Hot fun in Summertime
Budapest 2014
Hungarian Grand Prix
Schumacher, like Mercedes, finds himself at a crossroads
News
Darren Heath
Posted By: James Allen  |  23 May 2012   |  11:56 am GMT  |  209 comments

Michael Schumacher is a five times Monaco GP winner, but he arrives in the Principality this weekend with a cloud over his head after his third retirement in five races this season.

It leaves him with just two points, his worst ever start to an F1 season. In each of those three retirements he has lasted no more than 12 laps.

Schumacher’s frustration is evident; he has fired several salvoes against Pirelli and called Bruno Senna an “idiot” for the collision in Spain which eliminated both cars. The stewards in Barcelona agreed with many commentators in calling it 100% Schumacher’s fault and handing him a five place grid penalty for this weekend’s Monaco GP. With overtaking so hard in Monaco (there were only 11 overtakes last season, the lowest of any race) it will be another frustrating weekend for the German.

And it seems that the question of what happens next is beginning to arise. It brings Schumacher to a crossroads in his second career: to continue or to call it a day at the end of the season?

Lewis Hamilton is potentially available for next season and this week Mercedes CEO Nick Fry made some comments about Paul di Resta, which caught the attention, “Paul’s on our radar,” he said. “He has done a fantastic job, he’s a nice guy, he’s a great team player and he would be one of the drivers undoubtedly that, if Michael were to decide he didn’t want to continue, we would look at. We haven’t reached that time in our thinking yet, but we have all got a lot of admiration for Paul.”

Ross Brawn missed the Spanish Grand Prix with illness, but will be back in Monaco to oversee the team. He has stepped in and counterbalanced the talk of life beyond Schumacher. He told Bild in Germany that the team has let Schumacher down, rather than the other way around.

“A lot has been said and written, but we should not forget that we – the team – have let him down in three of the fives races, not delivering the job we should have,” he said. “We must do better. We saw Michael’s real quality again in the first race, so it’s for that reason that I believe we will see him on the podium this year.

“When the time comes, we will sit down together and talk about the future. I’m sure it will become clear very quickly in what direction we will go.”

Speaking in the Monaco paddock on Wednesday Schumacher said, “So far we’re not focusing on what happens next year or in the future. It’s more about what happens right now and the team and myself will get together, so there’s no news for you yet, unfortunately.”

Mercedes is itself at a crossroads in its F1 involvement, having been snubbed by the commercial rights holders when favourable deals for the next eight seasons were being offered around to lock in the top teams. The message appears to be that F1 does not consider Mercedes a ‘must have’, despite the fact that the sport is heading for an IPO this summer. Mercedes supplies engines to 25% of the grid.

This is the main issue to resolve, before the issue of Schumacher’s future can be dealt with.

Featured News
MORE FROM JA ON F1...
Share This:
Posted by:
Category:
209 Comments
  1. Dave Aston says:

    I still think he can win the world championship next year. Mercedes have got to the stage that they can win races, and if not for the gearbox failure and a botched pitstop he’d have more than two points. He’s got closer to Nico, and the front, since the start of 2010, so I still think he has what it takes.

    1. blackmamba says:

      WHy would you say next year, bearing in mind there is another huge change in regulations for next year. Michael might be able to win a race with some luck, but the championship? Forget it!

      1. Richard B. says:

        i thought the huge change was 2014

    2. Tony G says:

      Mercedes can only win the championship if they have a decent pedaller such as Hamilton or read the rulebook in a creative way as they did in 2009. I doubt that Rosberg could maintain a challenge over an entire season.

      Schumacher is past it and should retire and go race karts to get his kicks, after all I doubt he needs the money and there are plenty of youngsters deserving of a chance. However I do agree with him about this season’s Pirellis, they are a joke. Pirelli has turned F1 into a lottery. If drivers are driving at 90% to conserve their tyres, then it means that those with 10% less ability than their peers can be made to look better than their actual ability.

    3. Mark says:

      Yes Michael will prevail and win the title despite being consistently slower than his far younger/less experienced/less everything teammate, but if he doesn’t win it next year (or the year after, or the year after that, or…)he WILL eventually win the title BECAUSE he IS Michael. And because monkeys will fly out of his backside when he does win the title and of course that is what we are all waiting for. Because that would be awesome.

      1. Dave Aston says:

        Sounds like Michael fucked your wife.

      2. Mark says:

        Haha good one. No, I am just making a joke about your unrealistic optimism. It would be cool to see Michael win another title at his age but I just don’t see it happening unless he gets in a dominant car like Red Bull had the past two years, and then only if he had a slower teammate than Nico.

  2. As a huge Michael fan it frustrates me watching him @ the moment. I think he needs to put his head down and get on with the job, stop coming up with excuses and get on with it. Kimi on the other hand has been nothing but impressive, the way he has come back after two years and been on the pace from the get go.

    1. Brett says:

      I applaud MSC for being one of only a few drivers who seem willing to throw the toys out of the pram occasionally. He has a point, the tyres are rubbish & Senna is an idiot…

      1. JD says:

        If Schumi rear-ended an idiot or genius, the result is still the same. The collision was his fault.

      2. Luis says:

        Great, JD ! [Claps]

      3. Brett says:

        my point is that he is of only a few who feels free to say what he thinks. I want to see drivers telling it how it is. In the good old days ROS would have been chased through the garage into the padock for what he did to ALO & HAM

    2. Amritraj says:

      Kimi is 10 years younger and has returned from a motosport discipline which is probably tougher than F1. I dont think there is any basis of comparison between the two drivers.

      1. Venna says:

        Then MS should have stayed in Ferrari Motor Home, instead of embarrassing himself and blaming the tires.

      2. evan says:

        EVERYONE is blaming then tires – E-V-E-R-Y-O-N-E

    3. Jey says:

      That Lotus car that Kimi has in 2012 is not what Michael had in 2010,2011 or even in 2012(looking at how it eats its tyres).
      Look at what Romain is doing in the other Lotus.

      So comparing both the comebacks is not worth

      1. Allan says:

        Good point… Someone who can see the forest and not just the trees…

        Last time in F1, Romain did not seem to impress, now he his running Kimi hard… That “Lotus” is a surprisingly good car this year.

      2. Venna says:

        I have heard some where that MS is a great car developer, may be he lost it after 2004..

        I wont agree on blaming the cars or the tires. Kimi had won in a dog (Ferrai 2009) and MS is Struggling with the car when his team mate has already won a race in the same car. How come he can run in to senna’s back and blame him? So tires are wrong, other drivers are wrong! Really, its time for him to realize that good old days when FIA was with him, Bridgestone was with him are gone and hang on his boots.

      3. Jay says:

        The FIA weren’t with him, but of course people will say anything to justify their bitterness…

      4. dev3 says:

        @Venna Indeed he is, i wouldn’t call the lost after 2004 in fact in 2005 rule changing to stop Ferrari domination impact Ferrari but somehow in 2006 Schumacher skill has earn them a competitive car at the middle of the season. Arguably technical failure in Japan and Brazil cause him the championship.

        Car factor is one of the imortant part in F1 and Kimi also suffer it before 2009, 2008 he struggling to performance best in that Ferrari whilist Massa able to beat him in championship point and Kimi Mclaren despite the car failure more less struggling to perform best when the car was not on the peak. Michael since his comeback is far from his peak but 2012 he seem to be able to best out of the 2 years comeback. He able to push the dog of a car to win in 90s and speaking of FIA with him or Bridegstone just mainly a nonsense speculation, Bridgestone-Ferrari case was because Ferrari is the only top team and much bigger chance to win the championship others top team was using Michelin and in 90s Schumacher career, Bridgestone wasn’t the only tyre that F1 used. You can read in many Schumacher stories and one of is James Allen’ Edge of Greatness a very balance book.

        You forget to mention when Nico won the race in China, Michael Schumacher suffer from pit stop failure therefore we would never know what the outcome would be if he able to finish the race and in the first 2 races he able to beat his teammate but bad luck has preventing us to see the truth in 2012 so far. So i think it’s wrong to assume Nico so far able to beat Schumacher since he suffer from bad luck in this past 5 races. I think he got a point in Senna crash eventhough the steward speak differently and Vettel also assuming it was a racing incident. About the tyre stuff i think people just exaggerating it like Alonso said and Schumacher isn’t the only one that unsure about the tyre.

        @Jay you might said that but there wasn’t any prove to justify yours assumption and i also can say people will say anything to justify the bias towards Schumacher which in most case it is.

      5. Jay says:

        @dev3 – How about 2005, where the FIA even changed the rules to prevent Ferrari from winning? It’s unfair to say the FIA were “with” him, as if they were the primary reason for his success. It’s folly to be accusing others of being biased towards Schumacher when you’re merely defending those who are taking cheap shots at him.

      6. Wade Parmino says:

        Ferrari was so good because they had Brawn, Todt and Schumacher. It was this trio who made Ferrari a perfect team. Such a combination of brilliance has not occurred since in F1.

      7. Dev3 says:

        @Jay my apologies, i misread your post i thought you saying FIA with Schumacher :D. I agree with you 100%

      8. SP says:

        I agree, no need to compare the two comebacks. Both are solid drivers and I have to say, Kimi has been brilliant. Michael, when things go right for him and the car works well, can produce some magic. If it werent for DRS in Canada last year, he couldve made it to the podium.

        Both drivers, in my opinion, rank higher than most of the grid and also higher than one/two current world champions. In their peak, they were both immense and very hard to beat.

        Having said that, Kimi seems to be very sharp and if he stick around longer, he may become better than he was before. It’ll be interesting to see how he develops.

      9. Wade Parmino says:

        In China this year he would definitely have made the podium, possibly even a win if not for a pit crew error.

  3. JamesF says:

    Can anyone believe how long it’s taking him to get on the podium? It’s Michael Schumacher!

    There’s no denying it. Something has changed. It might be that there’s greater talent around him now, but that doesn’t explain his poor judgement with several attempted overtakes.

    Maybe he’s just no longer used to racing in the midfield? But really, he hasn’t always started races from pole, and he’s driven some mediocre cars in the past.

    I don’t know what’s missing. I have a strong feeling though, that if this wasn’t Schumacher, people would be saying he wasn’t up to the task.

    I really want him to do well. F1 has some great talent at the moment and we deserve to see a Schumacher at the top of his game, racing like he should be able to.

    1. CanadaGP says:

      The man is 43. That’s what’s changed. Formula 1 is a sport just like football, tennis, etc.

      No one expects Messi to be just as good in football when he is 43. Just because the racing driver athlete performs his sport sitting down doesn’t mean his performance is not age affected.

