Schumacher’s return: what’s changed?

Schumacher faces three new tracks, 13 new rivals and a load of new rules

Schumacher faces three new tracks, 13 new rivals and a load of new rules

October 22nd, 2006: Michael Schumacher makes his last F1 start.

There are 22 cars on the grid, each with traction control, grooved Bridgestone or Michelin tyres, and a fraction of the fuel needed to complete the race.

F1′s changed a lot since the last time Schumacher raced. How will he cope on his return?

The cars

Schumacher will have to use the same tyres as all his rivals

Schumacher will have to use the same tyres as all his rivals

Tyres

The tyre situation in F1 has changed massively in four years. Schumacher will know that getting to grips with these changes is vital if he’s going to be competitive.

In 2006 at Ferrari, Schumacher enjoyed the fruits of years of Bridgestone developing tyres specifically for their number one customer, while most of the other top teams used Michelins.

Now the tyre war has ended he will be deprived of that development avenue and have to use the same tyres as everybody else.

Grooved tyres are gone, too – Schumacher last raced on slicks in F1 in 1997. After his retirement restrictions on the quantity of tyres available for a Grand Prix weekend were introduced and they’ve been tightened even further for the coming season, with each driver getting just 11 sets of dry-weather tyres.

Engines

Engines are another area which are regulated much more tightly now than when Schumacher last raced in F1.

Development in this area was ‘frozen’ in 2008, leaving teams less scope to find more performance from their engines. Revs have been limited to 18,000rpm.

He will also have to get used to managing his engine allocation. Introduced last year, drivers may only use eight different engines during the season. With the calendar up from 17 races to 19 this year, that will most likely mean three engines which each have to do three race distances.

Ban on traction control

In 2006 F1 drivers still enjoyed the benefit of traction control. That was banned in F1 in 2008.

The good news for fans is that we’ll now get to see the most successful driver of all time manipulating the car’s throttle all on his own, without a computer cutting in to help him out.

And that’s exactly the way it should be.

Four-race gearboxes

As well as looking after his engine Schumacher will also have to worry about how much life is left in his gearbox.

Aerodynamics

Aerodynamic development was cut back in a big way last year. The cars now have lower, wider front wings and taller, narrower rear wings designed to make it easier for them to follow each other more closely.

Along their bodies there are far fewer downforce-boosting winglets and flip-ups.

How effective the rules have been in reducing total downforce – especially thanks to the controversial double-diffusers – is up for debate. But it certainly has changed the balance of the cars significantly.

On top of that, Schumacher now has an adjustable front wing to play with. Introduced last year, drivers are expected to rely on these more heavily in 2010 to tune the cars’ performance as their fuel load falls during a race.

Qualifying

No fuel burn, low fuel laps

Qualifying formats change every five minutes in F1, so it will come as no surprise to Schumacher to find another different system in place on his return.

The three-part system we have today was introduced during his last season. But back then drivers in Q3 had to qualify with their race fuel and a horrendously complicated ‘fuel credit’ system was used to decide how much fuel each driver should get.

Thankfully that nonsense was ditched a couple of years ago (along with the madness of the ‘fuel burn’ period in qualifying – remember that?). This year drivers will qualify on as little fuel as they can get away with, as they last did in 2002 and which Schumacher has plenty of experience of.

The rule requiring drivers who reach the top top having to start the race using the same tyres they qualified is new to everyone including Schumacher.

Race

Schumacher has two full seasons of refuelling-free F1 experience

Schumacher has two full seasons of refuelling-free F1 experience

Refuelling ban

Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello are the only two drivers on the grid to have raced in F1 before refuelling was reintroduced in 1994.

Schumacher and Ross Brawn mastered this new strategic dimension 16 years ago and won a lot of races because they sussed its nuances more quicker than rivals such as Williams. I’d be amazed if there’s any trick to the new, refuelling-free races they haven’t already worked out.

Spare cars

Schumacher excelled at using the spare car to accelerate the set-up process on a race weekend.

