadn’t pushed him out so soon, he would have definetely won two more championships. I think he is the most popular F1 driver on the planet.

    As for Lewis going to Mercedes, he is not the only worthy driver out there. Paul di Resta, Nico Hulkenberg and even Webber are great drivers to replace if the great man calls it quits. I have a feeling that we have not seen the best of Bruno either. Probably he too can do a great job in a better car.

    Hamilton had problems with Alonso in the past but they have made up now. Ferrari would be a better destination for Hamilton.

    1. Doug says:

      Oh p…lease! Ferrari can only run one car & no way is LH going to be No.2..I think he’ll probably go to Mercedes if JB beats him again..I think the Merc. vrs McLaren performance will be a secondary consideration in this situation.

    2. Jeff says:

      Hamilton partnering Alonso at Ferrari would not be a good move. Fernando would never relinquish his guaranteed no. 1 position in the team. Why would a world champion want to go to a team where he’d get inferior support to his teammate.

      Unless McLaren begin to fail dismally (Williams-style), Lewis would be a fool to move away from that team.

      1. MISTER says:

        People said the same to JB when he decided to go to McLaren.
        That was Lewis’s team and people thought it will be crazy for JB to go there. Two years on..look where we are. It certainly looks like JB is pushing LH out with his strong performances.

        That’s all it takes, good performances and you will not be a #2..no matter which team u are racing for.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        To be fair though Lewis pretty much dismantled that what probably was No1 status by himself, got to remember he was a very long term project/product for the team from a very young age indeed. Why is it whenever I think of lewis Hamilton and Mclaren that i think of Trading Places!

      3. Kevin Green says:

        Cant see him ever getting a drive with RedBull Mercedes or Ferrari at any point in the future.

    3. Except that Alonso has publicly stated, that although their troubles are water under the bridge, he would still never want to partner Lewis again.

      1. Justin Bieber says:

        I believe he said the exact opposite. I don’t think he meant it but he did say that he wouldn’t mind having Lewis as a team mate again(at Ferrari)

        Alonso issue was with Ron Dennis/McLaren not Hamilton.

      2. The interview went along the following lines:

        The interviewer asked him some questions which led Alonso to talk about McLaren and he did indeed say his issues were with Ron & the team and not really with Lewis. He then went on, I believe, to talk about a mutual respect the two guys had for each other.

        The interviewer then asked if Alonso would ever want to team up with Hamilton again. He gave a one-word answer: “no”.

      3. Lewis, did say he’d have no problems partnering Alonso again.

        I just don’t think; with their history, there’s ever going to be a change of them being team mates ago.

    4. SH says:

      I don’t think Mercedes are on Webber’s xmas card list.

      1. Dave Aston says:

        Unless he posts it upside down.

  27. For sure says:

    To me, Michael is the Rocky Balboa of F1.
    He certainly isn’t at his best, clearly, but watching him fighting harder then his age allows him to, is a luxury, Canada 2011 for example. I don’t think I will closely follow F1 without him.

  28. Rach says:

    As ever it is all about the car that mercedes produce. The reason schumacher still has a great chance is because he has struggled to maximise the tyres in qualifying. His race pace is there which is why he will have a great shout if mercedes have built a good car.

    I wonder if the same people who write schmacher off write button off?

  29. Geee says:

    Given the right equipment I think there is no doubt that Michael could win races again. Could he win a championship…I hope so, but he’d be proving me wrong if he did.

    However he needs two more things in place to win beyond a quicker car. Better qualifying performance AND consistency.

    There is no denying on race day he’s looked better than Nico, but he’s not been consistent enough to outright beat his team mate for the season(yes I know he had more DNF).

    Having said all that, maybe a surprise 92nd win will give him that kick of confidence he needs to step up his overall game.

  30. Sikhumbuzo says:

    I remember a time once when the all great Adrian would look at Brawn’s cars with a facial expression that read illegal!

    How qiuck the world has forgotten. If there is anyone in the paddock that can trim Adrian Newey to size are Ross and Co!

    Who was nt on the urge of their seat Monza 2011 or Montreal 2011 that near win? Yes MSC crashed more than Nico unnecessarily so but why cry over spilt milk?

    Please guys fortune telling and predictions aside, no one knows till the fat lady sings in Melbourne 2012 and stops in Brazil!

    Sikhumbuzo

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      The great Adrian looked at Rory Byrne’s cars and thought illegal.
      Only in 2009 did he look at a Brawn car

      And I wasn’t on the edge of my seat in those two races. I think it will be a sad for F1 if Schumi wins again.