      1. c-m says:

        Yet UFC had a heavywieght champion who was 47. That is certainly a tougher sport requiring far more physical fitness, speed and reflexes.

        Driving ability shouldn’t really be affected by age. If anything it will be that he’s changed mentally.

      2. stan says:

        perhaps but how many race winners let alone champions over 40 in the last few decades

      3. NJ says:

        Randy Couture won the heavyweight champion at 43 against Tim Sylvia (a giant of a man whom Randy Couture studied carefully prior to his comeback).

        Couture lost the title at age 47 and called it a day.

        Schumacher’s greatest power has always been his work ethic. His penchant for never going home, never calling in sick, never going on long holidays.

        The legend is that MS used to practically live at Ferrari’s Maranello factory and he did it to great effect.

        Even if Bridgestone didn’t have plans of favoring MS they had little choice. In an era of unlimited testing MS’s testing miles were greater than pure test driver Luca Badoer.

        And again, BOTH Schumi and his rival Mika Hakkinen thrived on those tyres. The formula has changed definitely and Schumi is just very unprepared.

        Schumacher was also recently asked if he’d prefer F1 go back to unlimited testing but he said that at 43 he no longer had the stomach to go with unlimited testing.

        So something has changed there as well I suspect…

    2. Wade Parmino says:

      I know there is no way of testing it so it is a rather redundant comment but I will say it anyhow. Top drivers from one era are not necessarily going to be top drivers in another era.

      One driver’s certain set of skills may suit him perfectly to a particular nature of race car from one era but not translate in another. In the 50′s and 60′s the mental demands of the sport were far greater than they are now due to the increased danger. However the physical demands these days are far greater than they were in the 50′s or 60′s because of the higher grip and cornering speeds.

      Just speculation, but if a young Jackie Stewart for example, raced these days he may well not be all that fantastic a driver. Unfortunately, for obvious reasons this theory cannot be tested.

    3. Mark says:

      I don’t believe age has much to do with his lack of success. 43 is not old enough to dull the senses enough to make such a difference. Fangio was still winning when he was even older in an era that was arguably more dependent on driver skill and courage, and when people aged much quicker (and Fangio wasn’t exactly the poster boy for athletic fitness). I think Michael is not succeeding because he doesn’t NEED to. He has already won everything, has almost all the records, has more money than he could ever spend, is more famous than any other driver and he has a wife and family at home. Put plainly, there is little hunger to fuel ambition.

  4. Rick says:

    I think that Schumi has let down his team more often than the other way around. When he came back there were great expectations which have all been disappointed.

    He was expected to drive beyond the capabilities of his car the way Alonso and Hamilton can, but it has not happened. Look what Kimi is doing in comparison. I think it’s time for Schumi to hang it up.

    1. Andy H says:

      Hear hear, give someone else a chance that deserves it, not that MSC didnt deserve another crack at F1. Things have changed and its showing him to be not the driver some people thought he is, nevermind was. Give DiResta a go or Hamilton to Merc so another driver can fill the seat at McLaren, whatever. MSC needs to realise he can no longer carry on. Its a waste of a seat that needs to be given to a younger driver.

      1. JCC says:

        As a MSC fan, I think he should not race next year, make 2012 his last and fight to get at least a podium finish.

        On Hamilton to Mercedes, I think McLaren should do everything they can to keep him once he looks (at least from what we’ve seen this year) more capable of landing a WDC than Button.

    2. David says:

      I’m far from being a Schumacher fan, but he definitely was a supremely good driver. The question is how much track speed or reflexes he has lost, how far that drops him down to the level of younger but less talented drivers, and whether his experience can make up the deficit. I think there are two real issues. One is whether his reflexes are good enough, or whether he’s liable to involve himself in collisions now that would otherwise be avoidable. Some of them from last year and this (Perez) do seem not only clumsy but potentially dangerous since they have stemmed from miscalculating attempted passes. It means his ambition (imagining what he can do on the track) is greater than his actual capabilities now. The other issue is his own frustration at being slower. I find it totally unrealistic, though, that his fans think he can still outperform Nico Rosberg over a season and win the championship (presuming Mercedes do their part). It’s just not going to happen.

      1. Blackacre says:

        Arguably he has never been able to pass – look at Villeneuve and Hill. His passing was always done in the pitlane or not needed as pole sitter with never ending tyres.

      2. David A says:

        Watch Brazil 2006 then.

      3. Wade Parmino says:

        Yes indeed, watch Brazil 2006. Or Brazil 1994 where he pressured Senna into making a mistake.

      4. Dev3 says:

        “Arguably he has never been able to pass” That’s a very wrong statement!!!
        2006 Brazil impressive recovery from tyre puncture and impressive overtake Kimi Raikkonen and Heidfeld, Australia 2002 Briliant overtaking(quote from the pundit) Montoya in a strong Williams, Schumacher-Hill estoril 1995 Impressive, Schumacher-Button San Marino 2005, Monaco 2006 charge from the back of the grid and passt several cars to finish 5th, Monaco 1998 Schumacher-Wurz, Schumacher-Hakkinen Monza 1998, Schumacher-Alesi Nürburgring 1995, China 2004, Schumacher-Rubens Inidanapolis 2004 etc, not to mention his stunning overtaking manouever in wet condition.

  5. Michael Brown says:

    When Schumacher does eventually decide to call it a day for the second time in his career, I just hope he can go out on a high. It would be tragic if he didn’t at least win another race. He deserves it and I believe he has the talent to do it.

    1. Martin says:

      The only way he will win another race is if Pirelli give him some magic tyres just like Bridgestone used to, but thats not going to happen now and as we can see when the field is pretty level and not stacked in his favour he is just ordinary.

      1. Michael Brown says:

        You mean those magic Bridgestone tyres he used to win the championship in 1994 and 1995 and win a bunch of races from 1996 to 1998? How odd that those Bridgestone tyres had Goodyear Eagle written on their sidewalls in large yellow letters.

        I suppose you regard two championships, twice runner up and one 3rd place in five years as “just ordinary”?

      2. Tom says:

        “when the field is pretty level and not stacked in his favour he is just ordinary.”

        What an absurd statement. 1996, 1997, 1998, 2003, 2006. All years when the field was pretty level, or stacked against him, and Schumacher delivered extraordinary performances.

      3. Venna says:

        He was a champion not body argues with it. What is debatable is whether he should be a 2 time or 7 time champion. He thinks that he is a 7 time champ and drives where the reality is he earned only 2 of them on his own. His drive and come back doesn’t reflect a 7 time champs racing capability.

      4. David A says:

        @Venna – He earned 7 titles, so therefore has 7 titles.

      5. Wade Parmino says:

        Yeah, if you win a title by the official rules, you win a title. You can’t make those kind of statements saying that he did not genuinely win 5 of his 7 titles. If one was to go down THAT path, then Senna really only has 2 championships and Prost has 5.

      6. JCC says:

        I think age counts more in single seaters than it does in other motorsports, MSC seems to ignore this fact. I don’t beleive Alonso will as fast as he is today in 10 years time (specially with a break in between).

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      Why does he deserve a win?
      The majority of his 91 wins was against selected team-mates, competition that just didn’t compare to todays drivers, with a dominant car and bespoke tyres.
      He’s reportedly worth $823,000,000 and has 7 WDC behind him. Why does he deserve anything else?
      F1 works in cycles, you have periods that certain drivers dominate an era, fulfill a career then retire when their time is up.

      1. Michael Brown says:

        “dominant car and bespoke tyres”

        He rarely had a dominant car and the bespoke tyre thing is also rubbish. From 1994-1998 he won 2 WDC, 2nd twice and 3rd once with the same Goodyear tyres that everyone else was using.

        He deserves another win because he had the courage to come back, has stuck out two years of Mercedes having a crap car and, frankly, is more than good enough to win again.

      2. Mike says:

        The 2 WDC he won in ’94 & ’95 were in an (alledged) illegal Benneton and driving Hill off the road.

        For the 5 at Ferrari he had bespoke Bridgestone tyres (and team mates that were not allowed to beat him).

        When he was up against better opposition (Hakkinen, Alonso) he could not win the WDC.

        Nobody deserves anything given to them, if he wants to win another race he should get his act together and quit moaning.

      3. Jay says:

        @Mike – The 1994 one was the alleged illegal car, 1995 there was no allegations.

        He also won the title in 2000 and 2001 against Hakkinen, while breaking his leg in 1999 when he could have beaten Hakkinen.

        Schumacher was better than Barrichello- that’s why Rubens hardly ever beat him.

      4. Kay says:

        Agree with Mike.

        Search on YouTube for the illegal Benetton, his old teammates Jos had something to say about that.

      5. David A says:

        @Kay – Nothing was proven, and a bitter Jos Verstappen is hardly going to admit he was nowhere near his teammate.

        Facts are, Schumacher produced many wonderful performances over the years to earn 7 world championships and 91 wins.

      6. Dev3 says:

        Well said @David A

  6. Imran Patel says:

    I feel MSC has been wrongly criticised. The following explains my case:
    1. Australia Quali 4th , Race Retired Gearbox failure
    2. Malaysia: Quali 3rd, Race 10th (Race condition: Rain, car unable to generate tyre temp. in wet conditions)
    3. China: Quali 3rd, Race Retired (wheelnut issue)
    4. Bahrain: Quali 18th (DRS issue) moved to 24th with engine change Race 10th
    5. Spain: Quali 9th (did not run in Q3) Race Retired (accident)

    As you can see apart from the race in Spain (where i agree it was MSC fault), he hasn’t performed badly at all. MSC hasbeen unfortunately unlucky in the previous grandprixs with some sort of failure or the car not performing in race conditions.
    By just glancing at the points table clearly does not justify his performance as you can clearly see from above.

    What do you think James???

    1. James Allen says:

      I agree. Quali has been much stronger, he’s had some bad luck too.

    2. The problem is that some managers believe in luck, and they wouldn’t want an unlucky driver. It’s happened too many times to too many good drivers that have just had problem after problem. Shame really.

    3. Brisbane Bill says:

      What a turnaround in fortunes. In his time at Ferrari he was often the luckiest driver on the grid with the way the breaks went. Now it seems that lady luck is seeking revenge for all the times she let him get away with it.

  7. madmax says:

    Nick Fry is an embarrassment to Mercedes. Instead of saying what Brawn said in that the team let Schumacher down, Fry jumps on the media bandwagon and starts talking about replacements. Great teamwork Nick!

    Senna, Clark and Fangio all rolled into one wouldn’t have much more points than Schumacher as this stage in the season with virtually everything expect Spain not his fault.

