Is Schumacher right to return? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Michael Schumacher is back in F1
Michael Schumacher is back in F1

Michael Schumacher’s surprise return to F1 raises a lot of questions.

But the most telling one is this: why would the world’s most successful F1 driver risk his mammoth achievements on a comeback to a sport that has changed much in the three years since he left?

Is Schumacher right to make a comeback?

  • Yes (68%)
  • No (25%)
  • No opinion (6%)

Total Voters: 4,070

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By the time the 2010 F1 season starts Schumacher will have passed his 41st birthday – old enough to be the father of several of his rivals.

Although the neck injury which kept him from returning this year has healed, will it be up to F1’s intense 19-race schedule for 2010?

He’s been away from F1 for three years so inevitably he’ll be out of practice compared to his rivals. Since he left F1 has adopted slick tyres (which he last used in 1997), severely reduced the downforce of the cars and, as of next year, banned refuelling. Four of the tracks will also be new to him.

Schumacher is staking an F1 career of unrivalled success – 40 more race wins and two more world championships than anyone else – on a return which could prove an embarrassing final chapter to his career.

Fellow multiple world champions like Jackie Stewart and Alain Prost left on a high as reigning title winners at the peak of their powers. Fernando Alonso denied Schumacher the opportunity to do that in 2006.

At worst, he could find himself in an uncompetitive car or discovering he hasn’t got the motivation to get the job done.

On the positive side, Schumacher will be re-creating his ultra-successful partnership with Ross Brawn – albeit at Mercedes instead of Ferrari. The team began development of their 2010 car early, so there’s every chance he will have a car which allows the winning machine to pick up where it left off.

Even in the latter stages of his career it rarely looked as though he had lost any of his skill. There were a few wobbles towards the end of 2004, which could be attributed to him having switched off after wrapping up the title with four races to spare. But his final race at Interlagos left us in no doubt he exited the sport at the top of his game.

Schumacher’s surprise return is a fantastic development for the sport. It’s hard not to be excited by the prospect of Schumacher in a Mercedes going up against Britain’s champions Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button in McLarens and Alonso in a Ferrari.

But is this the right move for Michael Schumacher? Cast your vote above and leave a comment below.

Schumacher and Mercedes

Image (C) Ferrari spa

92 comments on “Is Schumacher right to return? (Poll)”

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  1. Prisoner Monkeys
    23rd December 2009, 11:02

    Sorry, Keith, but I’m not going to vote. I disagree on the options: I don’t think Schumacher came back because he’s got something to prove or because he has unfinished business. I think he’s doing it for the love of the sport, and because the competitive bug never left him.

    1. I thought the original poll options were fine (Yes, he retired too soon / No, he’s got nothing left to prove) but I’ve simplified them to just yes/no now to make them less contentious.

      1. I still voted yes, yet you make a great point. He did retire too soon, and yes he really doesn’t need to prove he’s one of the greatest. If he doesn’t perform up to the standard he was several years ago, it is understandable, and if so, it shouldn’t tarnish his career. He’s achieved so much and has done a lot for the sport, and hopefully this will also bring more people into/back to the sport.

        1. I’m torn, the racing was much more boring when he was around, but I think you need to vote yes, the guy has won not 1,2,3,4,5,6 but 7 wdc’s, that’s longer than quite a few readers of this site have been watching. You win that many and he can come back until he’s 60 something. Also, I know you’re going to do great running this site Keith, it will only get better with the extra time you can invest in it.

      2. Keith, I think that PM is partly right about the comeback reason. Since there are unconfirmed reports that he was asked to move on in 2006 to make way for Kimi (who ironically suffered the same fate this year !!!). So “unfinished business” could also be a very strong reason..

        What do you think?

      3. Keith. I think PM is partly right about Schumi’s comeback reason. Since we’ve also heard unconfirmed reports that he was asked to move on in 2006 to make way for Kimi (who ironically sufferred the same fate this year !!!).

        So “unfinished business” may be a real strong reason for him to make a comeback.

        What do you think?

      4. How is he “risk[ing] his mammoth achievements,” Keith? He’s already achieved what he’s achieved.

        1. My question exactly. I can’t see how he’s “staking a F1 career of unrivalled success” on the comeback at all. He can only improve on his results.

          1. Interesting one; I can’t seem to see it too Eamon…U making a good point…

  2. The question of the poll “Is Schumacher right to make a comeback?” is the opposite to the title at the top of the article “Is Schumacher’s return a mistake?”

    I think it might be a good idea to change one of them so they are the same.

    1. Me too, just noticed that.
      Can you reset it Keith as the results mean nothing if some voted as per article title and some by the poll header.

      1. Resetting the poll would be a good idea, Keith. It won’t hurt anybody, that’s for sure. And we’ll have correct votes back in no time.