      1. David A says:

        A legend of the sport returning, taking on the younger generation, having two tough seasons before managing potentially one last win would be anything but sad.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I was at the British GP in 1982 when Lauda won, and he was considered a legend at that point but although I applauded, I wanted to see the new generation.
        Lauda winning in 1984 because of his cunning driving rather than outright speed just sent out the wrong message.
        1985 he was a shadow of his former self.
        In his prime, this man was one of the greats but coming back for money for his airline made what I consider my passion, almost trivial.

        Theres a film coming out soon called Rush. The story of the 1976 season. It’s not about Lauda’s career.

        I was fortunate enough to witness Schuamcher in his prime, winning Belgium 1995, Belgium 1996 or Hungary 1998, every performance sublime, and then lived through the most boring period of domination. And I say that as a massive Ferrari fan!
        But Schumacher now is, Ali being punched once too often, it’s Mcenroe refusing to quit once the body is beyond competition.

        The Goodwood Festival of Speed is about the Legends, not F1.
        F1 is about young lions/ gladiators pushing the very limits of ability. It’s great that Schumi still gets a kick out of it, that Mercedes feels that having a 43 year old cements their customer profile rather than trying to lower their customer average age level.

  31. anil says:

    Michael still has something special to offer. His pace at Silverstone, where he set numerous fastest laps and finished just 15s behind Nico despite doing a whole lap with a broken wing, an extra pit stop AND a 10s stop/go penalty suggest we could see him improve his performance with the EBD ban.

    Interestingly, at most of the slower tracks last year, Nico seemed a fair bit faster in race trim (Abu Dhabi for example) but the more faster tracks (particularly Spa, Monza, Suzuka, malaysia) gave Michael an advantage…It’s going to be fascinating to see how their rivalry unfolds this year.

    1. durannarud says:

      I dunno about slow vs/ fast tracks, but it seemed to me overall he was doing better on the tracks he already knew from his early career.

  32. Kevin Green says:

    Really doubt Mercedes would touch Hamilton with a barge pole!!

    1. Nathan says:

      I don’t think the other top 2 teams would either maybe I’m wrong but I think his only option is mclaren and they expect him to perform this year especially after last year

      1. Justin Bieber says:

        If Hamilton gets back to his 2007 form early in the season, people will forget 2011 very quickly.

        Unless he can get a drive at RedBull, his best bet is to stay at McLaren. Its a top team and his teammate is a great driver, with a constructive attitude, who leaves his ego at home.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        exactly that is also my opinion as you will find in prev posts inc the what was Renault team too, Unless the likes of maybe force india take strides forward i feel a certain mr Hamiltons future lies in the Indy series.

      3. Nathan says:

        Ha force India I would love to see the hulk or di resta in a mclaren seat

      4. Kevin Green says:

        looking like a very good chance of both Di Resta and hulkenberg being in Mclaren or Mercedes seats next season, in there own rights that 2 are going to be the most interesting to watch i think.

  33. Vic says:

    Dear James,

    I once saw a documentary where they were discussing Schumachers driving style, and how through a corner he is constantly controlling the car via constantly adjusting the throttle as opposed to nearly all other drivers that are more or less off and on the throttle going through corners.

    I’m very curious as to how the cars throttle being open during corner entry for the blown diffusor exhaust systems would have affected his driving style, if at all. Also will it be different this season with the blown diffusors banned.

    I’d love to hear your opinion on this, heres a youtube clip i found from that documentary:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uk2p2nRK-p4

    Regards

    Vic

    1. Grayzee (Australia) says:

      Good point! He does drive through corners “on the throttle” more than some others. Maybe without the off throttle blowing, he might just get back to his old ways……if so, watch out!

    2. CarlH says:

      Senna was often credited with a similar technique, he was always on the throttle in the corners.

      I also remember Martin Brundle mentioning during commentary last year that clips of the McLaren in 2011 showed Button using the same method.

  34. Serrated_Edge says:

    ‘Schumacher has played his part in patiently building Mercedes into a title winning outfit.’

    I find that a odd comment Schumacher joined the team that had won the constructors title the season before – Brawn GP-

    IMO the signing of Schumcaher has been a disaster, a driver who should have stayed retired.

    1. CM says:

      Brawn won the title on the back of two seasons to development on the car and Honda’s millions.

      The team Mercedes bought was was nothing more than a midfield outfit in terms of resources.

      Only now have Mercedes recruit the staff capable of turning the outfit into a championship team.

      After Brawn’s downsizing, it’s taken a long time to increase staffing levels etc..

      1. XH1UNDA says:

        Really? – the team Mercedes bought had just won both titles! No way a team that had just won both titles can be called a midfield outfit.

      2. CM says:

        Yes that can. They lost half or more of there staff, and had budget comparible or smaller than a midfield team.

        Don’t forget the the 2010 Mercedes was designed by the Brawn team, with their extremely limited resources, as Mercedes didn’t take over until the after the end of the season.

        The only influence Mercedes had was on the 2011 car, which was a step in the right direction, but it’s only now that they’ve brought staff numbers back up to scratch and got a healthy budget can their project really start.

    2. kenny5 says:

      Brawn in 2009 was a honda with the gadget of the year….. others had copied by midseason, but even a button meltdown could not have given the title to thier rivals….
      once the double diffuser was banned for 2010 – they were back to an old honda — which Schumacher has help develop into a race winner.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        a race winner??? Can you remind me which race I missed?

    3. Kevin Green says:

      For his sake’s yes but i’m glad he came back as so everyone could understand results/titles did not exactly give the real reflection on his actual talent level i’e not quite as good as many thought!! right places at the right time with the right people/teams at the time!!!

      1. David A says:

        He spent 15 years clearly performing at a higher level than now, which is far too long to write off, so it is down to him just not being as good as before.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        Racing in near perfect circumstances more like Geeeez blinded lovers!!!!

      3. David A says:

        Schumacher spent 15 years competing at an extremely high level, and I feel that it isn’t really in question how good he was. How good he currently is doesn’t reflect how good he always was.

      4. Kevin Green says:

        Certainly good but not quite as good as the results/stats suggest he was a very very lucky man to be surrounded in an era at 2 teams with the right people cash and resourses flying about.

        As i have said previously a gift he does have is this uncanny car understanding/communication that is usable to Brawn and the team in a way so much more than any other driver since Senna so it seems.

  35. JohnO says:

    No doubting this guy is a living legend and we should be grateful he is still so committed to F1, it’s never boring when Michael is involved. My suspicion is that the Merc is seriously fast. Most of the testing done was on heavy fuel loads and race sims, they know the car is fast and probably knew this from the go. Red Bull are still the benchmark but don’t be surprised to see Schumacher on the podium come Sunday.

  36. Richard says:

    Personally I think Schumacher’s time has gone. The cars are different, and so much depends on the car, and with all that younger talent out there I doubt he will even win a race, but good luck to him.

  37. mo kahn says:

    Michael Schumacher,
    Well Shuey, you are the best ever… When in self doubt or anyone who doubts this must see your statistics… No one ever has ever achieved what you have and I doubt at least in our lifetime anyone ever would.

    You are by far the most popular figure in F1. Even the people who don’t know F1 or don’t follow it with passion know Michael Schumacher. I often discovered when I told people that I was going on a holiday to watch a race they immediately said “oh Michael Schumacher” that is the level of popularity you have.

    Yes people are passionate of Senna, but every fan of Senna knows what you have accomplished is remarkably outstanding.

    You have single handedly changed F1, and it is you who made this sport truly global.

    A lot may not agree what I have written here, but even those who disagree knows that what I have aforesaid is a fact.

    Godbless
    Mo Kahn.

    1. AB says:

      “When in self doubt or anyone who doubts this must see your statistics… ”

      Statistics can point to whatever point the bearer is trying to make. Sure, Schumacher was a great F1 driver but if any of the past “greats” had the advantages he had, they would have similar records. Undisputed #1 status in the biggest spending team in the history of the sport. Basically unlimited money, unlimited track time, unlimited resources. Also, with the exception of the Mika Hakkinen years and Fernado Alonso years, he never really had a dominant rival. Something you continually hear this year is that there are 6 WC’s on the grid. From 1998 – 2006, how many drivers, besides Schumacher, Hakkinen and Alonso, would you consider dominate? In the five years (1998 – 2000 & 2005 – 06, how many titles did Schumacher win when he had a dominate rival? I believe the answer to be one.

      1. hero_was_senna says:

        Agree completely except with your Hakkinen comment. I don’t believe he was exceptional in anyway.
        I just think he was lucky to be driving a Newey Mclaren with Bridgestone tyres in 1998 ( Mclaren broke their contract with Goodyear due to some legal issue) when
        1) Ferrari were still getting their act together
        2) Schumacher was on Goodyear tyres which were in their last season.

        In 1999, Irvine nearly beat him to the championship after Schumi had been injured. If that accident hadn’t happened, Schumi would have been champion.

        Alonso is still the only man to beat Schumacher to the title. This Schumi isn’t the same one.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        + his young German counterpart twice mind!

      3. hero_was_senna says:

        I’m aware of the young German, but I just don’t feel Schumacher, post retirement, can be mentioned in the same sentence as the Schumacher of the 1991 to 2006 era.
        Vettel hasn’t even had to race him these last 2 years.

        Alonso raced him hard in 2006 especially, because 2005 Schumacher was handicapped with Bridgestones.

        Just my opinion, to my eyes to count as having beaten him, they would have needed to be competing for race wins and the championship itself.

      4. David A says:

        “Undisputed #1 status in the biggest spending team in the history of the sport. Basically unlimited money, unlimited track time, unlimited resources. ”

        Numerous other teams spent almost as much as Ferrari. Mclaren, BMW-Williams, Honda and Toyota had the ability to test as much as they want, but Schumacher was an incredibly hard worker, and was the best at utilizing the resources available.