    1st race OUT-Qualifies Rosberg and AHEAD of him when gearbox forces retirement

    2nd race OUT-Qualifies Rosberg again but gets spun in the 1st corner and demoted to last by rookie Grosjean but still finishes AHEAD of Rosberg

    3rd race qualifies 2nd behind Rosberg on his worst track and pitstop blunder retires him.
    4th race DRS failure in qualifying and gearbox change so starts 22nd but still finishes 10th, 5 places behind Rosberg who started 5th.

    5th race Doesn’t do lap in Q3 to save tyres and lines up 2 places behinds Rosberg.
    Makes the first mistake(debatable, Vettel behind him thought should have been a racing incident and Coulthard even said it would probably be ruled that)

    1. Crom says:

      I agree with this summary of Schumacher’s season so far. Which is why it’s strange to hear the talk of retirement, almost a backlash for his Pirelli comments.

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      James, is there any significance that these words were spoken by Fry rather than Brawn or Haug?
      When the team was BAR, he seemed to have more influence but has been practically invisible since Mercedes came in.
      I doubt he would have said anything without some backing from senior figures.

    3. MISTER says:

      Well put. Those who don’t like MSC will just ignore your comment because they don’t like facts. They prefer opinions out of thin air.

  8. Bruce says:

    I don’t like Schumacher and his attitude of ‘it’s me and I’m coming through’, regardless and what happenned with Senna in Spain just sums it up. It has been the same all through his career, he doesn’t like being overtaken either, just look what he did to Barrichello in 2010!
    The sooner he goes the better! Imo he is a cheat!

    1. Gudien says:

      Let’s all remember the shameful exhibition of parking during qualifying in order to win the pole at Monaco. Yep, payback is rough isn’t it Michael?

      1. Andy says:

        I agree, Schuey has been a ‘win at all costs’ merchant some of which probably makes you a 7 times champion. However, what he did at Barcelona was one of the worst things I have ever seen a driver to. On last weeks F1 Show on Sky, in one of the practice sessions, Schuey thought he was held up by Hamilton. He then outbraked himself and had to take to the escape road. In doing this, Schuey got ahead of Hamilton and Schuey parked his car across the track, stationary, in front of Hamilton. As far as I know this wasn’t shown as part of the main feed, but it was shown by Sky last week. Schumacher only received a reprimand for this.
        Personally, I think any driver who acts in such a manner should have had his licence suspended. For a 7 times world champion to act in such a way is disgraceful.

      2. blueninjasix says:

        Not to mention running into Damon Hill

      3. ralf says:

        Here we go, the usual, completely predictable British anti Schumacher rants. Really, get over it. Same people, over and over.

    2. To be fair, as an overtaking driver you need to take in subtle cues from the car ahead. Senna moved to the outside, so Schumacher aimed to pass on the inside; then Senna made a very tiny move to the inside, so Schumacher had to do one of two things, either assume that Senna was moving a little and dive further up the inside, or assume that Senna is moving a lot, and stay on the racing line and attempt a move around the outside.

      Clearly, Schumacher assumed the latter, based on Senna’s little move to the inside, but it was the wrong assumption. I would call that a racing incident, but if I were Schumacher, I would sit down with Senna, apologize in general for the accident, and then just talk to him and explain why Senna’s second mini-move confused Schumacher, thus causing the crash.

      1. Bruce says:

        Why then did the stewards penalise him with a 5 place grid penalty at Monaco and blame him completely? Schumacher’s comment at the time, calling Senna an idiot when he, himself, was the IDIOT!
        If as a 7 times world champion he should have known he didn’t have enough space to slow down under any circumstances, he shouldn’t be racing!

      2. David Ryan says:

        “Why then did the stewards penalise him…?”

        Very good question. Especially when you consider a comparable, and arguably more dangerous, collision between Mark Webber and Heikki Kovalainen at Valencia in 2010 went completely unpunished. It was simply deemed a racing incident, much as the collision in Barcelona arguably should have been as well (Senna did move under braking, after all, and but for that Schumacher would likely not have changed line). Inconsistency still appears to blight the stewards unfortunately.

      3. madmax says:

        All weekend the stewards were penalizing anything and everything, for as the grand prix before you could do anything and not get penalized!

        There also wasn’t a detailed description of why Schumacher was in the wrong that the stewards only seem to write out sometimes.

        Look at what Derek Warrick(never won a race but an F1 legend according to Sky!) said on Sky’s f1 show. After watching a so called driver steward review the incident I have lost all faith in these stewards.

        For a look at the incident from people who actually took more than a second reviewing it without preconceived bias listen in at 1.34.50 of Peter Windsor’s show with Scrabs here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_FRIfLgFnI&feature=relmfu

      4. ralf says:

        Your British, you must be, even been to Germany, i’d guess not.

      5. Mitchel says:

        I like the link, madmax!

        To summarise “….Michael Schumachar WILL crash into you…”.

        That wasn’t taking it of context was it?

    3. Wade Parmino says:

      Bruce, What do you mean “its me and I’m coming through”!? The KING of that catchphrase would undoubtedly be Ayrton Senna.

  9. Shirleen Riffe says:

    Let’s clarify a few things. Nick’s Fry’s quote is being intrepreted incorrectly. He said if things didn’t start going better for MIchael retiring might cross his mind. This has been intrepreted as he “will” retire. Such poor journalism at least. Secondly, yes things changed in F1 in the 3 years he was gone. Many of the advantages he had with Ferrari are gone. The most importantly are the tyres. They don’t suit him. They have now gotten so bad more driver’s and engineers are complaining. He was right- he just was the first to complain loudly. He will continue to be an asset for Mercedes because he puts butts in the seats. That translates into a lot of money. I’m going to a GP because of HIM.

    1. MISTER says:

      I am going to Silverstone this year and I hope Michael will be on the podium. That will make my day. He’s a legend!

    2. Kay says:

      Yer things changed as well from the time Kimi left to when he came back, and yer the tyres too btw.

  10. Rach says:

    James your writing on this issue is so much better balanced than others I have read. I agree he is at a crossroads but feel he hasn’t done 3 years of work to see Hamilton come in and gain the fruits.

    If as you say correctly the mercedes issue is resolved I believe he will sign for 2 years.

    Finally to those who will criticise Schumacher I recommend to you the book written by James Allen on Schumacher. It shows how Schumacher became what he was particulary how he was treated by senna and how he has subsequently followed him. This can been seen in his criticism of pirelli. He doesn’t criticise for any reason other than he is trying to shape the sport in his direction. I don’t criticise him for this because all drivers do the same.

    James keep up the good work your credibility is enhanced by your ability to show both sides.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I don’t disagree with your review of James’s book, but feel that some of your view are rose tinted to say the least.
      Of course all drivers will try and swing the rules in their favour, they will use any influence they have within a team to swing favour.
      Jackie Stewart spoke about this during his career, and you see all champions with this particular characteristic, be they Senna, or a highly political Prost, a whinging Mansell, an angry Alonso with Ron Dennis in 2007 or Button at Mclaren recently. What about Vettel cultivating the support of Ecclestone and Mateschitz.
      The problem is MSC is no longer the dominant force that some of the media and his fans make him out to be, he just a good driver these days.
      Still, your opinion is a s valid as mine.

      1. For sure says:

        I agree with most of what you said and he is the only reason why I am still watching it but no fan in their right mind would think he is a dominant force like he once was. For once, it is bitter/sweet to be supporting an underdog F1 driver.

      2. Rach says:

        I agree he is no longer the force he once was in the driving department. However to be doing what he is doing at his age is incredible particulary when you consider what he has won.

        I believe he has led the debate on pirelli. Only today whitmarsh has commented as a follow up. Just to clarify I don’t want a return to the bridgestone days just a bit more parity between tyres and driver.

      3. Alex W says:

        all champions excepting the great Jack Brabham, he didn’t even fire his own #2 driver to guarantee a 4th WDC.

    2. MJR says:

      James has written some excellent books about Schumacher. I would recomend “Michael Schumacher The Quest for redemption” & Michael Schumacher the edge of greatness”.

  11. jonnyd says:

    why do penalties have to be handed out for absolutely everything?
    i just dont understand it. I highly doubt schumacher intended to piledrive his machine into the back of Senna, it was a racing incident. Why not just give a reprimand or a warning?

    parking his car at the end of the chicane to teach hamilton something was probably more dodgy.

    what everyone seems to miss, and what schumacher (as he always does) eloquently points out, is that if you look at the overhead shot of that accident – Senna makes his 1 move to the right. He then moves decisively back to the left, in the braking zone, which is why Schumacher thought he’d have to switch positions on track, and the difference in braking distance is what caught him out.
    If he had not switched sides, he would have piled into the back of Senna regardless, because Senna moved back to the left. That was Schumi’s point.

    Senna’s incorrect move, which is now very clear in the rules, was missed by everyone, except Martin Brundle. He has been the only person to acknowledge the facts about that incident, and give a true picture during commentary.

    In the ‘f1 show’ on sky afterwards, they had Derek Warwick on, who of course slammed schumi. They then played the footage one more time – and no one even pointed out that Senna had made 1 move first to defend on the right…..

    Derek then said ‘if you look at vettels onboard, there were lots of carbon pieces flying everywhere from schumi’s move, which could have been very dangerous for vettel also’.

    Well if they took that into account when giving out the penalty, its completely absurd. No driver can have control over the exact outcome of an accident. None of them drive thinking ‘if this doesnt go well there could be parts of my car which could hit someone later!’

    It would be akin to giving Coulthard a penalty for The infamous Spa 98 pileup, because he started that, and consequently took out 10 other cars. But of course, and sensibly so, he cannot be held responsible for the fallout of an incident.

    Neither BEn Edwards nor David Coulthard spotted Senna’s initial move to the right. The disparity between commentators views is astounding, especially considering they are all watching the same broadcast.

    The lack of inconsistency and the confusion is absolutely ruining F1, and has done for several years now – its become more noticeable than ever, this penalty culture. Now we have rules even governing the moves drivers make on the track – and as the incidents with Rosberg in Bahrain, and Senna in Spain proved – completely ungovernable.

    Its like the judicial system in America, prescriptive, full of rules and consequently, full of loopholes, because its impossible to account for every single variable in life. Compare that to the UK system which relies more on judgement and the expertise of professionals.

    Aah yes, expertise of professionals – which is why we brought in F1 stewards i.e. The Jury. Does having a former F1 driver on the grid being part of this Jury count as a fair Jury? Of course it doesn’t! How can you rely on someone like Jonny Herbert, who raced against some of the people on the grid, and was teammates with schumi, to give a fair, and non-biased opinion?
    How can you expect any former F1 driver to give a fair and non biased opinion? F1 drivers aren’t known for their analytical, fair, unbiased opinions – its not a universal trait they have.
    Its analogous to being in a murder trial, and to have a member on the Jury being a former victim of the person on trial.

    the state of affairs in F1 regarding penalties, the rules on track, and stewards decisions – need to be thoroughly scrutinized and given a shot of common sense.