    2. Yeah, it got me confused as well.
      It was only in the last possible second that I stopped myself from pressing the wrong poll option.

      1. Guys, without being a smartass, just read the question before voting…

    3. F1 has been interesting since Schumacher left. It got boring seeing him win everything. I think the poll should ask…. do we want Schumacher to win every race.?
      I think he is only coming back because he thinks he has the best car and CAN win every race. Let the younger guys have a chance. He should be content with what he achieved and call F1 a day.

      1. He is without a doubt the greatest F1 driver in the history of the sport. I think the Lewis and Jenson fans are getting nervous and so they should be. Roll on March 2010!!!

  3. people will complain about anything these days..

  4. I have lost a lot of respect for him as he turns his back on Ferrari and I am not a Ferrari fan so I can imagine how some of them will feel.

    I also think it is a stupid decision with little to gain and lots to lose.

    I hope he gets trounced by the racing drivers of today.
    On the upside it will be nice watching the others get to race with him and assuming he does as mediocrely as I expect, it will take the shine off his record which some would say wasn’t gained fairly.

    1. I have lost a lot of respect for him as he turns his back on Ferrari and I am not a Ferrari fan so I can imagine how some of them will feel.

      Hehehe, do you think they feel sad and are crying?? Nonsense.

      This is all just a business. He’s been a Ferrari’s employee. But If Schumi means something to the Ferrari staff as a person, then they should be happy for him and wish him well. Because he does something he wants to do.

    2. I also think it is a stupid decision with little to gain and lots to lose.

      So he loses his 91 wins and 7 titles just for coming back to the sport?

      On the upside it will be nice watching the others get to race with him and assuming he does as mediocrely as I expect, it will take the shine off his record which some would say wasn’t gained fairly.

      We are all sick of this “unfair” rubbish. He dominated the years 2000-2004. GET OVER IT.

      1. As someone who likes to see a level playing field, and fairplay in sport, and as both Ferrari, and Schumi, amongst others, are famous for their underhand antics, the ‘dominant’ years have to be brought into question, and both Schumi , and Ferrari will probably never live down their reputations, or ‘rubbish’ depending on your view of events….

        1. Fair point. I just get infuriated by the people who insinuate that Ferrari and Schumacher won entirely because of cheating.

          1. Hey David, I think it would be fair to say that Ferrari had a powerful team of guys, backing Schumi, until this year we never realised[or I did’nt] how much assistance they had from the FIA, I refer to the technical veto amongst other ‘fortuitous’ events, as for Schumi, his talent was so intense that it was extremely puzzling to see him pull any kind of dodgy stunt, however having raced in lightweight events for years, I am aware how the stranglehold of the ‘red mist’ affects me, let alone someone very hyper in an F1 race…

          2. Well I’ve got over the “red mist”, and regardless of anything either of us say, Michael Schumacher and Ferrari did the best job across the years 2000-2004.

      2. Muppet!!! You, not Schumey.

        1. Muppet. Sums up the people who constantly make excuses for why a top driver isn’t any good.

    3. The drivers of today are poor compared to Schumacher. No matter what anyone says he is the greatest. Lewis can not compare in any way, shape or form. The only other driver out there who has any of the talent of Schumey is Vettel. I hope he hammers Lewis Hamillton.

      1. No matter what anyone says he is the greatest.

        Thank god someone else recognises the legend that is Schumacher!

  5. I’m not his fan but I think it will do good to the sports in general. I think he is still capable of challenging for the title given the correct equipment.

    If brawn continue to build on last years car they will be there this year too and this time they have the backing of mercedes which will help in the update being done during the season not like last year where they have finished with not much resources.

  6. I said no opinion. I wanted him back for a bit to race against the others just to compare the young blood vs old legend. But I feel the Merc won’t be as competitive, Nico will not get his first win now as Schuey will always be ahead of him and I don’t think he’ll get the title and if he isn’t in it to get the title then it’s interfereing with the ones that are. If that makes any sense. So I’m happy to see him race but not so much for the championship.

    1. good on you, winning is not important for him but for the development of Mercedes and Rosberg. now he is home.

  7. It would be awesome to watch Michael Schumacher go racing again. Surely, the sport has seen few like him. However, I wonder whether he can be as good as the legend that he is. I sure hope he can!

    1. Unbelievable news, it’ll be like a championship between drivers from different eras – and the rare sight of an F1 driver doing it purely for enjoyment (otherwise, why on earth…?) A few comeback drives in a Ferrari would have been exciting but this is something else.