        “Also, with the exception of the Mika Hakkinen years and Fernado Alonso years, he never really had a dominant rival.”

        That’s because Schumacher kept beating what was thrown at him, which is all you can ask for. It also makes no sense to single out five years and say Schumacher won only one title in that time. He won seven throughout his career, and that is all that matters.

      5. AB says:

        The only team that came close the Ferrari spend was Toyota and they were a car company playing at being a race team. McLaren’s and Williams spend was about half what Ferrari’s was spending. Read F1 Racing from back then and you can see a breakdown of the figures from tax records. I do not disagree with you assessment of his work ethic but when you can afford to work that hard, is certainly makes a difference come the weekend.
        Maybe you are right about him beating the competition but he was a dominate driver. Alonso is a dominate driver. Vettel is working towards being a dominate driver. I cannot think of another driver from that late 90′s – mid 2000′s era that I would regard in the same light. So, my point is that, when faced with another dominate driver, his record falls away.

  38. Methusalem says:

    I agree with him, he is one of the best! In spite of his age he is still capable of racing against the young cheetahs — he will definitely prove that by winning two or three races in 2012.

  39. Andrew Kirk says:

    I think if he wins a race he will quit at the end of the season. He must know that his best days are behind him and if he wins he least he can say he returned and won a race in a very tight championship.

  40. Brian says:

    Of course he’s one of the best. All F1 drivers (with the exception of paid drivers) are the some of the best in the world.

  41. Grayzee (Australia) says:

    Having read the 40 odd posts above, i am amazed at how much speculation there is. The season hasn’t even started yet, boys and girls!
    Now, anyone who has won 7 WDC’s is entitled to think he is the best. Regardless of the opinions of us fans here,if Mercedes still think he has somthing to offer, then let them employ him.
    So, my question is: If the Shu is still as good as he was, does that mean that Rosberg must be way better then we think given that outqualified him last year)?
    Will we ever know? Probably not!.

    1. Steve says:

      He is not as good as he was, which is normal given the age. having said that, he still good enough to be around. more than enough in fact.

  42. val from montreal says:

    well looking at Schumacher’s history :

    Benetton were champions in Schumacher’s 3rd year with them …

    Ferrari were almost champiosn in 1997 , which was not expected by Williams … When MS joined Ferrari he clearly stated that his goal was winning a title for Ferrari within the 3rd year ..

    This Mercedes W03 is just the beginning ….

    Schumacher raced and beat his hero Ayrton Senna … too much importance is put on Rosberg … who freakin cares about Rosberg ?!

    1. HMain says:

      The difference between Rosberg and Schuey is that Michael never drove for Williams.

      If Rosberg either had more self confidence in himself or had better management, he wouldn’t have had such a long and dry stint in a Williams. Perhaps he shouldn’t have listened to his father (Keke) so much.

      Webber’s career was nearly ruined by Williams. Post Williams, Mark’s only viable option was to head back to his old team, the team formerly known as Jaguar, now known as Red Bull Racing. Lucky for him!

      Jenson started with Williams but had to make way for Montoya. He eventually ended up at BAR. After almost re-signing with Williams, he was “forced” to stick with BAR who became Honda and then Brawn – whom gave him his WDC and his ticket to McLaren. Again, lucky he didn’t end up at Williams!

      Rosberg is undoubtedly a fast driver. His lack of wins is mainly attributed to his long stay in Williams. However, he is “relatively” young and he is finally with a team with some potential. His fate is yet to be decided.

      1. XH1UNDA says:

        Interesting analysis. Looks like Williams is the team for a driver to avoid like a plague

  43. JohnBt says:

    When I mentioned F1 to someone who’s not into motor racing at all…..”you mean Michael Schumacher” was an immediate reply.

    Sure hope Schumi stands on the podium before he finally retires.

    Will the numbers be up due to Kimi’s return?

  44. Ryan Eckford says:

    I believe that if Mercedes wins a race this year, it will be Michael taking the winners trophy home, not Nico.

  45. Craig in Manila says:

    Is it just me or are Lewis Hamilton’s comments starting to become funnier and funnier albeit in a sad/embarassing kinda way ?

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      It’s probably just you.

      1. Craig @ Manila says:

        Yup, probably. :)
        I just wouldn’t want one of my staff to be saying such things regarding their own performances ! Just me again probably.
        Flight leaves in 6 hours so best I get organised or I’ll be watching it on TV instead of trackside. Cheers,

      2. XH1UNDA says:

        Lewis is not your staff?