    1. JPS says:

      well said….

    2. mvi says:

      “The lack of inconsistency” ?

    3. Wu says:

      I have stated this before; Senna made 2 moves when defending. Senna moved to the inside so Schumacher went back to the racing line where there is more grip and he can brake later. He could have overtaken him under braking or in the S seeing Senna was on used tyres and would not be able to defend the spot.

      But Senna moved back to the racing line just as Schumacher was commited. If the stewards see nothing wrong in Senna’s 2 moves, then it should have been a racing incident; both drivers on a different page. But to give Schumacher a penalty? That was downright stupid.

      Schumacher has been very unlucky this year. But it’s like poker, eventually things will go right and things will balance out. The best thing Schumacher can do is approach each race fresh and not care about past races. Things will go his way eventually and we’ll be reminded why he’s still racing.

      1. Liam in Sydney says:

        Hear hear!! I also thought the moves by Senna were a bit naughty and trhe penalty to Schu as a result looked a bit over the top to me. Sure he ran up the back of Senna, and yes Schu should cop a penalty for that. But to say Schu was 100% at fault is laughable.

      2. Kay says:

        “Schumacher has been very unlucky this year. But it’s like poker, eventually things will go right and things will balance out. The best thing Schumacher can do is approach each race fresh and not care about past races. Things will go his way eventually and we’ll be reminded why he’s still racing.”

        C’mon this is just pure karma lol… for all the things he’s done in the past are all coming back to him.

      3. Wu says:

        Karma is a made up thing to make certain people feel ok when bad things happen to them.

        If there was such a thing as karma, wouldn’t the bad luck happen when he would really be affected?

        Even if anvils rained down from the sky on his car every race it wouldn’t take away his past results.

      4. dev3 says:

        Well said @Wu

        @Kay karma or whatever you call, Michael Schumacher is 7 time WDC and named 2nd richest sportman in the world so i call it blessing :D

    4. Basil says:

      Well said indeed!

    5. Rach says:

      Exactly. Derek Warwick’s analysis was poor.

    6. madmax says:

      Very good comment, didn’t know about Brundle’s views but to be fair Ted tried to say to Derek Warrick about Senna moving but Warrick was that keen to stick the foot into Schumi he didn’t listen.

      As I commented on an above post this has helped me loose all faith in these former driver’s acting as stewards. Peter Windsor on his show gave a good view on the incident at 1.34.50 in here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r_FRIfLgFnI&feature=relmfu

      Incidentally Derek Warrick with no grand prix wins is an F1 legend according to Sky so on that basis I guess the likes of Eddie Irvine is an F1 god.

      1. Kay says:

        Then Luca Badoer must be God of Gods LOL…..

    7. Kay says:

      “How can you rely on someone like Jonny Herbert, who raced against some of the people on the grid, and was teammates with schumi, to give a fair, and non-biased opinion?”

      Just bring in the Stig!! :D :D LOL!!!

  12. Martin says:

    He’s past it, time to knock it on the head, but as we know he wont retire gracefully, never should have come back at all in my opinion, Mercedes would probably have another 30 points or so on the board if they had a half decent driver alongside Rosberg, he is a liability and a real danger to the rest of the field, look at how he went off track at Barcelona in practice and almost parked his car in front of Hamilton and then takes out Senna and has the temerity to call him an idiot, theres only one idiot here and it aint Senna, time for him to sit back and dream of the old days when he could crash into title rivals safe in the knowledge that he wouldnt be penalised and those wonderful (for him) days in the 2000s when he trounced all comers on his bespoke special tyres that he alone had, yes time to go Schumi old son and I for one wont miss you.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Well said.

  13. olivier says:

    Schumacher has been incredibly unlucky this year;

    1. Australia > gearbox failure
    2. Malaysia > Grosjean driving like a rookie/monkey
    3. China > a loose tyre due to a botched pit stop
    4. Bahrein > a dysfunctional DRS system during Q3

    On top of that. It must be greatly frustrating for Michael to see Maldonado win a GP and Kimi getting instant podia.

    My advice to Michael. Keep your cool, enjoy the moment and outsmart your competitors.

  14. Mercedes Fan says:

    Certainly Schumi is responsible for the faults that he did make in some races. But it seems the majority of the F1 crowd did miss a little statistics. As far as I can remember since Schumi’s come back and driving in the Mercedes his car has consistently faced much more problems than Rosberg (apart from those races that he made some mistakes) and retired in much more races than any other drivers in the top teams.

    It’s definitely sad to see him struggling with points. I hope he can concentrate on finishing the races and by doing so he can ultimately outscore Rosberg.

    And i think people are wrong to compare his comeback with Kimi, as Lotus’s car this year is definitely much better than what Mercedes had in the last 2 years. If Kimi did come back at the same time as with Michael I think both of them couldn’t get into the top 5 in the standing list.

    1. Ro_Jo says:

      I’m sorry… Can’t concur with that statement… Nico took 3 podiums with that car and if Kimi had the same thing he could have bettered it… If it had been the same time, it wouldn’t be a comeback, Kimi would have never been gone…

  15. AuraF1 says:

    I’ve never been a Schumacher fan at all, although his glory years were when I wasn’t that interested in F1, but even I harbour a weird nostalgic longing to see him on the podium again. It’s very strange to be urging him on, but I guess many F1 fans like a dramatic storyline and a comeback for the big names (I think if Lewis came back after retirement, even those who dislike him now might be muttering similar hopes).

    There’s something about the greats coming back. It reminds me of that last Rocky Balboa film about making a comeback against today’s younger talent and still having the heart to give it a go…I never visualised Schumacher with ‘passion’ – he was more the technical genius, the ultimate german expression of precision, but you can see this time round he’s genuinely burning to have some good results.

    I’d like to put the rumours of age-related decline to rest (I’m with the science crowd who doesn’t believe responses nosedive past 35, perhaps just adaptation speed) and see Schumacher have a good run of races without technical failures. If he can still fight when the car is working fine, we’ll at least know for a fact he can drive well. If the car runs perfectly for 5 or 6 races and he’s still lagging behind, I think even he can admit something is missing and move on. It’s this technical bad luck which leaves us, and him probably, still guessing…

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I find it alarming how Schumacher’s legacy brings about a different attitude as opposed to Massa’s plight.

      I don’t think much to Massa, never did, and am no fan of Schumacher, although I supported him because he happened to race for my team but since 2010 they have been completely out-classed by their team-mates, Alonso destroying Massa consistently and Rosberg certainly having the upper hand over MSC

      The only difference is Alonso is one of the greats of F1, Rosberg merely a good driver of this era, but no-one has ever called him a great.

      But whereas Massa gets practically no good press and constant talk about Ferrari replacing him, most want MSC to get a podium and find excuses for his poor performances.

      Give me strength!!

      1. For sure says:

        Excuses? Come on man..
        1. Australia Quali 4th , Race Retired Gearbox failure <- is this en excuse?
        2. Malaysia: Quali 3rd, Race 10th (Race condition: Rain, car unable to generate tyre temp. in wet conditions) <- is this en excuse?
        3. China: Quali 2nd, Race Retired (wheelnut issue) <- is this en excuse?
        4. Bahrain: Quali 18th (DRS issue) moved to 24th with engine change Race 10th <- is this en excuse?
        5. Spain: Quali 9th (did not run in Q3) Race Retired (accident) Ok fair enough.

        Happy kicking when he is down.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        My friend, I kicked him when he was dominating throughout 2000 to 2004, I never liked the selfish mentality that he, Jean Todt and Ross Brawn cultivated at Ferrari.

        I have been a Ferrari fan all my life, and during the 80′s was a particularly barren time for the team, yet I appreciated Mclaren allowing Prost and Senna to fight between themselves whilst dominating the sport, and Williams similarly allowing Mansell and Piquet the same courtesy.

        When people like Murray Walker, or Eddie Jordan call Schumacher the greatest ever, it causes me to choke, by all means call him the most successful, but greatest, not a hope in hell.

        Would you care to go through the other 38 races of the 2010 and 2011 seasons to tell me why those are being discounted?

        I remember him at Spa in 1995, Spain 1996 Hungary 1998, Spa in 2002 and countless other races, but that Schumacher belonged to a different era.

        As everyone knows, statistics can be made to tell and support any story, you can choose to leave out valuable information that contributes to the bigger picture.

      3. For sure says:

        @hero_was_senna
        Mate, he had everything that it takes to be the most successful driver.
        Ruthless, selfish, aggressive,those are the qualities you need to have in this business. Your hero Senna had that. Alonso has that, rightfully so. Every great driver tries or should try to find unfair advantage, even in car set up or politics.

        Oh and that teammate thing, what about Alonso and Massa? What about Mikka and DC? Having a No2 driver only means that you are sooo good at your job and all the efforts come to you.
        It doesn’t happen when the pace is not there, like now.
        I appreciate that you like equality but that is not the way how F1 works and it cannot be used as a tool to take away any F1 driver achievement because there is no substance in it.
        The truth is that, opinions are minority, statics are the facts.
        Fangio wasn’t a saint so was Senna.
        F1 is not for purists and never will be

  16. Mike says:

    He has been unlucky this year, of the three retirements, two have been the teams fault. A gearbox failure in Austrailia and an incorrectly fitted wheel in China. He was running quite well in China and would have probably finished second to Rosberg without that incident. Or third, as Button may have caught him.

    I can understand his frustration at the Senna incident. I was personally surprised to see a punishement for Schumacher. Senna clearly moves to the middle of the track and then back towards the left of the track. And consequently Schumacher did not know which side to overtake going into the corner.

    I can see it being his last year in F1. He has nothing to prove and it must be tough to be beaten by youngsters every weekend. Although hats off to him returning to racing. He should maybe have not retired in the first place.

  17. Wazza says:

    It’s to be expected co mets like this would start to arise if you just looked at the championship table. However it’s disappointing to come from someone with such knowledge of the sport. Let’s be honest, Schumacher was running strong in Melbourne when the car failed, got turned around in maylasia, cruising in china till they couldn’t put a wheel on, broke. Drs and gearbox in bahrain and made ONE mistake in Spain. He had been let down by the team and car. Pls don’t create something out of nothing when your talking about a 7 time world champion.

  18. Dave says:

    I think we need to put Schumachers ‘bad start’ into context.

    He has made 1 driver error – clattering into Bruno Senna.

    Other than that, he has had 1 team mistake that cost him dearly (wheel nut in China), 2 technical faults (gearbox in Australia, DRS in Bahrain qualifying) and 1 racing incident for which he cannot be blamed (Grosjean spinning him in Malaysia).

