It is looking increasingly likely that 7-times World Champion Michael Schumacher will make a return to Formula 1 with the newish Mercedes team in 2010. As you well know, he was only about a week away from racing for Ferrari again in 2009 after Felipe Massa’s horror accident in Hungary. Alas, a neck injury from a bike crash earlier this year prevent him from doing so.
When I was younger, I hated Michael Schumacher. He never let anybody else win. He and Ross Brawn (who part owns the Mercedes GP team) and Jean Todt (the now president of the FIA) even prevented his own team-mate from racing against him and winning. Another reason why I didn’t like him was because he drove for Ferrari, who are McLaren’s arch enemies. All his success and our lack of it in the first half of the decade filled me with anger. He also broke practically every single record in the book with out even trying at times. I cried when he won his 6th World Championship in 2003, breaking the legendary Juan Manuel Fangio’s record that had stood since 1957. The same happened when he scored his 66th pole position at the 2006 San Marino Grand Prix. This was a record previously held by Senna, and it was at the same track at which he was killed, so how would you expect me to feel? He was also one for trying to ram other drivers off the track. Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve have both suffered at his hand, but Villeneuve survived to win the title that year. Damon didn’t as we all know. In qualifying for the 2006 Monaco Grand Prix, he deliberately parked his car at a tricky corner to slow Alonso down. It worked, but he didn’t get away with it.
But now, strangely, I want him back.
He is one of the all time greats, but his statistics disguise his ability. Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Nigel Mansell and Nelson Piquet all had to race against and beat each other in the 1980s. Just to let you know, these four drivers have won 11 World Championship and 146 Grand Prix. Schumacher meanwhile, had practically no opposition. The only driver he said he feared was Mika Hakkinen, and he retired in 2001. But I want to see how good Schumacher is compared to todays F1 drivers. I want to see him race for real against: Hamilton, Button, Massa, Alonso and Vettel. Alonso has beaten him to a couple of titles, but its been a while.
And finally, as a piece of poetic justice, I want to see Rubens Barrichello’s Williams scream past his Mercedes to take a win, as revenge for what happened at the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix.