Is Schumacher right to return? (Poll)

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

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

  1. Yes IMO – he wouldn’t be doing if it fitness and strength were an issue, and although his reflexes will be off marginally from his peak, they were preternatural anyway.

    My main query would be whether the car will be up to a championship run… I’ve no doubt he’ll wipe the floor with Blondie Bear. :)

  2. three4three said on 23rd December 2009, 13:02

    I voted yes. If he can, and he’s likely still to be able to win races, then why not?

    I also agree with PM on the first comment that Schumacher is returning not to prove anything but because of the pure bug for racing.

  3. Yes. Simply because it is what he wants to do. I agree that he was rather shuffled out of his seat at Ferrari, maybe his passion was on the wane then, but seemed an awkward exit. Does he still have the ability? I think so, certainly has the race craft to go wheel to wheel with the best of them, but it was always his mental strength that made him the best, ruthless devil that he was.

    I don’t think there’s any question of Michael risking his reputation – he’s the only 7 time WDC in the sports history and holds nearly every F1 record going, that must put his credibility beyond doubt. 2010 is a gift for fans and younger racers alike and the dream team of Ross and Mercedes piloted by Schumacher, well, you couldn’t make it up.

    As an old Hill fan, I hated him with a vengence, but can’t wait to see him back.

  4. Maciek said on 23rd December 2009, 13:18

    I’m cheaply reposting my comments here, but for me it goes like this:

    1. New generation gets to go up against the last dominating figure in the sport
    2. The last dominating figure in the sport gets to be tested without previous advantages
    3. More free publicity to go around for everyone than all of Bernie’s money could buy

    Can anyone name one negative side to this that outweighs any of these points?

  5. The Limit said on 23rd December 2009, 15:15

    I voted no! As exciting as the prospect of Schumacher’s is for the sport, I believe Michael made the right decision back in 2006. Alain Prost did the right thing and retired on a high note, but at the end of the day it is up to how the driver feels.

  6. al_amana said on 23rd December 2009, 16:00

    Season’s Greetings to all.

    Oh and what a way to usher in the new year.

    He’s back and I believe he’s doing it for the love of the sport and nothing else. His achievements are what they are. Alonso denied him his swan song but I don’t believe Michael is looking for redemption.

    In F1 there are and always has been a few people that not only define the sport but care for it. Being one of those people I believe Michael chose to leave the sport when he did because he knew that something wasn’t right. The last three years have brought about a lot of change for the better, as we know. Yet as we also know there has been a lot of controversy and ugly goings on for this change to come about. I believe that the reason Michael left when he did was because he didn’t want to be a part of this mess. So now that there appears to be a bright future for the sport of F1 he has returned to not only further his own legacy but to be a part of the new age of F1. He might not win another WDC but at least I got to see him go around again. Should be a fun 2010!

  7. Don’t forget during that test at barcelona, i think in 2008, he ended with the best times. He’ll be on the pace.
    Also you have to remember, that the cars are less powerfull than with the v10, so it would be easier to adapt.
    He might be winning races at his third attept like lauda in 1982.
    May be even before.

  8. Pedel to the Vettel said on 23rd December 2009, 16:45

    If schumacher wins 1 more world title he has done a good risk, because who in moderen F1 at the time now is going to beat that?

  9. I am huge fan of Schumi. I have been following him since his very very initial days of 93. But I really did not want him return mainly because

    1) I don’t want his golden career to look bad just because of this comeback. People saying later that Schumi is not good as Vettel, Sutil, Lewis etc.

    2) I don’t want Vettel to lose his Title next year just because Schumi came out of retirement and swept the field away.

    3) Nico will also have a tough time. He is a very good driver and was almost losing out because Williams was not a strong car. He will be nowhere close to the Ross-Michael combo….yeh he will get nurtured like Felipe which will be good for him…..

    I DONT Feel a bit for Ferrari because they were the guys who forced him into retirement and now they cannot cry about that.

    Again it is great show for F1. Great publicity for Mercedes. The No 1 Mclaren of Button would be somewhere lost in the showdown. Poeple will be looking at how Lewis is against Schumi… Nobody will care for Lewis vs Jenson fight. And since Jenson had raced against Micheal almost for 6 years and was handsomely beaten all those years nobody will look at that.

  10. David A said on 23rd December 2009, 17:38

    I feel that Michael Schumacher has little to lose from returning. If he doesn’t perform well, then yes, we will look back on 2010 and claim that Schumacher ended his career at a low point, not being competitive and claim that the idea was a mistake. However, in this case some will put forward the argument that he will be racing at the age of 41, which in modern times is very old for an F1 driver. However if he were to come out of retirement and blitz this generation’s field, everybody will claim it was a masterstroke. Either way, coming out of retirement to take on Hamilton, Vettel and the rest took sheer guts.