    As such, only really Spain can be attribute to him, and his 2 points having come from having to drive back through the field into points scoring positions in Bahrain and Malaysia.

    Not as bad as it seems, really. Awful luck is the best way to describe it.

    The lack of overtaking in Monaco works both ways – it is a hindrance if you start down the field, and it is a blessing if you start at the sharp end of the grid. So really he needs to make qualifying count, and from there anything can happen.

    Not the crisis it is being made out to be by some!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Bad luck huh?
      Back in the day it was amazing how much good luck he had..
      Karma working it’s twisted magic?

      1. Dave says:

        I had a feeling someone would pull me up on my use of the word luck!

        However you look at it, the crisis is less so when you consider he has basically made 1 mistake this season. I don’t expect that to continue for the next 15 races.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I agree, but I expect maybe another 2 or 3 mistakes this year.
        That’s is where I think you notice a decline in an F1 drivers ability.

    2. Kay says:

      Yes, and apparently Schumacher is driving with an odd number car that supposedly brings him luck. Or so he says anyway.

      Now that just exposes himself on playing mind-games on Rosberg that didn’t work in his favour at all.

  19. forzaminardi says:

    He’s there to sell cars, that’s all.

    1. Stickymart says:

      I hate to say it but +1. He was brought in to boost the team as an advertising board on 4 wheels (apologies if that sounds harsh). It’s a no lose situation for Mercedes, if Schumi doesn’t get results he’s not on a long term contract so they can replace him fairly easily.

  20. Mark says:

    I wish he had never returned to F1 as in doing so, I believe, he has seriously damaged his legacy.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I don’t think he has, it’s just that people now actually understand why he was so dominant all that time.

      Let’s be honest, a few cynical people understood at the time.
      As a Ferrari fan, I loved the fact my team was so dominant, but hated the fact that it wasn’t racing, even between the team-mates.
      Hated the way Ferrari would contest rules, like the Michelin tyres in 2003, when they felt they’d gain in the Championship chase.

      Since 1982, I have never missed a GP, but from 2002 onwards, I would record it and get on with my life, watch it in the evening, usually on fast forward. How dull!

      1. Kay says:

        Whoa lol I think they should put you in the record books for “participating the most GPs” :D :D

        +1 on hated Ferrari the ways on various things though.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        Lmao, wouldn’t that be something!
        I wish I could say I had been to every race in those 30 years as well, but sadly, just the British GP’s, The European GPs at Brands in 83 and 85 and Donington in 93, and selected European Grand Prix, normally Monza and Imola because of family living in Milan.

    2. Peter says:

      He is seriously damaging his legacy, which is why I’m loving his comeback and hope it continues.

  21. goferet says:

    Yes, it’s true what they say… Ever hero ends up being a bore in the end.

    What’s happening to Schumi just goes to show how much luck/good fortune is needed to make it in this game/life (and no, am not talking about, ”you make your own luck hogwash” but rather pure good luck or blessings)

    So what we see with the Kaiser nowadays is his luck has well & truly deserted him for it’s quite clear even at his age, the talent is still there (though to a lesser degree of course) it’s just that the F1 gods what to see his helmet planted on the shelf ASAP.

    And myself as a Schumi fan, I hope the great man keeps having poor races for any sniff of a podium would only make the very stubborn Michael stick around for a couple more seasons.

    But us Schumi fans want him to stay at home (or at least take up a managerial role) because watching him struggle is pretty sad so much so, it has reached a point that we’re even forgetting the great things he did in the past coz in this sport you’re only as good as your last race.

    Also I think Di Resta deserves the Mercedes seat, he has impressed me in comparison to his highly rated teammate (Hammy ~ Mercedes isn’t worth his talents)

    As for Mercedes, the season when engines will make a difference to performance i.e. 2014, will be the make or break season. If they aren’t regular winners by then, the suits will pull the plug I think.

    P.s.

    Uh, hearing Ross Brawn talk about his BFF Schumi, one could think it’s Brawn that works for the Kaiser instead of the other way round

    And oh, it’s very possible to overtake lots in Monaco but you need a car advantage & then get thrown at the back of the grid like Schumi did in 2006 and Alonso in 2010

    1. Basil says:

      There is no such thing as luck, everything happens for a reason, get real.

  22. Martin says:

    I’m wondering how it will play out commercially. Mercedes presumably saw great value in having Schumacher drive for its team. It has certainly ended any such relationship that Ferrari was expecting to exploit.

    In Australia Mercedes Benz would take out adds in the papers when McLaren won. I don’t read papers as much these days, but with Michael’s lack of results there is little to shout about.

    With the closeness of the teams this year, Mercedes is two points from seventh in the constructors championhip, well behind the fourth for the last two years. On top of Schumacher’s salary, this is potentially a large funding cut.

    In the Australian marketplace there is no evidence that Schumacher’s presence brings in extra sponsorship dollars than if Hamilton or Di Resta were in the car.

    Performance wise Michael is consistently behind Rosberg in qualifying except when Rosberg makes a major error. The sense I have is that Michael is ahead of Nico on the grid we should mark Nico down rather than Michael up. In the races there are some the two are quite even on performance, or Michael edges it such as India, and then there are others races such as Abu Dhabi and China, where Nico has a significant edge.

    Overall, Mercedes is in F1 to sell cars by adding to the prestige of the brand, especially if it wins. Since winning is largely determined by the design shop, it might be most useful to have Schumacher bring in lots of money through his brand – some of which is lost in his salary and results – so that the next years car can be developed into a winning package. It isn’t clear to me that Nico is consistent enough across all tracks and qualifying to bring that slight edge that is often needed to be world champion.

  23. Katewise says:

    I’m so glad you have produced a balance piece about Schumacher, James (although considering the fact that you did a biography on him, I guess it’s hardly surprising)… particularly after a ridiculously partisan knee-jerk reaction (again) from Andrew Benson on the BBC website.

    Mercedes have let Michael down this year, particularly at times when he was ready to shine. I wish people who say that he should get his head down and get on with it would take stock of how he has been practically the whole of last year and most of this season so far: polite, dignified and accepting (including in races where other drivers took him out).

    He has said “that’s racing” when it was the other driver’s fault on several occasions, so who can blame him for finally getting frustrated after such a string of mechanical failures while the glimmer of podiums dangles over him?

    1. etcyu says:

      rubbish~~ Nico won a race with that car~~ and schumi cant even finished higher than 10th post…give kimi that car he will still finished higher than schumi~~

      1. Katewise says:

        I didn’t say anything specific regarding the car, performance-wise (as opposed to reliability), but seeing as you bring it up – almost all the F1 cars this year have had different strengths at different tracks.

        China was a strong Mercedes track, and as you may recall, this is were the Mercedes pit crew didn’t get Michael’s tyre on, causing him to leave the race.

        Cars this season aren’t necessarily able to be classified as ‘race-winning’ in the same way as recent seasons, as the performance fluctuates due to track characteristics from race to race. We have such a fine line between so many of the cars this year, and each of them have their strengths and weaknesses.

      2. dev3 says:

        @etcyu nosense China Michael suffer from pit failure, we would never know what the outcome if he able to finish the race and he got 4 failure that wasn’t his fault he able to outqualified Rosberg in first 2 races. Rosberg since and before China also perform decently and like @katewise said Chian was a strong Mercedes track. My opinion about Kimi-Mercedes it’s pure speculation of you it could be they both beating each other or Michael finish higher than him that’s speculation

    2. hero_was_senna says:

      A little unfair about the balanced piece, I have always thought James work was balanced, and I’ve been reading his work since the ITV-F1 website was running.

      1. Katewise says:

        Hey, I wasn’t saying that James’s work isn’t balanced… I was saying the opposite! I said I shouldn’t be surprised it was balanced because his book about Schumi was balanced too. Perhaps I worded it a little too rambly? I meant “finally, a balanced piece about Schumacher, amid all the badly written pieces produced by other journalists”… Sound better? ;)

        It’s Andrew Benson’s article that was so ridiculously not-thought-out…

        I really enjoy reading James’s work and it’s refreshing to know that no matter what his own personal opinions may be, they never affect the pieces he writes.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        That’s fair enough, and yes probably my misunderstanding of what you meant.

        I do understand what you mean about unbalanced views from different journalists.

        Two stand out as very guilty of blinkered views.
        I always found a journalist called Nigel Roebuck very biased in his views.
        It probably didn’t help that I was a fan of Senna, whereas he was close friends with Prost, but I found his ramblings annoying.
        When I went to see the Senna film, there’s a scene when Prost and Senna collided in 1989, Prost is walking towards the stewards office and beside him, like a lapdog, was Roebuck. It underlined my view on him even further.

        The other I always found unpalatable was Matt Bishop.
        His articles in F1 Racing were always attacking Schumacher and Ferrari and attacking their use of Bridgestones.
        He would write interviews with his own personal agenda written in Italics and his arrogance was beyong belief.
        It doesn’t surprise me to know he is Communications Manager at Mclaren, because he almost idolised Ron Dennis and the ethics of Mclaren.
        It was a pity he’d left the magazine by the time of Spygate, I would have been fascinated to read his defense of the indefensible.

        I want unbiased reporting, thought provoking occasionally but I cannot stand personal choice of what should be included or left out of an article.

  24. Hahnsolo says:

    Just a subtle reminder to those who are gonna compare Kimis comeback with Michaels.
    Kimi in his first year probably has the best car in the field, contrasted to the “crap” Mercedes produced in their first two years. There have been signs of rustyness here and there it has to be said, but following these three seasons closely you just have to admit he has been haunted by bad luck (in addition to poor judgment).
    I think he is frustrated and probably even insecure about his own skills due to the lack of confidence in himself and the tyres. The 5 place grid penalty is not going to help in getting on with things. A bit harsh imo.

    1. Basil says:

      There is no need to drag Kimi into this, two completely incomparable situations.

      1. Ro_Jo says:

        +1
        It’s not even a proper comparison…
        Funny how that “crap” Mercedes in 2010 took Rosberg to the podium thrice…

      2. dev3 says:

        Fair enough but @Hahnsolo got a solid point about how well the 2012 Lotus comparing to 2010-2011 Mercedes and on Schumacher defend he was 40s comparing to Kimi 30s and the F1 now and when Kimi leaved was not that far comparison on the other hand Schumacher leaved F1 and comeback with much changing F1. In 2010 he was far from his peak and 2011 he able to perform solidly especially on the race compared to Nico and my opinion if not the technical failure and mistake he already outpoint Rosberg in 2011.

