F1 fan Kartik Sunku gives us his thoughts in the article The return of Michael Schumacher – A two sided coin? Read on and feel free to add your thoughts in our comment box.
Consecutive podium finishes, champagne celebrations, molested by fans for autographs, all the limelight et all. Yes, I’m speaking about the champion of racing, the god of wet weather driving, Michael Schumacher. When Schumi was at his peak with Ferrari, people almost started to believe that “racing was a state of mind”. When he retired, it was the perfect time, this united feeling of praise, awe and utmost respect. And of course, the sinking feeling of how there’s been another victim, another casualty to age causing him to give up the steering wheel and to never again entertain us sitting on the 8 cylinder monster. It was good riddance for a few but the seven time world champion was never going to leave our hearts, be it the staunch fanatics of his or the fans who sit back at home and “enjoy the show” and even the ones who believed Senna was the best thing that ever happened to the sport.
His last race at Sau Paolo was an absolute peach. His car “almost” gave up three times, but he still managed to slingshot the aggressive likes of Kimi Raikkonen and Giancarlos Fisichella displaying the overtaking splendour he possessed. The world dropped a tear or two to see the big man hang up his boots. Formula One lost brother Schumi.
Well, that was a good 6 years back! Getting ourselves back today, it has been a good 42 races to kill the inertia or whatever that people speak of. No podiums, no pole positions, nothing! I’m pretty darn sure it’s not the way he imagined it.
His return to the sport was the most spoken of. People who were sceptical were treated like outcasts. It was like Formula One got a new lease of life. A lot of the fans had given up on the sport owing to his retirement which goes to show the effect he had on the sport. It is almost like the relationship India as a team shares with cricket. It was supposed to be “EPIC”.
We started to remember the masterstrokes of Ross Brawn and Schumi tactically in the pits and the sheer ruthlessness on track absolutely decimating anyone and everyone who dared to get overtake him, and sometimes he went overboard as well. But hey, passion has its limits right? Pushing th car to the limit and beyond was his job and he was brilliant at it! One race comes to my mind after all this gaga about his driving – The 1998 race at Hungaroring when he rattled his Ferrari at qualifying pase, lap after lap during the race reducing the ability of the other drivers to an absolute miniscule. It was frightening to say the least.
But it’s all so devastatingly different now. If you see a car go wide, or kick up some dirt, take the escape road or a car getting to the pits by a pick-up truck-there’s a good probability that its Schumacher’s Merc.
It is quite a scene today looking at him high-fiving with drivers half his age, some of them who grew up with Schumi as their inspiration and who ironically look at him apparently as “the oldest swinger in town”! And of course, his dismal driving to add to this all.
Like a smoker steadfastly refusing to quit, Schumacher’s every race which ends up being either out of the points scoring zone or a low one coupled with starting somewhere in the middle of the grid is slowly eroding the legacy he’s established over the years.
He’s managed to bring back a good number of fans to follow the sport again. It’s the upside to the whole situation of his return but he sure has down sided everyone and everything he had managed to influence in his “former” career.
They all say, a 7 time world formula one champion should surely have known better. I agree.
What are your thoughts on the return of Michael Schumacher?