Not only that, but in mixed-weather races he enjoyed the advantage of having his race car and the spare car set-up for different conditions, so he could wait until the last minute to make a call on how the weather was going to before committing to a set-up.

That option won’t be open to him in 2010. Since 2008, teams have only been able to bring two complete cars to the races, plus sufficient spares to build a replacement. It’s one more way in which the difference between the haves and have-nots has been reduced since Schumacher’s last F1 campaign.

Read more: The new 2010 F1 rules: A quick guide

Championship

Testing restrictions

Here’s how much the new testing restrictions will affect Schumacher in 2010: Four years ago he completed 45 test days throughout the season. This year his team gets just 15, of which he has driven seven-and-a-half.

All his rivals face the same restrictions, of course. Schumacher won’t have any opportunity to drive the W01 outside of race weekends between now and the final race of the season, except for at promotional events and the odd straight-line aerodynamic test.

Points

The revised points system is new for Schumacher and everybody else.

Read more: Teams considering an even more generous points system for 2010

Tracks

Schumacher will start his first F1 night race at Singapore

Schumacher will start his first F1 night race at Singapore

There are three tracks on this year’s calendar which Schumacher will have to learn which his rivals already know. F1 has been to Valencia and Singapore twice in Schumacher’s absence – and as they are street tracks he won’t have any chance to drive them for real before their Grands Prix.

He hasn’t raced at Abu Dhabi either. As it hosts the season finale don’t be surprised to see him heading out there to get some laps in if he’s in the running for the championship come November. Failing that he’ll be logging more hours in the simulator.

Spa-Francorchamps has been tweaked since he last race there: Bus Stop has transmogrified into an ugly, clumsy, two-hairpin chicane. Catalunya has also been changed with the addition of an extra chicane which he’s already driven in testing.

The revised Bahrain and Silverstone layouts will be just as unfamiliar to him as they are to the rest of the grid. As will the all-new venue for the inaugural Korean Grand Prix in October.

View the 2010 F1 calendar

Rivals

Of the 23 drivers who will accompany Schumacher on the starting grid at Bahrain on Sunday, only ten were also on the grid for his last race in 2006.

Among the drivers he will face for the first time are Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel, Adrian Sutil and ten others.

View the 2010 F1 drivers and teams list

How will he do

Many of the rules changes we’ve seen over the last three seasons have worked to reduce the advantage a top team can get by spending their way there. The restrictions on tyres and testing in particular are a big part of the reason why we’ve seen the field get closer and closer together over the past few seasons.

I expect Schumacher won’t enjoy the kind of performance advantage at Mercedes that he had at Ferrari in 2002 and 2004.

And thanks to changes like the traction control and refuelling bans, I think we’ll get a better impression than ever before of what he does behind the wheel that sets him apart from the rest.

Which rules changes do you think Schumacher will struggle with? Which do you expect him to master easily? Have your say in the comments.

See all the articles in the F1 Fanatic 2010 Season Preview

2010 F1 season

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121 comments on Schumacher’s return: what’s changed?

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  1. I expect him to struggle with the strict rules. if he doesn’t tread on eggshells the race stewards will put him on the back of the grid for sneezing.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 9:42

      Any rules in particular?

      • Patrickl said on 8th March 2010, 10:18

        I think he means the weaving across track, going off track to get an advantage, pushing other cars off track, hitting other cars to make sure they don’t overtake or are easier to overtake themselves.

        At least that’s what I thought about.

    • Patrickl said on 8th March 2010, 9:50

      Yeah I was thinking the same. The stunts that Schumacher pulled in his days would now surely get him penalized very often.

      • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 10:18

        If they get punished. We see some harsh punishments in F1 but not very much consistency.

        • Patrickl said on 8th March 2010, 10:26

          OK true. Thinking about it, they might very well punish the guy he runs into. Like when Massa ran into Bourdais and Bourdais got the penalty.

          • Sean said on 8th March 2010, 12:19

            Oh, how true.

          • Senor Paz said on 8th March 2010, 22:34

            I agree, that incident was a sad one. But hopefully the FIA will keep up the good work of punishing cheaters that love cutting chicanes. Maybe Hamilton and Schumacher will have something to complain about together.

    • BasCB said on 8th March 2010, 9:52

      Do you mean having the same rules for everybody (or maybe there will still be a ferrari bias, just not in his favour), or stricter testing & technical rules making it harder to get an advantage?

      • Invoke said on 8th March 2010, 10:04

        I think they are referring to a perceived leniency Schumacher (and Ferrari) used to get.

        • steph said on 8th March 2010, 10:09

          Ahh the bias argument again. I can see why it’s used even if I disagree; Schumi crashed to win (although Senna did the same and was worshipped) and personally I think the Monaco 06 punishment was a bit light but there were point changes just because people got so sick of the domination.

          • Patrickl said on 8th March 2010, 10:16

            Senna didn’t crsh to win. Senna held his line as he said he would. That’s not really the same as purposefully ramming into someone.

          • Mouse_Nightshirt said on 8th March 2010, 12:28

            He said he would crash into Prost, and duly did.

            The reason he is worshiped is because he died. He was an awesome driver. It effectively became martyrdom.

          • Scribe said on 8th March 2010, 16:40

            What Senna did to Prost was outrageous, unethical, dangerous, frankly stupid, stubborn, unbelivable, magnificent and something that will be remembered for ever.

            An thats why I’m glad Toyota is out of the sport.

          • steph said on 8th March 2010, 20:03

            lol love that Scribe :P

          • David A said on 8th March 2010, 23:39

            “Senna didn’t crsh to win. Senna held his line as he said he would. That’s not really the same as purposefully ramming into someone.”

            I can’t help thinking that in the 1990 Japanese Grand Prix, he DID purposefully ram into someone, and that he DID win.

          • Look at the video. He takes the inside line of a mild bend in the road and Prost cuts into him.

            Sure he did that deliberately, but it’s not “crashing into” Prost. He said upfront that he would keep that line and he did.

          • Graeme said on 9th March 2010, 5:07

            Scribe, I think you missed out on a few words to describe Senna there :P

    • mfDB said on 9th March 2010, 5:07

      I disagree with you F1silverarrows. Shumacher has been through many rule changes and was always noted as being the driver that new the rule book the best. I can remember other drivers commenting on how he new the rulebook front to back. If he is anything like he was before, I’ll bet you he knows more than the other guys. Keep this in mind – a lot of the rules are new for everyone!

    • Rubel_Frm_BD said on 10th March 2010, 9:04

      MS is a 7 times world champion so he does not fear strict rules. He can adopt any rules or situation that is given to him. But frm ur comment i think that ur dont like MS so just saying this 2 show ur anger. And about your eggshells…….. try something new he can do very better than this.

  2. BasCB said on 8th March 2010, 9:48

    Nice preview Keith!

    As you wrote, we can expect Schumacher/Brawn to be able to react very efficiently to the changes introduced (as shown in ’94 and last year by Brawn).

    I hope he does well and earn some respect he lost with a lot of fans with his antics and domination at ferrari.

  3. Bertie said on 8th March 2010, 9:55

    I severely doubt he will any troubles with the rule changes. He will be able to get the maximum out of the car and for me the competiveness of the mercedes will be the only think holding him back.

  4. FLIG said on 8th March 2010, 10:09

    I think it won’t be so good for him this year. I really think Ross Brawn just wants him to teach all the tricks to Rosberg, so he can be a mega champion soon. And I think Schumacher is only interested in racing, he won’t be as competitive and agressive as he used to; he has won everything already…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 10:17

      I really think Ross Brawn just wants him to teach all the tricks to Rosberg, so he can be a mega champion soon.

      Interesting idea – like with Massa at Ferrari in 2006?

      Of course the problem then was Massa ended up costing Schumacher points like at Istanbul that year.

      • BBQ2 said on 8th March 2010, 12:11

        I really think Ross Brawn just wants him to teach all the tricks to Rosberg, so he can be a mega champion soon

        Well, what role is Quick Nick going to play in that context then?