  25. Yei says:

    He is not there anymore, is not so hard to see. What’s the point for him and for the team from a sporting point of view? He is not delivering with consistency and he is making m a lot of mistakes. Of course from time to time we get to see some sparks of the huge talent he once had, but that’s the odd day…

    1. Kay says:

      Ai hear hear!
      Old Ferrari brothers MSC and Massa, seems like they are getting a lot of kickin’ now lol.

  26. MrNed says:

    Maybe I was looking at a different overhead shot to everybody else, but Senna clearly moves left in the braking zone in response to Schumacher committing to attacking down the outside. Schumacher reacts to Senna’s move by jinking right to pass on Senna’s inside, but the Williams is still there having not moved completely to the left-hand edge of the track (the new “leave a car’s width” rule). My guess is that Schumacher was caught out by this, assuming Senna would move all the way left to block, and so Schumacher moved far enough right to pass where he THOUGHT Senna was going to be… but Senna was only half-as-far left as was expected, resulting in the crash.

    I’d still call it Schumacher’s fault, because Senna didn’t actually block him, but I think Senna contributed something to the accident by moving in the braking zone.

    Well, that’s how it looked to me anyway! (And no, I’m not a Schumacher fanboy so I’m not just looking to make excuses for him).

  27. Gudien says:

    Michael Schumacher has plenty of trophys. He doesn’t need more.

    Mercedes have a wonderful business with their automobiles and trucks. They don’t need F-1.

  28. franed says:

    Ross has always bee a good diplomat and the fact that he has stepped in to defend Schumacher here is to me a telling one.

    The racing today is not what Schumacher signed up for, when he was on top things were very different indeed. More than anything it’s the teat ban that clobbers him. He used to spend days and days testing every possible setup with every type of tyre (but back then they were made to his spec) in all states of wear on all surfaces. So in fact he had prior knowledge of everything that could occur in the race and knew how to handle it. Just to make sure he always went off in practice finding how far over the edge he could go and recover from. But he can’t do that now, the Ferrari unlimited test budget is of no use.
    His driving style is different to that of most of the drivers and of his team mate. They can alter their style to use the tyres better, even Hamilton did last race (which was a real surprise) but Schumi seems stuck in his old ways unable to change.
    It would seem better for him to retire, he has had his great historic days years ago, they are not going to rise again. Have some dignity and say “I tried but it did not work, therefore I am going” If he stays and keeps throwing his toys out of the pram, what measure of respect for him there is left amongst the drivers and teams will disappear.

    1. franed says:

      Sorry typos.
      bee = been
      teat= test

  29. Brett says:

    Merc started letting MSC down from the outset. Not publically appointing him their number 1 driver was the first act of betrayal. When you sign a proven race winner (let alone the most successful/celebrated driver of the modern era) to your team alongside a career back marker who WEB likes to call Britney you design the characteristics of the car around the lead driver, you favour him in the limited testing that is available (no. 2 drivers only get to test in the rain) & you move Britney over if/when necessary. F1 is a team sport based around the no. 1 driver, always has been & always should be…

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Not disagreeing with anything you have written, just want your opinion.
      Why is it when Ferrari focus on Alonso, give him the lion’s share of the testing, as at Mugello, get Massa to let him through in Germany 2 years ago, they get critisized?

  30. Ian Hamilton says:

    James once Schumacher does retire again will your book feature an update looking at his comeback seasons?

  31. Anastasia says:

    James, thank you very much for such a sensible post. I am really upset by Nick Fry’s words. They may have been translated incorrectly, but still they leave the impression close to that in 2006 when Michael was literally made to leave to give place to Raikkonen. Feels like Mercedes used his name to attract money and now that all’s done they don’t need him anymore. Sad.

  32. David Newsome says:

    Did anyone else think that the Mercedes team radio in Spain – “Michael we’ll have to look into this, I’m sorry about that” – sounded like a more general comment about looking into his form, rather than just about the specific Senna incident?

  33. Matt S says:

    Big fuss over nothing if you ask me. Of the 5 races so far, 3 DNFs were Mercedes fault, one of which whilst he was on for 2nd place and possibly a win. The race he finished was hampered because Grosjean spun him at the start (which was Grosjean’s fault) and then obviously his mistake in Spain (for which he was the most at fault but Senna was moving in the braking area).

    He has the pace quite clearly, but the big area for improvement is currently with the team.

  34. Paul L says:

    My recollection of Schumacher’s “first career” was how he often lived on the edge when racing but was otherwise seldom seen in accidents, spinning, knocking off front wings, coming off second-best, and suffering unreliability – and yet, it feels like there has been more than a standard amount of these things a second time around for him.

    Has anyone else thought this?

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      I’ll share my thoughts on this.
      His first career, people generally look at 1994 to 2006. Very rarely do they include 1991 to 1993. He won 2 races during this time but also had a few incidents. He ran into the back of the proper Senna at Magny Cours back then.

      From 1994 till 2006, forgetting the standard of F1 car he was driving, he had pit-stops to rely on for over-taking the opposition.
      Can you recall any dry races that he actually overtook anybody. I don’t doubt there are some, but I can’t remember them readily.

      It wasn’t just MSC either, practically all drivers waited for their strategy to allow the passes.

      I think another essential ingredient of our memory of him is that Ferrari had a dominant car at the time and reliability was staggering

      1. dev3 says:

        “From 1994 till 2006, forgetting the standard of F1 car he was driving, he had pit-stops to rely on for over-taking the opposition.”

        Not really he got a reasonable and great drive including overtaking: Japan 2000, Spain 1996,Hungrary 1998, Spain 1994, Eurpoe 1995, Japan 1998, Austria 1993, Belgium 1994,
        Belgium 1992, Belgium 1995, USA 2000, Monaco 1997, San Marino 2005, Belgium 1991, Italy 2003, Italy 1996, Monaco 2006, China 2006, Canad 2011, Italy 2011, Portugal 1993, Monaco 1994, Brazil 2006…If you are interested you can watch DVD or something about Schumacher you can see some of his great performances

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        I hate to sound pedantic, but..

        1) I asked about any dry weather races where he over took, I couldn’t remember any straight off.
        Rain brings about different skill sets which if the car is set up correctly gives you an advantage.

        2) Belgium 92 and Portugal 93, were pre-refueling.

        3) Belgium 1994, Belgium 1995, Europe 1995, Spain 1996, Monaco 1997, USA 2000, Japan 2000, China 2006, Canada 2011, these were all wet and wet/dry races.

        4) Monaco 1994, Spain 1994, Italy 1996, Hungary 1998, Japan 1998, San Marino 2005, Monaco 2006, Brazil 2006, Italy 2011

        Can you tell me which of these he actually overtook someone?
        Monaco 94 he started on pole, 1 stop and won.
        Spain 94 he started on pole, finished brilliantly, stuck in 5th gear.
        Hungary 98, 3 stops against Mclarens 2, but never passed anyone.
        Japan 98, really?? He stalled and retired from the race.
        San Marino 05, he finished behind Alonso.
        Monaco 06 and Brazil 06, great recovery drives with a huge Bridgestone advantage. Some races Michelin had the upper hand, others Bridgestone.
        Italy 2011, he passed off the start and blocked Lewis menacingly.

        Italy 2003, he qualified on pole and won.

        Austria 1993, there wasn’t a race in Austria till 1997, the race that Jarno Trulli led and almost won.

        I have every Autosport from 1982, Autocourses of all those years, other F1 publications and a video library with all those races. I am not going to go check on all the races mentioned, I could realistically mention another 20 where Schumacher won and was superb.

        His ability isn’t what I’m questioning, just that a huge amount of his race wins came about because he waited for pit-stops to pass the driver.
        Button in 2004 would lead races with Schumi sitting behind him till the stops, bang in a quick lap or two and he would emerge in front and disappear.

      3. Dev3 says:

        But your quote ““From 1994 till 2006, forgetting the standard of F1 car he was driving, he had pit-stops to rely on for over-taking the opposition.” no mention racing condition there and i said reasonable and great drive including overtaking so i show his impressive drive and about overtaking yes he has in dry race too i will mention down there and personally I think some of you comments is trying to degrade Schumacher skill.

        1. “Rain brings about different skill sets which if the car is set up correctly gives you an advantage.” Not really is also down to driver ability to drive in those condition as in unpredictable condition such as first half of lap it is dry then second part of the race it start raining(it can set to dry and vise versa) then the driver which can adapted to that kind of condition show how good he is and Micahel Schumacher Rainmaster nickname isn’t coming in overnight. Maybe you would consider readin The art of racing in the rain etc.

        “Can you tell me which of these he actually overtook someone?”
        Yes 2006 Brazil impressive recovery from tyre puncture and impressive overtake Kimi Raikkonen and Heidfeld, Australia 2002 Briliant overtaking(quote from the pundit) Montoya in as tronh Williams, Schumacher-Hill estoril 1995, Schumacher-Button San Marino 2005, Monaco 2006 charge from the back of the grid and passt several cars to finish 5th, Monaco 1998 Schumacher-Wurz, Schumacher-Hakkinen Monza 1998, Schumacher-Alesi Nürburgring 1995, China 2004, Schumacher-Rubens Inidanapolis 2004…..

        Austria 1993 apologize for that i typed it wrong.
        You have 1982 Autocourses etc but doesn’t mean you can memorize all the passing manuoever in F1 history, i have followed F1 since the beginning of 90s and catch up some of the past races and as i remember i also have witnessed Schumacher passing manouever in his entire career some are brilliant. 2011 becomes the most overtaking driver you could argue about it but it some of the overtaking manouever really showing his skill on that.

  35. renato nysan says:

    I think he should retire before he seriously harms himself or other drivers.

  36. Richard says:

    Schumacher has probably been good commercially for the team, but a once great driver is now only average on the grid, and I think he should step down next year and give a younger driver an opportunity. That said there is a great deal of justification behind his remarks about Pirelli tyres. Great for strategists, and people that don’t care what they watch, but unsatisifying and restrictive for drivers that want to push hard. Re-watching some of Hamilton’s scintillating wins in 2007 says it all. Drivers must be able to push to their cars limit, not to the limt of the tyres which is probably about 80% of the car.

  37. kp says:

    If McLaren keep on holding back on contractual matters Hamilton will have no option but to jump ship.

    Think Sauber.

    But I think I said this some months ago.

  38. Salvo Sparacio says:

    Good day

    We are comparing Michael to the past! He had the best car and the ideal teammate. F1 is different today. No testing means u need a better car out of the gate. When Michael was with Ferrari they out tested everyone. Michael is good but there are lots of good drivers and if u would of put Button, Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel they would of done the same as Michael when he was with Ferrari. Michael didnt loose that much everything around him is just better and more competative.

    1. David A says:

      I wouldn’t say Button- back in 2000 and 2001, while Schumacher was outstanding, JB was outclassed by Ralf Schumacher and Gincarlo Fisichella.

  39. H. Manney says:

    Schumacher is consistently performing much more
    poorly than many other drivers who are using the exact same tires. So it must be the fault of the tires ? It is pathetic to see someone who was once a champion
    now whining instead of getting down to business and
    competing. Do we see Alonso whining ? Do we see
    Button whining ? Do we see Kimi whining ? No.

    There is no way in this version of the universe that Schumacher will ever win another F1 championship.
    He had his time of glory and it is firmly in the past.
    The best part of all of this is that some of the truths about Schumacher which were concealed in the past
    are now being revealed. Namely that a substantial amount of his “superiority” in the past had more to do with his equipment than with his driving ability.

    1. Kay says:

      “The best part of all of this is that some of the truths about Schumacher which were concealed in the past are now being revealed. ”

      +N on this.

  40. Stewart says:

    I think the question is “Is he having fun?” If he is, then I’m sure he’ll carry on. If not, then I expect he’ll pack it in. At the moment, it’s clear he’s not enjoying himself, but all it would take, I imagine, is the whiff of a victory in his nostrils and that would change.

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      From everything I have ever read on successful sports people, whether tennis, snooker or F1, their biggest fear is failure. That’s what drives them.

      1. Stewart says:

        He must be terrified at the moment then!!!
        More seriously, high performers (not just in sport) love what they do, and that makes it easier for them to put in the hours, deal with the setbacks, take the risks etc. Schumacher does not “need” to be in F1 for any reason that I can see (maybe he invested his whole fortune in Facebook) except to satisfy himself. I think his recent comments show that he’s not very satisfied at the moment and he’ll be asking himself whether it is better to quit (and protect his reputation), or continue. Having said that, I’m sure if he were to win, he’d be a happy driver again, and all talk of retirement would be forgotten.

  41. Gabe says:

    I am not the biggest Schumacher fan, that said I hope he wins one more race this year so he can get on with his life; and make way for a younger driver!

  42. val from montreal says:

    As a hardcore Schumacher fan for the past 20 years , I would be happier if he retires than continuing like this … as for the Schumi-haters , ( you all know who you are ) just remember that Ferrari have only won 1 WDC since 2006 , and it was under Todt’s watch and that 2007 Ferrari car still had Schumacher’s DNA on it …

    Alonso IS the one who is overly over-hyped ….

    Has’nt won a title since his Renault’s days …a very , very long time ago !!

    Now that’s embarrassing !!

    1. hero_was_senna says:

      Isn’t it funny how you forget to mention that it was Jean Todt, Rory Byrne and Ross Brawn who designed and ran the team back then.

      You conveniently omit the fact that Ferrari have won only 1 WDC since TWO THOUSAND AND FOUR (2004) because it backs up your claim.

      But hang on, I know exactly why. Those were Schumacher years at Ferrari, so let’s change the year so it speaks of Ferrari post Schumacher.
      The 2007 Ferrari team still had Todt’s influence on it and 2008 they lost out by 1 point. But both years they won the WCC.
      In 2010, in arguably the 3rd best car of the year, Alonso would have won the WDC but for a strategy mistake.

      Also, before you start believing otherwise, I’m no Schumi hater,I know he was the best driver between 2nd May 1994 till 2003 and he won at Ferrari, but what always saddened me about him was his desire for submissive team-mates.
      He was told in early 2006 that Kimi had been signed for 2007, and Ferrari wanted him to remain with the team.
      Marlboro was willing to pay out $60,000,000 in salaries that year and what did MSC do?
      He ran, scared of comparison to a young F1 star. His decision disappointed me, because I have never particularly rated Kimi and felt this would be the perfect way to demonstrate to the world how good he was.
      Obviously he didn’t have the same self belief in his own abilities.
      He never wanted competition and the saddest thing was he had so much ability, he never needed to be like that.

      1. Jay says:

        It’s quite an assumption to claim Schumacher ran away scared in 2007.

      2. hero_was_senna says:

        It was also quite ridiculous that a man who had dominated that team for 10 years and had drivers supporting him throughout, would give as way of explanation that he was thinking about Massa’s career when he decided to retire.

      3. David A says:

        Then again, Massa was seen as somewhat of a protege for the Ferrari team, so that is still a more likely explanation that MS being scared.

      4. dev3 says:

        But it was Michael Schumacher that bring them close together, if you read the F1 Racing magazine tribute to Schumacher in 1996 Todt didn’t have the experience to run the team cause he was at Rallying before so it make Schumacher the temporary team boss(i don’t question Todt leader ability but in 1996 in fact Schumacher was the one that get the order including pursuing Brawn and Byrne into Ferrari)and through his dedication and hard work managed to turn Ferrari into successful years

      5. hero_was_senna says:

        Funny, I have that magazine. I have many since as well and many books written about Ferrari’s history.
        Montezemolo hired Todt for the 1993 season, because Peugeot didn’t want to commit to F!.

        You say he was rallying, but you are forgetting he ran the Peugeot sports division which in the mid 80s was rallying. He also initiated the Peugeot Grp C effort, winning Le Mans, I believe and the championship against Jaguar and Mercedes.

        Todt started bringing in change in 1993 and 1994 then approached Schumacher during 1995 for Ferrari.
        Brawn and Byrne were brought into Ferrari to change the team.
        I have no doubt that Schumacher mentioned them to Todt, and I have no doubt they moved because of Schumacher being at Ferrari.

        But one thing I can tell you for certain, whatever privlege’s Schumacher had there, running the team wasn’t one of them.
        All their dedication, hard work and constant testing brought about dominance which probably won’t be seen again.
        I thank them all, but let’s not re-write history please.

      6. Dev3 says:

        Funny too, you have it(F1 Racing tribute to Schumacher) but somehow you still ignoring Schumacher during those years that has the bigger influences such as seeing where the team weaknessess and get it in order while Todt was still lack of experience in F1 during the transfer from rallying and it was Michael that defend Todt when he about to get rid from Ferrari then Michael came to indirectly taking the unofficial team boss, read page 64.

      7. Dev3 says:

        “He was told in early 2006 that Kimi had been signed for 2007, and Ferrari wanted him to remain with the team.
        Marlboro was willing to pay out $60,000,000 in salaries that year and what did MSC do?
        He ran, scared of comparison to a young F1 star. ”
        I have heard the story but that’s juts pure speculation!!!

      8. hero_was_senna says:

        Reporters/ Journalists and authors write about facts and stories they can prove or back up, otherwise all manners of laws come into play.

        This wasn’t speculation on a website, this was printed in motorsport publications.
        Not that MSC ran away, but that Marlboro and Ferrari were happy to go for a super team of MSC and Kimi.
        The fact no publisher has ever been forced to apologize or pay costs for these rumors speaks of some element or truth in them.

      9. Dev3 says:

        Yes it’s just speculation, i’m talking about the whole story not the $60,000,000 stating:”He ran, scared of comparison to a young F1 star. His decision disappointed me, because I have never particularly rated Kimi and felt this would be the perfect way to demonstrate to the world how good he was.” was just speculation without any proof that Michael reason to leave F1 because he scared?? That’s just once a journalist thought or opinion without any valid backing on it and not all website is credible(James Allen one is an exception.) and not all team and drivers want to take it into law manner because some speculation just purely nosense. Like the Alonso-Mclaren case some website is pro and some anti Alonso or Mclaren, so far we never know the real truth behind the scene but Mclaren and Alonso choose not too respond about some speculation and they don’t always take into law!!

  43. Matt says:

    Does anyone else think this attention on Schumacher is being exaggerated by the media?

    I wouldn’t go as far as to call it a witch-hunt because that’s too dramatic but I do think the level of criticism is a bit extreme.

    Perhaps I’m in the minority? Well almost certainly! Very reputable journalists are all saying the same thing; whether it’s James, or Joe Saward, Andrew Benson etc. everyone seems to be piling on Schumacher.

    BUT

    Hasn’t Schumacher had his strongest performance relative to Nico Rosberg since his comeback started in terms of driving? Did Nico not look firmly pegged behind Schumi during the first two weekends?

    I believe that’s true.

    Of course, Schumacher is sat on 2 points so far this season but from 5 races, he’s suffered 2 retirements through mechanical failure whilst running 2nd and 3rd respectively.

    In another 2, he has found himself put to the back of the grid; once through a team strategy error during Q1 and getting tagged on lap 1 by Grosjean in the other.

    So, in 4/5 races (80%), his performances have been compromised through no fault of his own.

    However, the media are great at twisting stories.

    For example:

    In Bahrain, Schumacher started 22nd on the grid and finished 10th. In Barcelona, Lewis Hamilton started 22nd and finished 8th, but in a car that set provisional pole, 0.5 seconds clear of anyone else.

    The headline on the Guardian website reads: ‘Lewis Hamilton delivers astonishing eighth place in Spanish Grand Prix’

    Schumacher’s performance then, astonishing? What do you think?

    I find it really frustrating that Schumacher’s situation gets twisted into a crisis, with rambunctious headlines like ‘Worst ever start to the season for Schumacher’?

    The headline should read: ‘Worst ever start to the season for Schumacher – but almost none of it is his fault’.

    I suppose journalists have to write about something but I’d love to see more balanced opinions.

    Schumacher made an error in the last Grand Prix that was pretty stupid for a man of his experience.

    Was it his fault?
    Yes.

    Did Bruno move in the breaking zone?
    Yes.

    Would a 30-year old Schumacher have run into the back of him?
    Probably not.

    Should Schumacher have called him an idiot?
    Not really (but I can forgive anyone for saying that when they’re sat in a gravel trap!)

    Bar that error, Schumacher is matching Rosberg for pace (and bettering him at times). He starts better than Rosberg. And, until the last Grand Prix, Schumacher had raced very well.

    Unless everyone thinks Rosberg is an also-ran (which Mercedes are pretty convinced is not the case), then I think Schumacher is doing a pretty good job.

    Plus, let’s be honest, Schumacher is absolutely spot-on about the tyres. The current situation isn’t ideal, as the majority of fans agreed on this site a few weeks ago.

    Most people enjoy the new style of F1 racing, for sure. It’s unpredictable and exciting. But I haven’t heard a single person argue that great racing AND tyres you can push wouldn’t be better.

    It’s not Pirelli’s fault; they have designed tyres to a spec.

    However, the right tyres for F1 should provide a small advantage for careful driving, not make it essential to drive like a granny or else you’ll get nowhere.

    The balance has tipped the wrong way and I can’t understand why so many observers / commentators won’t acknowledge that and consider option number 3 i.e. Pirelli make tyres that last 15 laps, with a big drop-off but can be pushed up to that point? Is that impossible? With all the scientific wizardry at their disposal, surely there is a better solution?