      It’ll be fascinating to see how he goes with no refuelling. He was always the king of going flat-out between fuel stops.
      In 1994 when refuelling came in, he was suddenly dominating all the races, even when Senna was still around. Before that he was very quick but not outstanding, Brundle was faster in some races.
      I know there were endless other factors – the relative speed of the Williams and McLaren, Benetton’s use of traction control – and I’m sure Ross Brawn and Michael will have something up their sleeve.

      What an opportunity for Rosberg by the way, he can learn loads even if he’s not able to say “I beat Schumacher”.

      1. Dammit, that wasn’t a reply to anyone in particular.

      2. José Baudaier
        23rd December 2009, 20:57

        But don’t forget that unproven modification of the fuelling hose, which improved the gas throughput, and ended up setting Verstappen on fire. We all know what Briatore is capable of…

        Not that Schumi isn’t a great driver, but his sudden increase in performance from 93 to 94 might have more than one factor.

  8. Schumacher will only have actually made his comeback when he lines up on the Bahrain grid to race (feels so wrong not to say Melbourne there).

    Still not convinced that his neck is going to withstand prolonged time in a race car – and with a strong hunch that this story hasn’t run its course yet.

  9. Its a risky move. But Schumacher’s career has been built on risky moves. Not a fan really but fair play to him, it will be interesting to see how he gets on.

  10. I hope he hasn’t mellowed at all because Schumi just wouldn’t be Schumi if he didn’t try some sort of dirty trick… ;)

  11. I don’t think Schumacher’s return is a mistake.

    He seems to be coming back because he loves the sport, I think the only thing which would have stopped him, apart from his neck injury, is if he thought it would be too dangerous, which although this will always be an issue in any motorsport, thankfully with modern safety standards this is not as big a factor as it would have been in Jackie Stewart’s decision to retire.

    He has said that the break from F1 has re-energised him, and considering he has maintained his fitness since he left F1 I don’t think that should be a problem.

    He can only add to his records and if his performances are not great and he gets beaten by Rosberg, people will say that it was a mistake, but it will not diminish his achievements in F1, which I think may never be beaten.

  12. How on earth could anybody have no opinion?! This is Schumacher! Of course it’s a good thing!

  13. It’s a good thing for the fans.
    Not such a good thing for Rosberg, and then only Michael knows if it’s a good thing for him.
    If he still wants to race and is fit enough, why not?
    Mercedes did so much for him at his early racing career, maybe he feels it’s good to give them something back now they are entering F1 again as a team.

    1. I think it’s good for rosberg :) I’m sure he’ll learn a lot from partnering schumi, it’ll be a great experience. He will no doubt have to put up with michael being favoured, but I still think it’ll be good for rosberg. You can see how much Massa has improved with some Schumacher guidance so hopefully rosberg will too :)

  14. I don’t really think it was a good decision. As Keith pointed out he has won two more WDC’s and 40 more races than anyone else, adding to that tally would certainly be impressive, but its not really necessary. And I don’t think that he will win any converts in the “Is he the best ever?” debate if he does win races and/or the WDC next season.

    He has clearly made a decision based solely on his love of F1, and I can respect that (even though I was firmly in the Damon, Mika, DC camp in MS’s hayday). The only thing his decision is going to do for sure is make the 2010 season way more interetsing than it was already shaping up to be.

  15. I think Keith summed it up well in the first paragraph

    But the most telling one is this: why would the world’s most successful F1 driver risk his mammoth achievements on a comeback to a sport that has changed much in the three years since he left?

    I voted yes

  16. Is Schumacher right to make a comeback?

    Surely he can do whatever he wants lol and good luck to him…

    1. I really think we need an additional follow-up poll on say – “In view of Michael’s comeback, was Button right to move to McLaren”.

      I can’t help but think poor Nico has been dealt a raw deal and perhaps it was insightful for Button to have left when he did. Button challenging Lewis is surely less hazardous than challenging Michael considering how much the team will be even more so stacked towards Michael’s comeback…

  17. Mike "the bike" Schumacher
    23rd December 2009, 12:25

    Yes best news for F1 since…….. forever!

    1. yeah! best news

  18. I, for one, am quite convinced he’s done a really wrong move to join a team as number two driver!

    1. José Baudaier
      23rd December 2009, 21:01


    2. hehe, number two? does not matter if Schumi is first anyhow. in basic this is beside the point. at his age one can not sit around, am 69 myself. he’s great for the development of the sport, and our future cars!

  19. I don’t care if he’s right or wrong.

    I want to see him battle with Lewis Hamilton and Jenson (who???) Button.

    1. I agree about Lewis, but Jensen raced against him for 6 years already!!

  20. HounslowBusGarage
    23rd December 2009, 12:45

    F1 driver’s seats are very limited even with the new teams coming in. Schumacher has taken one of those seats; so which other driver will be left off the grid as a result? Heidfeld?

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