  5. Tom said on 8th March 2010, 10:10

    I expect he’ll use things like the adjustable front wings to the full. His race engineer from the Brawn/Merc team says (in April’s Motor Sport) they’re adding extra controls to Schumacher’s steering wheel: there’s a setting he wants to adjust several times a lap, which Button would only change once during the whole weekend…

    And Lewis Hamilton will stop gushing about sharing the track with a legend once Schumacher’s chopped across him a couple of times.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 10:15

      And Lewis Hamilton will stop gushing about sharing the track with a legend once Schumacher’s chopped across him a couple of times.

      I suspect so!

      • Might be a tad off-topic here, but I hope McLaren pull off a CLEAN season this time, without any scandals, lies or embarrassing steward hearings. I really hope they cut all that out and restore some of the lost dignity.
        Also, hope Ferrari could just stop whining over being snatched off unfair advantages and just get on with the racing. (I’ve supported them forever, but the arrival of Force India (and Schuey’s adieu)saw a divide in my support and Ferrari’s recent statements and attitude is not helping their cause & shoving me even further away. And I’m sure I’m not the only one!)

        Schumacher sure has lost a lot of the advantages he used to enjoy but I doubt the 7 time WDC will have problems coping with new rules, given that he’s still in the same mental state as when he’d left. If he has the same commitment and desire, he could break a few drivers’ hearts!

        • I should imagine McLaren will be aiming for a clean season. If there’s one thing they’ve taught us about cheating in the last few years, it’s that they’re not very good at it.

    • BasCB said on 8th March 2010, 11:00

      Lets just hope, it is not to use something like the traction control in the Benneton at the time ;-)

  6. Can someone explain the Fuel Burn period to me, as many of the quali formats that one has escaped my memory…

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 10:15

      Basically, the teams started Q3 with their race fuel loads and could re-fill their tanks to that level after Q3. This meant they spent the first part of Q3 burning off fuel to get their cars as light as possible.

      Of all F1′s strange rules, that ranks as one of the most bizarre for me.

      • BasCB said on 8th March 2010, 10:40

        Yes, that was really absurd, seeing these guys touring around in qualifying for 10 minutes, before getting a quick lap out.

        Glad they dumped that soon!

      • BBQ2 said on 8th March 2010, 12:20

        Keith, I think they will run on fumes in Q3 and fill their tanks later for the race. That would explained the test-runs on fumes during the winter tests. The only constant I know during Q3 will be the tyres. Erm, are they allowed to change set-ups?

        • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 12:39

          We’re talking about the old Fuel Burn rules which haven’t been around for a couple of years.

        • Dr. Gonzo said on 8th March 2010, 15:58

          No, the cars are in “parc ferme” from the beginning of qualifying to the start of the race. I believe they can only adjust the front wings before the start.

          • sato113 said on 8th March 2010, 23:43

            not sure about the front wing bit… remember interlagos 2009 when williams ran high downforce for the wet qualifying they had to keep that high downforce for the race?

          • Dr. Gonzo said on 9th March 2010, 3:44

            From the 2010 Sporting Regs

            http://argent.fia.com/web/fia-public.nsf/65EE8F15945D0941C12576C7005308AE/$FILE/1-2010%20SPORTING%20REGULATIONS%2010-02-2010.pdf

            34) POST QUALIFYING PARC FERMÉ
            34.1 Each car will be deemed to be in parc fermé from the time at which it leaves the pit lane for the first time during qualifying practice until the start of the race. Any car which fails to leave the pit lane during qualifying practice will be deemed to be in parc fermé at the end of Q1.
            Between these times, other than when cars are returned to the parc fermé overnight, the following work may be carried out :

            - the aerodynamic set up of the front wing may be adjusted using the existing parts. No parts may be added, removed or replaced

            The high downforce setup they had to keep was that of the rear wing to which no changes are allowed.