    All of this is strictly one man’s opinion, of course. But I’m confident Schumacher will take his opportunity when it comes. And it will come if he carries on.

    Don’t write him off yet.

    1. madmax says:

      The thing is not only did the media not say Schumacher had a good recovery drive in Bahrain but they said he was whining about the tyres because he had a bad race not because actually the tyres are indeed crap.

      This is how stupid the tabloid media is or expects people are who read their stories.

    2. Katewise says:

      @Matt : Yes!!! Thank you for writing all that. I particularly like what you said about Michael’s performance in Bahrain compared to Hamilton’s in Spain. :D

      And yes, boo to Andrew Benson. :(

    3. Craig @ Manila says:

      Nice summation Matt. Kudos.

    4. Katewise says:

      And now look at the terribly misquoted article that Benson has now just posted about Brawn’s opinion on Schumacher…. Unbelievable!! http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/formula1/18204882

  44. Owen says:

    I’m a big MS fan – but have to admit the ‘edge’ is no longer there. Would love to see him get a couple of results – and end on something of a high. Since his come-back I have really enjoyed his general ‘never-say-die’ attitude – he has kept smiling, is always a team man – his greatest attribute – and he clearly enjoys what he’s doing. For these reasons, his comeback has not not damaged his legacy – but it pains me to see him struggling for those vital 1/10ths which are the difference between great and also-ran. Go Michael – turn back the clock – one more time …

  45. Rich C says:

    Regarding Merc not being on the F1 board, is there any indication from Bernie as to why not?

    I think if I were them I’d be a little miffed. I might seriously consider dropping out and taking my engines with me. There are several other racing series to exploit.

    1. James Clayton says:

      Mercedes to IndyCar taking Hamilton and Schumacher with them.

      There’s a prospect that will NEVER happen, but would love to see Bernie confronted with that one!

  46. Danny says:

    Schumacher should be put to pasture. He’s been destroyed by Rosberg and put in his place by mid-field drivers. Earlier, Rosberg made a clean pass on Senna. Later, Schumacher made a clumsy attempt to pass Senna that ended in tears. I’m tired of all the excuses. Schumacher is not delivering the results. He has shown himself to be a petty little man. He’s unjustly claimed the lower race number at Mercedes GP even though he’s never earned it. He even pulled a cheap and petty overtake on Rosberg at Monaco for which he was penalized. He’s become a shame of a journeyman driver. He is yet another sportsman who didn’t know when to quit.

  47. noahracer says:

    Mercedes should call Bernie’s bluff and quit, head off to road car racing.

  48. CH says:

    Fry’s talk reminds me of when Button was with Brawn. Got the impression Fry’s words had something to do with JB moving on despite Ross saying he’d wanted him to stay. Fry has never particularly impressed me, seems more right place/right time…

  49. Wu says:

    Hamilton admitted tyres will play a leading role in the championship, Vettel today said he doesn’t see how his team can go from perfect weekend to what happened in Spain.

    Seems other drivers are being more diplomatic in their critism of the Pirellis, bit they are more or less getting at what Schumacher has said so bluntly.

    It’s turning into a farce this year. Hopefully everything will be back to normal before summer break, but seriously, if there’s another team except for Renault (they’ve actually been the consistantly fast team this year) that wins this GP, I’m done for this year.

  50. Andrew Kirk says:

    I think if Michael wins a race this year he will call it quits and claim he has proven himself a winner in a young man’s sport. The field is so much tighter than in his Ferrari hey day, the drivers are much better in terms of quality and the sport has changed with new rules and limited testing (he was after all a man with his own personal test driver). Like him or hate him he is on the one of the best there ever has been but I think his return has hurt his image slightly. It is not the same sport he lefted and it has moved on and I think it is time that he did as well.

    Looking at it maybe it would be good for both the team and Hamilton for him to go there. He has links with Mercedes, is highly marketable, gets on with Nico, force Nico to raise his game and probarly could do with a change.

  51. Erik says:

    James, correct me if I’m wrong but I read somewhere that Mercedes’ involvement in the sport is more than just as a team..

    Don’t they supply vehicles for use by F1? Like the pace and medical cars, and staff discounts to people who wish to buy Mercs in the paddock? I even remember Bernie flashing his new Maybach a few years back? I’m sure he didn’t pay full retail on it right?..

    I saw somewhere that with the generous discounts Merc offers to F1 when cars are bought, when those people decide to offload them, the original discount from Merc is so good that even with the depreciation factored in the buyers come out with a profit.

    And it’s been pretty clear that Merc has had a presence in F1 for almost 2 decades now so why the snub by Mr E? Technically that particular team with that particular name has been around a short time yes, but the Merc flags have been waving in F1 grandstands since at least 1994 for one reason or another.. No one could deny that Merc is a major player in F1. So why the snub then?…

  52. Chris George says:

    Schumacher was great
    No question

    But had he got the same results against his team mates at Ferrari in the late nineties or early noughties, as he has against Rosberg, would he then have been deemed the number two driver as happened to Irvine and Barrichello?

    Probably, as that was/is Ferrari’s policy so one has to suggest he is not the driver he once was.

  53. Kay says:

    Everyone, really everyone, has been talking about Michael Schumacher being unlucky.

    Didn’t Schumacher play mind-games with Rosberg when he came back to F1 in 2010, saying he MUST have the odd number as that brings him luck?

    Seems like through the past two years and this third year proves that playing mind-games don’t help him anymore.

    It’s not about luck, it’s just him.

    1. David A says:

      He isn’t the force he once was, but what do you call the gearbox failure in Australia and wheel nut in China?

      1. Kay says:

        That’s odd car number not helping him =)

  54. Arshad Altaf says:

    I have admired MSC for his driving skills and wins. His achievements are monumental. But people are right in mentioning the hard truth, age-affecting judgement and reflexes. I think he is just dragging it and living in denial thinking that a win will come and that may be it for him. But in a sport where a ‘second’ is considered a life time it really seems like a very very long shot-even with a good number of races left in the calender.

  55. Jon Wilde says:

    Schmacher has simply had an unfortuante start to the season. Sure he is not blameless for everything, but his team are at fault too. All parties have acknowleged this.

    I still think Schmacher will win a race this year, and when he does he will probably retire from racing and move towards a management role. Mercedes will sign Di Resta to replace Schmacher, giving Nico the chance to lead the team.

    Lewis will leave Mclaren, but he’s Ferrari bound. He’ll take the WDC this year and number 1!

  56. Pedro Chung says:

    Schumacher used to test a lot but Barrichello is the man when it comes to testing and developing a car. Otherwise how would you explain nineteen years of Formula 1 in teams such as Ferrari? Do you all think that Ferrari needed him for his racing skills? Don’t you think that Schumacher’s race skills were not enough? It was Barrichello’s development skills that were needed….
    Schumacher’s season in 1997 was outstanding but it was more because of his driving skills.. When did he really dominate because his car was absolutely the best? 2001, 2002 and 2004, particularly 2002 and 2004. In 2000 he was battling Mika Hakkinen and in 2003 he won the championship by a point..(was it because of some rule changes? I don’t quite remember…)
    The point is he had dominant cars in those Barrichello years.. What do you guys think?
    I would get rid of Schumacher, get Barrichello to develop the car for this year and let Rosberg win in 2013

    1. dev3 says:

      [mod] Rubens come into Ferrari where the car and the team already well established from Schumacher developing skill, Even Jackie Stewart and many others believe it was Michael Schumaceher who help to turn Ferrari into such a domination team, have you ever read F1 racing tribute to Michael Schumacher or James Allen book, [mod]

    2. Don Farrell says:

      I’d put Barricello’s into Massa’s Ferrari tomorrow morning!

    3. Wu says:

      Schumacher helped develop the cars to his liking. If you’re looking for another man in all this look to Luca Badoer. Not the brightest racing star in the sky, but he knew what Schumi wanted and helped the whole process of making Schumacher the strong star he was at Ferrari.

      I’m sure Barrichello helped more than Irvine did, and was a better race driver than him, but in the end he was a clear number 2 without the team orders.

    4. Dev3 says:

      Three-time World Champion Jackie Stewart believes the transformation of the Ferrari team was Schumacher’s greatest feat.
      In term of completeness Michael Schumacher is better than Rubens

  57. Pete says:

    if Fry continues making silly comments like the above, he won’t be with Mercedes for much longer

    the decision when Schumi retires will be made by Haug (advised by Brawn) on the motorsport side

    and Zetsche, the Mercedes CEO , on the corporate side, as well as Schumi himself

    what Fry thinks is irrelevant

    [mod]

  58. Don Farrell says:

    I think Schumacher’s problem boils down to lack of luck since he returned to F1. During his glory years he was the luckiest guy in F1 – no matter what kind of situation he was in he – lucked out. Now karma has swung the other way… everything that can go wrong for him in F1 is going wrong. As the saying goes…. what goes around…. comes around!

    It’s sad to see it happening… but it shows that Schumacher is a mere mortal after all!

  59. Serrated Edge says:

    I have a hunch that Hamilton has already signed for Mercedes for next season.

    1. Elie says:

      Good call, his change of attitude has been rather dramatic and his blameless demeanour suggests he may have already moved on.

  60. eric weinraub says:

    I wonder how many of the so called journalists were brits? Senna is a rolling chicane with money. DO you really think Schuey, going so much faster, was thinking, heck, i’ve notthing better to do so i will just slam my car into the back of him so I can home to the wifey and kids! Get real. the vid was clear that Senna was blocking….

  61. Wu says:

    absolutly nothing Eddie and David can say now… MSC on pole… kind of.

    He raised the “vettel pole position” finger, but he should have raised his middle finger to Jordan and co.

    Knowing he will take a penalty and won’t win no matter what he does tomorrow, he still messed up everyone else today. Go Schumi.

  62. Kevin says:

    Yeah, “Washed up old fart, fastest qualifier in toughest driver test in F1″ Where’s the headlines now??? What a bunch of utter rubbish you folks spewed above. Too funny, thank you Mr Schumacher.

  63. Mark says:

    Schumacher has still got it but has just had horrible luck so far in 2012. Luck will change sooner or later though and looking forward to seeing Schumi on the podium soon! He is one of the reasons why I watch F1.. hope he continues to drive for many seasons to come!!!

LEAVE A COMMENT

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

Top Tags
SEARCH News
JA ON F1 In association with...
Download the chequered flag podcast today
Download the chequered flag podcast today
MTS
Industry-Leading Testing and Sensing Solutions
Multi award winning Formula One photographer
Multi award winning Formula One photographer