  46. Grande Daig says:

    A drive like this does not lose his touch so easily!!! Schumacher is one of the best of all time!!!! Period. He has the potential, if given the car, to win a grand prix still! And if you have the potential to win a grand prix often you can win a championship!!! Go schumi!! A lot of people still believe in you despite your move from Ferrari!!

  47. TheGreatCornholio says:

    I would absolutely love to see MS pick up a win this year and that comes from a man who stopped watching F1 during the Schumacher/Ferrari years due to the predictability of results!

  48. DaveF says:

    I think time away from F1, changes to the cars and tyres in that time and restricted testing have impacted Schumacher’s ability. Plus he is now older so must have slightly slower reactions and is probably less focused than before (but still obviously very focused) as he has had an appreciation of life outside of F1.

    I think Schumacher’s biggest talents are his intelligence and his ability to build (and lead) a team.

    With regards to Hamilton going to Mercedes, I wonder what would happen if Schumacher became his mentor? Remember how Massa was the crash kid before he moved to Ferrari and Schumacher took him under his wing?

  49. Chris says:

    His past contribution to the sport is impressive and cannot be denied and I for one do not begrudge him a seat on the grid. However his days of winning the WDC are over, despite his considerable talents and experience he can no longer realistically measure himself against the likes of Vettel, Hamilton, Alonso and Button.

    Despite this I do wish him all the best this season (his final?) and would certainly love him to score a podium or two along the way.

    1. eric weinraub says:

      Spend some dosh and go to the ROC. Button has never beaten Schuey. You seem to forget that Button has been around since 2000. Schuey has crushed Button so many times that it says Welcome on his forehead. Frankly, button has never been anything in any other car but the Mclaren and triple decked diffused Brawn…Dude, get your facts straight. I watched Schuey go past Button in Imola 2005 through a chicane like he was driving a Yugo. Good things the folks in Woking are sniffing glue cause Button would be out of the sport were he not driving one of their cars. This is the man has driven for Williams, Mclaren, Renault, Honda, and Brawn. You add up his victories outside of Brawn and Mclaren and that total is 1!!!!!!

    2. Chris says:

      Schumacher – Raced for the majority of his career in the sports dominant car, and did very well, all credit to him.

      Button – Has raced for perhaps half a season in the sports dominant car and guess what he did very well too.

      Here in lies the rub, when Schumacher is not in the sports dominant car, what does he achieve?

      If Schumacher& Button had been team mates in 2005, perhaps your opinion would be different but we have never seen them in comparable F1 cars so I guess we will never know (ROC is not F1 i’m afraid). However I suspect that if Jenson was to swap with Nico today, you would see him head and shoulders above Michael (see what I did there!!) Simply put Jenson is at his peak and Michael is past his.

      P.S I spent my hard earned money this year on tickets to real F1 events (Silverstone & Spa) instead of stadium side shows!

  50. Mal Hoad says:

    I wasn’t a Schumacher fan for many years, but his drive at Monza last year was the best entertainment in F1 for ages! The fact it was against Hamilton was the icing on the cake!
    I kept on replaying those laps and still grin watching them!!
    I really hope Michael wins races this year and shakes things up – all we need after that is Kimi winning in Spa!!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      How sad that the FIA had to step in again and write rules regarding the one move defence because of Schumi/ Hamilton.

      There are days when I wonder what Enzo Ferrari would have said about how Ferrari has become.
      But increasingly, I wonder what would Senna have said about the PC rules that govern F1 driving to the absurd level it’s reached now.

      1. F1 says:

        What are PC rules?

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Politically Correct.
        For example, I grew up in an era where F1 drivers were truly hard men, not kids. Blue flags were waved by marshalls but if a driver ignored them, they weren’t punished.
        Senna’s fearsome reputation passing back markers won him many races.
        They had racing incidents in the 80′s, and they just got on with it.
        Circuits weren’t anodyne Tilke snorefests.
        Drivers were allowed to have opinions. Nowadays they speak like mini adverts!
        Even MotoGP is going that way. TV rules it seems.

        It’s not just F! or motorsport, it exists in every form of sport. No-one is allowed to say or do anything, in case Mr sponsor doesn’t like it.

        On another level, do you remember when DC left Mclaren?
        He moved to Red Bull and immediately sported a beard. Problem is Red Bull have forgotten how to be human, they have developed into this corporate machine

      3. CarlH says:

        How exactly have Red Bull forgotten how to be human? I would say the way they conduct themselves (e.g. loud music in the garage, the Monaco pool celebrations, Seb’s title celebrations at Suzuka) shows that they are comfortable with who they are and are happy to show their fun-loving side.

        They may be good at the corporate side aswell, but the access they give to fans puts some of the other teams to shame.

      4. XH1UNDA says:

        I believe Horner has jumped in a pool naked? Definitely not politically correct by many stands.