  7. steph said on 8th March 2010, 10:14

    Schumacher has an outstanding record and to have so many victories shows he can be flexible with whatever circumstances come his way. He’s also got vast experience which will stand him in good stead.
    The only problems I see would perhaps be getting used to the new tracks but that won’t be anything major and the cars particularly without TC as I thought Schumi was always in support of it.
    Maybe getting used to F1 life again will take some time but he looks in good shape so I think it may just be him getting back into the routine. I think he’ll be right at the top though as he’s clearly raring to race and he is one of the greatest-if not the greatest-racer ever. He’ll be fine

  8. chris said on 8th March 2010, 10:18

    If

    “With the calendar up from 17 races to 19 this year, that will most likely mean three engines which each have to do three race distances.”

    What’s he using for the other 10 races? Has he been reduced to pedal power? :-)

  9. Sirko said on 8th March 2010, 10:23

    The biggest problem Schumacher will struggle with is the flight of really powerful contenders. Alonso, Hamilton, Vettel – that’s the real opposition! And don’t forget about Button or Webber, even “brother” Felipe is strong enough to compete with Michael. What I want to say is that Michael will meet one of the strongest bands of rivals in his career – that’s the real CHANGE, I guess. Any of other changes are trifles. Schumacher’s career shows us that there’s no change he can’t adopt. You know, he’s a professional, and if he had decided to come back it meant he had felt completely ready for any problem.

    • chris said on 8th March 2010, 11:24

      i agree!
      and we will be the ones who benefit from a great spectacle.

    • todd said on 8th March 2010, 11:53

      agreed as well, back in the day it was schumi vs alonso, they were as fast as each other, now you have 5-6 drivers in that same category.

    • Derek said on 8th March 2010, 12:39

      Yes, I totally agree with you Sirko. Schumacher only had one rival in each of his championship years. Some of them were good and some very good but none were “Special ones”. When a Special one did come around in 2005 & 2006 Schumacher go his a*ce whipped!! Now I reckon we have 3 Special ones, not counting Schumie himself. I think I’ll have to take Friday off!!

      • Sirko said on 8th March 2010, 14:30

        I think, Mika Hakkinen was “special one” too, wasn’t he? I heard Schumacher rated him as biggest rival ever.

        • gpfan said on 9th March 2010, 1:25

          Just sussed that I may have used terms that may be too ‘flowery’. If I have offended anyone, I am sorry. andy

    • I cant agree more with Sirko. Already the comment of the day.

      But there’s another change that Schumacher will have to cope this year, that is the political environment.

      He is not in Ferrari, which had an eternal honey moon with FIA until last year. In some terms, he is still a Todt protegee, but the FIA had changed too since Mosley left and — I hope — will not favored him anymore.

      • Sirko said on 8th March 2010, 14:33

        Yeah, crows do not pick crow’s eyes usually :), but we will not know the answer to this question until it will have happened.

      • Todt would still have a soft corner for Schumacher, Ferrari driver or not. Though I don’t think he will be taking any decisions on the outcome of races. If there is a controversy during the season, expect people to speculate about this relationship whichever way the decision goes.

    • MajorMilou said on 8th March 2010, 16:11

      I agree with you Sirko, but the question to be answered is: is this the first time Schumacher will face qn opposition of 3 or 4 “Special Ones” in his career? Or rather are we misled into believing there are 3 or 4 “Special Ones” on the grid this year simply because neither of them is special enough to dominate the way Schumacher has between 1994 and 2004?
      In other words, maybe the likes of Raikonnen, Coulthard, Montoya, Barrichello and others would have also created this impression of 4 or 5 great drivers able to compete for a title, had M. Schumacher never existed. Not saying it’s the case, but at least a valid point of discussion…

      I believe his biggest challenge, more than the rule changes or the quality of the opposition, will be himself. After a 3 year pause, at 41 years old, will he still be able to summon his best conditionning, lucidity in the heat of the action, and motivation over the entire season if he slides out of title contention? I think those things will be his biggest enemy this season.