  11. philedog said on 23rd December 2009, 17:40

    I voted no. The engineers are going to have to make some modifications to the car so his huge ego will fit and not cause problems with the balance. I have heard that his wife is not pleased with his decision and has threatened divorce. If his family is not important to him, he will only have himself to please. How much is enough? What has he left to prove? Why not teach his skills to the up and coming drivers?

    Michael, give it a break, buy a team and try a different approach. You have done this and have the t-shirt, time for a completely different song and a new tune.

  12. Pedel to the Vettel said on 23rd December 2009, 18:24

    well IMO i dont think Vettel, Lewis and Rosberg in general shouldn’t consider thinking of schumacher as the 7 time world champion but a driver who has weaknesses like anybody else. They shouldn’t be scared of him of sorts because Alonso did beat him 2 years in a row before he retired so he is beatable.

    I’m more scared of Alonso in His Ferrari saying “I’m now at my peak driving abilty and this Ferrari will proove it etc…..” it really does give me the ***** of him stopping vettel to win a world title next year.

    I’m just not 100% sure of schumi yet and how he still fares against the young guns of F1. But he says he is mentally 100% fit again……… thats like saying “I wasn’t in a proper state of mind when i lost to Alonso etc…” so im just thinking now that he sounds he is ok and sorts will he be the same guy in 00-05.

    I just dont know what hat im going to wear at silverstone next year Red Bull? or Mercedes? “bangs head on the keyboard” I know i will just wear both and look like a tit.

    My old favorite driver or my new favorite driver ffs i would have a mind meltdown if it came down to those 2 winning the title on the last race.

  13. He’s gonna fall flat on his germanic face.

  14. I’m glad he’s back. It’s been absolutely clear for months that Schumacher is itching to get back into an F1 car and racing, and it was quite clear that he wasn’t absolutely convinced retiring was the right thing to do in the first place.

    If it doesn’t work, it doesn’t work, but if he has the passion, why not?

  15. José Baudaier said on 23rd December 2009, 21:08

    If it’s gonna be good for him I don’t know. But it sure will be good for us. To see the old legend race against all the great younger drivers we have now, it will be great. Hope F1 is able to have like 4 or 5 competitive teams, so we can see all good drivers fighting for wins.

  16. Vincent said on 23rd December 2009, 21:33

    I believe michael will still win wdc with the help of ross brawn. also good for f1 because he’s popular even to those who are non f1 fans. maybe do a same ‘michael’ in nba.

  17. Look, while there is something to be said for bowing out at the top of your game, if Schuey wants to make a comeback then why shouldn’t he? If he is hopelessly embarassing and blundering around at the back of the field it is not going to affect in any way his earlier acheivements. I don’t even think it will blight his reputation, except for maybe some real diehard anti-Schu fans.

    But personally, I do not beleive for a second that he would even entertain a comeback if he didn’t think he was still capable of winning. None of the F1 drivers are out there to come second, and I highly doubt Schuey will prove any different. And what’s more, I beleive he is still capable of winning.

    Whichever way it turns out, it’s going to be a hell of a ride !

  18. F1NATIC said on 24th December 2009, 0:47

    personally I think Schumi’s comeback is great and after years of political scandals hopefully now people will be talking more about the action on the track. it will be great to see him duel it out with some of the young talent and old foes at the track once again. all the changes that f1 has undergone will now truly demonstrate his talent in comparison to the rest. I doubt he will dominate, but after a couple of races he should be well in the pace of the front runners.
    Yet my Ferrari fan side cant approve his comeback with Mercedes. but that aside, it is the part of the dream team, him, ross brawn…hmmm, but look out John Todt is now FIA president jaja

  19. I think its not only fun and excitement that led him race again but also its something that risk takers do and eventually most of the time they succeed…Schumacher is that kinda a person

  20. wasiF1 said on 24th December 2009, 1:35

    Does he have a three years contract with the team?
    I think he did this for the love of the sports,even his ‘family’ Ferrari could do nothing to keep him with them.

    But look at these now we have young boys like Nico,Lewis,Vettel,another Nico,Buemi & many others with the middle aged men like Alonso,Button,Nick & again many others with the old guns of Barrichello & Schumacher what else do you need in 2010?

    I wonder what Massa will be thinking now he have to go wheel to wheel with his teacher!!

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