    2. Justin Bieber says:

      I enjoyed that immensely as well. I was speechless when the FIA made Ross Brawn tell MS to move over so Lewis could go through.. MS was tough but fair. It took Button about half a lap to pass MS and Hamilton needed help from the steward to do the same.

      I’m not implying the Button was/is better than Hamilton. Hamilton tyres were probably near the “cliff” but thats racing so he should have had to deal with it by himself.

      1. XH1UNDA says:

        We know and you know what you are implying

      2. Justin Bieber says:

        What I’m implying is that we saw a great battle between Button/Hamilton/Schumacher and that its a shame that the race steward got involded. I’m also implying that both Button AND Hamilton are great drivers and the reason Hamilton was unable to overtake Schumacher was because his tires were worn out.

  51. Richard says:

    There’s no doubt that Schumacher has been one of the all time greats, and he still has the potential to be near the front given a good car, but I doubt he will win a GP because the competition is simply too fierce, and the bar very high. One thing I don’t like about him is that some of his tactics are unfair and unsporting such as the blocking manoeurve he pulled on Hamilton was against the rules and the stunt he pulled on Barrichello was downright dangerous. All drivers will need to be careful about blocking, and the one move rule when defending a position.

    1. eric weinraub says:

      Obvioulsy not a Senna fan. By the way, watching Senna trash Jackie Stewart in his bio film was priceless!

      1. Richard says:

        On the contrary I think Senna was again one of the all time greats, possible even the greatest, but such comparisons are pointless because circumstances are too varied. The thing is that the sport was far more dangerous then and that sort of thing was to a degree acceptable. Today however the FIA has tightened up the rules to make the sport safer, and to be fair that’s how it should be. That did not stop Button putting Hamilton in the wall though, and I appreciate it can be difficult with two egos competing, but I think he knew perfectly well that Hamilton was there.

  52. Michael S says:

    He has to beat a non Champ like Rosberg much more than he has before I can put him up there with Vettel, Hamilton, etc

    He also, almost always is slower in qualy than Nico which in Schumi’s day was his strength

    1. Aussie Fan says:

      Take out silly crashes (petrov X 3) & mechanical retirements & he DID beat him last year

  53. Pete says:

    Haug and Mercedes CEO, Zetsche, have repeatedly said that if Schumi wanted to extend his contract, all he had to do is SIGN on the dotted line any time he liked

    you have to assume that Schumi has NOT done so simply because he wants to see how well he performs compared to Rosberg; if the highly rated youngster makes Schumi look downright POOR, pride may get the better of “grand-dad”

    as long as Schumi can compete with Rosberg, he will probably remain in F1 for YEARS to come

    ———

    I wonder though whether James is a tad too kind to Hamilton and his chances of snatching the Mercedes cockpit, should Schumi decide to punch out at the end of the season

    Mercedes may be based in England, but they are a German team, and decisions are taken in Stuttgart; and the way Hamilton is perceived in England is rather different to his image in Germany; these days , Lewis mostly draws attention to himself with his endless clashes with Massa, his reckless driving (throwing away points left, right and center for no reason) as well as his off-the-track distractions; he was beaten fair and square by his team-mate now as well, making it a bit difficult to say “all McLaren need to do is give me the right car and I will win the title”; in England, these on and off antics are often seen as “adding excitement”, in other countries, people just get bored with him; on German TV, Lauda was still RAVING about Hamilton two years ago, even when Vettel ended winning the title, it was ALL about the genius of Hamilton; last season it was ALL about Vettel and Lauda just dropped the Lewis-love-fest completely

    A LOT will now depend on whether Lewis can beat Button. Chances are, the new tyres favour Button, and let’s face it, getting back together with his Pussy Cat and moving to Monaco now, since Geneva was “too boring” will not help Hamilton focus on beating Button

    IF Button edges it yet AGAIN though, in the same car, WHY on earth would Mercedes want to sign Hamilton ??????

    let’s face it, he would NOT see himself as a driver supporting Rosberg

    a more likely scenario would be this

    a) Schumi can still compete with Rosberg and extends his contract

    b) Schumi cannot compete with Rosberg, leaves F1, and Hülkenberg (after a strong season) joins Mercedes, otherwise, Kimi gets signed (as long as he impresses this season)

    c) Schumi leaves, and Mercedes buy VETTEL out of his contract (assuming that the Silver Arrows look like the cars to beat NEXT season): note: the Red Bull owner Mateschitz has already said that they would NOT insist on Vettel staying with them, if they could no longer provide the lad with a winning car; they know they OWE him. And Vettel has repeatedly raved about the MYTH of the SILVER ARROWS

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Red Bull owner Mateschitz has already said that they would NOT insist on Vettel staying with them

      Why would he? Much like Williams in the 90′s and Ferrari before the old man died, it’s the car that’s important, not the driver. So Vettel leaves, do you honestly believe Red Bull wouldn’t be able to get two drivers to carry on winning??