      • Sirko said on 9th March 2010, 6:31

        Interesting question. To be special ones or not to be special ones. :) Well, I’m not sure about the likes of Montoya or Coulthard, but if you ask me about Alonso, Hamilton and Vettel, then my answer is yes, they are special ones. Facts are stubborn things. Fernando is the youngest double world champion. Lewis is the youngest world champion ever and he almost won the title in his first season. Sebastian is the youngest pole sitter and GP winner with that incredible win at Monza. And he is already a vice champion of the world. You know, it is the new generation of young racing brilliants with rare powerful talents and skills. Either of them is so different, not similar to each other, any of them has own charisma. You can say something similar about generation of racers like Senna, Prost, Mansell and Piquet. That’s what I want to say. So yes – they are “special ones” and we’ll be many times convinced of it. We have a fascinating future of Formula , I think.

        But if you not agree with me, well, in any case the “strong opposition” means that they are able to compete with Michael in terms of car’s performance. How many times in Michael’s career was an opposition of 3 or even 5 drivers able to compete with him? You know, it was always depending on car, and now we have four different teams and 8 different drivers with chances of winning.

        And yes, I agree, that Michael’s biggest rival will be himself, that’s no doubt. It’s was very brave decision, but you know, none but the brave deserve the fair, even Michael is as old as the hills. :)

        • Derek said on 9th March 2010, 9:22

          The baseline to messure the quallity is Alonso, he beat Schumacher in 05 &06. Then Hamilton was more than a match for him in his ‘rooky’ year. That made him special too. Vettle, I think is on a par with both. So now we have a messure of 4 Special drivers ie. Schumaker, Alonso, Hamilton and Vettle. Not since the days of Senna, Prost, Mansell and Piquet have we had this talent!

        • MajorMilou said on 9th March 2010, 15:24

          Agreed. I am too young to remember the 80s (Vaguely remember sitting in front of the TV at age 3 and pointing at the yellow helmet saying he’s the bad guy, and then pointing at the white one and cheering… Influenced by my father :-).
          But now that you put it that way, I do have to agree we have one of the best lineups in recent history. I wouldn’t be surprized if we have more than half a dozen different race winners by the end of the season, similar to what we had in the early 1980s I think.

          The key this year is that the overall quality of drivers around is coupled with the fact that at least 4 teams seem to be equally strong this year, whereas in the 90s and 2000s it was often Schumacher vs. Williams, McLaren, nobody, then Renault; but never more than one at a time.

          I’m really excited about the season with at least 4 strong teams and 6 very strong, proven drivers (including 4 world champions!) And I especially agree that the conflicting styles and personalities of these great drivers is going to make it even better.

  10. PJA said on 8th March 2010, 10:30

    I didn’t realise just how much has changed in F1 in the last three year until I read the list.

    Schumacher shouldn’t have any problems with the rule changes, I think he has the experience and adaptability to cope with them.

    I can’t remember where I read it but he said recently he liked the reduced testing as it meant he could be at home more.

  11. Invoke said on 8th March 2010, 10:41

    This is slightly off topic, but I just thought of a scenario when I read about the tyre rule again…

    What if for instance Schumacher has set a time in Q3 already, and its ok but not great, say 5th. He comes in, puts on his last set of rubber, goes out for one final blast at getting pole. He’s coming to the final few corners and is all purple on the timing screen. The crowd are on their feet and praying he gets pole when…

    He locks up and massively flatspots his front tyres, can he still make pole? Knowing he has an ok time to fall back on and not wanting to run the first stint on flat spotted tyres… he simply comes back to the pits.

    Call me pessimistic, but is this not a horribly realistic scenario this year? I really hope this doesnt happen, but it would highlight just how stupid this tyre rule is (yes im still annoyed about it, can you tell!)

    • BasCB said on 8th March 2010, 11:06

      Well he could just finish it and then get the FIA to have him use another set of the same tyres.
      According to the rules, there is a possibility to convince them, even though the tyres should have really bad flatspots or even a puncture to be allowed another set.
      Interesting thought though, we might see some of that breaking of fast runs this year.