      And what exactly do they OWE him?

      1. F1 says:

        I believe Mateschitz knows that Vettel will leave the team sooner or later to take Alonso’s seat in 2017 or perhaps to take over from Michael in 2015 already. Who knows how many titles he will have won by then and being still young his retainer might be astronomically high so that only Ferrari and Mercedes can afford having him on their payroll. That’s why RBR are eager to find a replacement for him (Ricciardo or Vergne) since Buemi/Alguersuari were not deemed fast enough. And Webber isn’t young anymore so he is not the future of RBR.

    2. dzolve says:

      Zurich actually, even more boring than Geneva!

    3. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      Agree with your assessment of of Hamilton maybe being not German enough or blonde enough for the Mercedes home fanbase.

      1. F1 says:

        If a driver is good, nationality and haircolour are meaningless. Remember their stars in the 50ies were Argentinian and British, none of them German and none of them blonde.

      2. Kevin Green says:

        Only just noticed this comment Mike pmsl but i get what you mean exactly! and that’s the primary reason he is doomed for the other top 3 or 4 teams too, but for his questionable off track antics and with another title under his belt who knows. But even if he did win another title now i reckon he would still be overlooked by the other desirable teams.

    4. XH1UNDA says:

      Are you trying to suggest that teams have just been waiting for Hamilton to be beaten by a teammate so that they cannot hire him? I believe Mercedes would also consider how many team mates Lewis had beaten before JB to make a call on whether overall he is as lousy a driver as you imply. Stuttgart let JB go as a WDC so there something they know about JB that we don’t. He may not be the unit against which performance is measured at Mercedes. If Stuttgart holds Alonso in high regard, 2007 may play very big role in their hiring decision. Let’s not forget – teams do not hire based on the same emotional profiles of the fans.

  54. Dunky says:

    Never liked him in his ’1st career’, but I have warmed to the more mellow Schumacher that has returned.

    Part of me would like him to win one more race as it would be a great story for F1. I was actually cheering for him in Canada last year.

    Reality is though he has no where near the same level of speed as he used to have.

  55. AussieWoZ says:

    A true legend on and off the track.

    Seeing him back in F1 is fantastic for the sport and I can’t wait to see him in Melbourne next week! Vamos!

  56. Edison says:

    I read a interview with two times F1 World Champion Emerson Fittipaldi and he had stated that to win a F1 race is very complex because of the variations involved. Man, Schumacher won 7 World Championships. The Schumacher is alive legend. Who does not agree with that?

  57. Vincent Hanna says:

    Love all the comments on here..I for one was not a big of Schumi until he secretly donated $10 miilion to Bali fund some years ago…respect his due!
    Thank you all.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      LMAO, that secret that we all know about it!!!

      1. Rodger says:

        So what if we all know about it?
        Schumacher is a great guy and does a lot of good off the track? It is something we should aspire to not make fun of.
        [mod]

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Didn’t mean to sound frivolous but I have always been of the opinion that charity is something you give of, not make a public statement of.
        There are countless wealthy people who give money to charitable causes, but I’m somewhat cynical of the ones who make public what they have done.

        For eg, he got involved with road safety campaigns because the FIA deemed him guilty for driving into Villeneuve in 1997, and this was his punishment, not because he was giving something back.
        When someone like Damon Hill makes public his support of the Downs Syndrome charity, it’s because his son has the condition and he raises awareness.

      3. David A says:

        @hero_was_senna

        But Schuamcher intended to give the money in private. He didn’t actually want to make it public just to boost his image.

  58. zombie says:

    On a side note, Hamilton really needs to learn how to keep certain things to himself! Why tell you employer,who by the way is paying you a whooping 18m $/yr that you were “enjoying and knocked yourself out” so couldn’t concentrate on your work ? Sheesh!

    1. Mike from Medellin, Colombia says:

      McLaren would not be paying Hamilton $18 million a year if he was not bringing in at least that amount of sponsorship and prize money.

      Hamilton’s high profile is a big draw for sponsors.

      If McLaren were to lose Hamilton they would be challenged to raise the same amount of revenue going forward.

      So it works both ways.

    2. XH1UNDA says:

      It can be argued that there are people hired just to find something wrong in anything Lewis says, does or looks like – a crack team of detectives is about to figure out who pays them ;)

  59. HFEVO2 says:

    Never a great fan of Schumacher at Ferrari – largely because all of the unsporting tricks they used to get up to – I would still like to see Michael score a few victories for Mercedes before hanging up his helmet for good.

    As for the Mercedes lineup in 2013, I can’t see Lewis moving from Woking but I wonder how long Kimi is locked into the Enstone squad – do you know, James ?

    After all, Enstone to Brackley is only a 20 miles move…………

    1. zombie says:

      As much as i like Kimi, Brawn/Mercedes and their teutonic way of working wont touch Kimi with a 20ft barge pole! For all Kimi’s speed, his ability to communicate and lead a team is as good as my refrigerator being an ideal saturday night date. Kimster will be around Lotus for a couple of years, then probably knock on Williams door and then call it a day for good. If Lotus is as good as it is in tests, i expect him to get a few podiums this season, nothing more.

      1. Kevin Green says:

        Knock on Williams door?? strange view! i very much doubt there would be anything close to being a need or view for him to do that other than for that previously spoke of big take over! Likely future of Kimi (if in F1) i would say is cemented to Lotus or yes poss Mercedes maybe Force India and even Redbull depending on his performances from here on.

      2. HMain says:

        I like Kimi and yes, his ability to communicate could do with some improvement.

        A speech tharapist would do Kimi wonders. Serious. I don’t think he has much control over his diaphram and vocal chords, making his speech inconsistent and difficult to understand – often resulting phrases end in low pitch croaks. This occurs when he speak Finnish or English. He gets away with it in the pressies, but the Top Gear performance, it was quite pronounced.

      3. F1 says:

        He fell of his bike as a kid and hurt himself that’s why he can’t talk properly. Most people don’t know this.

      4. Aussie Fan says:

        I understood him fine & I’m just a ‘slow’ Aussie???? Poor bloke, he speaks better than alot of people I know thats for sure!

    2. F1 says:

      He’s contracted for 2 years if he finishes in the top eight. He’s a free agent in 2014.

  60. Il Leone says:

    A 43 year old will never be the future for a team, no matter what he can pull out of the bag for 2012.

    I think a Lewis/Nico combination would be exciting at Mercedes and I for one would welcome someone else at McLaren alongside Jenson to drive that team forward.

  61. myf1space says:

    Hope the gap from Red Bull to McLaren and Mercedes is much smaller this year. it would be good to see Michael Schumacher
    win again http://bit.ly/A59aUk

  62. Phil W says:

    The fact that Schumacher is 43 and still a better driver than half the field is enough to continue justifying his legendary status in my opinion!

    I’ve always been a massive fan of his but happy to admit he is not at the level he was. I would even say he was in slight decline in the final years of his Ferrari days.

    I’m expecting Rosberg to finish the season with a bigger points tally again, but hopefully Schu can contribute some podiums and provide us with some more exciting battles on track :)

    1. eric weinraub says:

      yeah, that drive in Brazil ’06 where he was more than a second a lap faster than the entire field in dry conditions after Fisi took him out in was a clear indication of decline….

  63. Ace says:

    Michael Schumacher is an asset to the sport and I would love to see him be competative in the car this year mixing it with the front runners.

    Just like many other sports the old champions we loved to watch race have now moved on and I think these younger drivers need mentors that are still around showing them you can still achieve positive results if you set your mind to it.

    Some may argue that Shuey had a couple of Titles handed to him but at the end of the day he has showed that he never gives up and flys the flag for us older guys who remember the days of Senna,Prost,Mansell(il Leone),Berger,Alesi,Hill & Hakkinen who made each race exciting to watch.Shumacher was their during this time and gave us some amazing races.

    These young guys are exceptional drivers who in time will be respected in the history books of F1 and will hopefully see that Schumacher was a fierce competitor even in his 40′s.

    Let’s hope the Mercedes can deliver what Schuey needs to get on the podium.

    Watch this space !!!!!!!!!!!!

    ACE

  64. A-Z says:

    Schumacher is one of Bernie F1 property for Marketing

    There is always sometihing to talk about him either Schumacher perform well or poor, he always been in the topic to talk about.

    Schumacher . . come back . . Big news
    Schumacher . . poor performance . . on topic
    Schumacher . . confidence about his performance . . on topic
    Schumacher . . crash . . on topic
    Schumacher . . continue or retire . . on topic

    if Schumacher . . on podium . . big news for discussion
    if Schumacher . . win some race . . very big big news

    Bernie like it.

  65. Ace says:

    True Formula one is all about the marketing and contraversy and that’s why Schuey is good for the sport because he’s experienced and doesn’t let it get to him and still pulls a big draw card in fans watching and attending the sport.

    I’m sure Bernie is laughing all the way to the bank.

  66. jjpm says:

    If all goes well for the new Silver-Arrow W03 2012 :

    Five victories for Michael in 2012
    +
    4 victories for Michael in 2013 = 100

    and (with Barrichello at 323 GPs)

    307 GPs at end of 2012
    327 GPs at end of 2013

    then retirement (maybe cause new engine in 2014) migth see him on a few more GP to give input to to the team about new car, new engine, etc…

  67. dude says:

    its so tight this year and really hard to win
    only Alonso and Mark have win twice. Can you say rest are sh*t?

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