    • Tombong said on 8th March 2010, 11:08

      I think it’s the type of tyre that have to be exactly the same between the Q3 tyres and the tyres for start of the race.

      • BasCB said on 8th March 2010, 11:16

        No, the rules state, that they have to use the actual set of tyres used to set their qualification time on.

        • Invoke said on 8th March 2010, 12:36

          I think there is a clause in the rule thats states tyres may be changed if they are damaged enough that the fia considers them to be unsafe… perhaps you could do a few ‘accidental’ doughnuts after a quali run.

          • chris said on 8th March 2010, 12:40

            maybe shumi has a “puncture” button on his steering wheel ;)

          • This will be the source of a few controversies during the season where the stewards will be accused of favoritism.

  12. Paul said on 8th March 2010, 10:43

    Personally I hope he gets ass handed to him .As I am sick of hearing about him there are another 23 drivers you know . Also F1 on the BBC is going to be the Schumacher show this year.

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 10:47

      I don’t think coverage of the build-up to the new season on here has been excessively Schumacher-centric. Do you?

      And I wouldn’t pre-judge the BBC. This time last year everyone was saying they’d be even more partisan than ITV were (as if that were possible) and they weren’t.

      • red bull tastes like crap said on 8th March 2010, 13:29

        keith, what is your opinion on james allen when he was at itv during the 2007 season? He says he was not pro-hamilton.

        • steph said on 8th March 2010, 20:01

          The BBC were bias but they can’t really help it being British. However when there was bias it was pretty small especially compared to ITV.
          Schumacher is bound to be everywhere but that’s because he’s the main point of interest. It’s the thing that the press will latch onto to build up the season. I think this site has done it justice; it’s not harping on about the story but looking in depth at how Schumacher will cope while managing to avoid making it (and I hate this next phrase) the Michael show. It’s covered but covered well and just the right amount for my taste. Thanks very much Keith :)

        • Wouldn’t matter if he said he wasn’t James Allen either! For bonkers-sake, he was Hamilton’s wife, who doesn’t know that?

      • Wade said on 10th March 2010, 3:28

        We dont get any BBC love here in Australia. No Build up, no nothing. Just the internets. =(

  13. ajokay said on 8th March 2010, 10:49

    At least when/if Schumi wins, we won’t need to hear the lengthly combination of the German and Italian national anthems any more, It’ll just be the German one.

    I’m looking forward to seeing how he copes with the rule changes that have happened since his retirement. I’m sure he’ll manage very well indeed.

    Although Eddie Jordan doesn’t believe he will (see the 2010 preview on BBC’s Red Button… he’s at it already, great stuff).

    • Scribe said on 8th March 2010, 16:52

      Eddie did’t say he wouldn’t do well, he thought he’d win races.
      He just thought he done enough and it was time for him to give up the sport. He also said he was mad an suggested that someone be shot for the “nonsense” that is schumi’s return

  14. Nidzo said on 8th March 2010, 10:51

    Fantastic article as ever Keith. Let all see how will Michael handle all this. I just hope that politic does not involve there dirty hand’s in F1 again.

  15. HounslowBusGarage said on 8th March 2010, 11:03

    I’m sure Schu took just a couple of testing laps to get used to the idea of slicks and no traction control. But I think the lack of spare car in changing situations and not having the might of the Red Team behind him will take a bit more getting used to.
    Wouldn’t it be funny if he stopped at the Ferrari pit by mistake, like the Red Bull/Torro Rosso driver did last season.

    • BBQ2 said on 8th March 2010, 12:39

      Wouldn’t it be funny if he stopped at the Ferrari pit by mistake, like the Red Bull/Torro Rosso driver did last season.

      Lolz, Rosberg too stopped at Williams during test this winter :-D

    • Keith Collantine (@keithcollantine) said on 8th March 2010, 12:40

      Nico Rosberg pulled up outside the Williams pit in his W01 at Jerez when I was there. There’s always one!

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