Should Schumacher quit in 2011? (Poll)

Posted on | Author Keith Collantine

Speculation surrounds the future of Michael Schumacher in Formula 1.

Officially, his contract at Mercedes runs on into 2011. But after a bruising comeback season, in which he’s been out-scored by team mate Nico Rosberg 112-46, will he want to?

Pro

The explanation for Schumacher’s difficulties this season begin with the shortcomings of the W01. Fundamental problems relating to its weight distribution and tyre use, which despite the team’s efforts cannot be fixed mid-season, have kept it from being the contenders its predecessor was.

Then there are Schumacher’s particular problems: his late arrival to the team meant he had no input during the car’s early development; the move to smaller-width front tyres this year which are ill-suited to his driving style; his inability to conduct the prodigious amount of in-season testing as he did during his championship years.

With Pirelli replacing Bridgestone next year the reset button will be pressed and everyone will be back to square one. And this time he’ll have been involved in the development of the car from a much earlier stage.

It will be a chance for Schumacher to get back on level terms with his rivals. Unless he scores some remarkable result in the last five races of the year, he should seize the opportunity to salvage something from his comeback.

Con

Formula 1 has changed so much in the short space of time between Schumacher’s last appearance and his comeback that you have to question whether he ever could attain the same level of form he did in the early 2000s.

Without near-bespoke tyres, without tens of thousands of kilometres of testing and without a team mate bending over backwards on demand, Schumacher isn’t going to be able to re-create his Ferrari experience in silver at Mercedes.

Another season of failure would only harm his reputation further. Better to call it quits now.

Read more: Compare Michael Schumacher’s form against his team mate

I say

He's still popular at Monza
He's still popular at Monza

We know he’s far better than he looks right now.

The Schumacher that struggled woefully in the rain at Shanghai this year is the same man who danced around it in similar conditions on his way to his 91st career win only four years ago.

Painful though it may be, I think Schumacher has to take the long-term view and write 2010 off as a preparation year for 2011.

There are good reasons to expect next year will be better and, assuming he’s happy with his physical condition, for the sake of his reputation he’s got to stick with it.

Update: Schumacher back on bikes at Sachsenring

You say

Do you think Schumacher should quit in 2011? Cast your vote and have your say below.

[poll id=”172″]

Read more: 2011 F1 drivers and teams

Images ?? Mercedes

225 comments on “Should Schumacher quit in 2011? (Poll)”

  1. I’d rather Schuey was out so someone better and more interesting can take his seat. At the moment he’s just a waste of a good Mercedes, and a liability on the track. If F1 wants to see more overtaking he should be the first to go.

    1. I agree. All the same arguments pro and con follow. First it was three races to get the rust off, and now they are saying he needs a season and a completely new car. At this point, Rosberg has scored nearly three times as many points in the same car under identical race conditions. Whatever Schumacher was, Rosberg is a far superior driver in the present day. Let’s all try to come to grips with reality. Please.

    2. Indeed. People keep harping on about how good Schumache once was, but obviously he’s not that good anymore.

      1. I agree totally.
        Formula One has moved on leaps and bounds since Schumacher last reigned supreme, we can’t keep harping back to the past and his past glories.

        The cars are different, the world has changed, the competition is now more fierce than previous years, and the younger drivers are just not intimidated by Schuy any more, in fact they all seem to relish an opportunity to measure themselves against Michael Schumacher.

        Lets face it Schumacher and Rosberg both started on a complete clean sheet being new to the Mercedes Team going into this season and Rosberg has shown Schuy the way to go.

        I’m pretty sure Michael’s ego is hurting a little, every interview he gives – there’s a pained expression on his face as if he doesn’t really want to be there answering obvious questions.

        I think his heart is saying keep ongoing but his head is saying stop now before your hurt yourself even more . . . It will be interesting to see what decision he comes to. My guess is like all old Champs his ego will get the better of him . . .

        1. I agree with most of that, but I don’t think they started on the same ‘clean sheet’.

          Rosberg is young (more fit) and was still racing and training in the years shumi was gone. The only advantage Shumi has is his past, which you explain is somewhat irrelevant with the way F1 has changed. I’m not totally suprised that Rosberg is beating Shumi and I think that Shumi will want to stay to help develop the car and try to at least show he can match or beat Rosberg….

          1. If the past is “irrelevant” then Schumi didn’t deserve a place in a drivers seat – if its so “irrelevant” on what basis did he earn his seat?

    3. I suppose it’s the only plausible reason to oppose someone driving who wants to drive and who the team wants to drive, i.e. the team are wrong and should be backing a better driver. I think Rosberg has been better than Schu. But are there really many better than Rosberg? Vettel, Alonso, Ham, Kubica, I guess, but after that? If Rosberg is about the best they’re going to get, why not let Schumacher in the other car? His experience is valuable. And I have to admit to a bit of schadenfreude too… :0)
      What he dis to Barrichello was bad, but seeing him tussle and squirm for 8th place or whatever is entertaining.

      1. Rosberg has beaten the former 7-time WDC, but is Schumacher really the gold standard anymore? It makes one wonder what Rosberg could do compared to Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Kubica and others with equal equipment. Maybe he’s much better than people give him credit for. Aside from whatever his outright speed might be, he does seem to keep the car on the track, is consistent, and doesn’t make a lot of mistakes. So, Schumacher’s adventure has mainly served to demonstrate how good Rosberg may be.

        1. Rosberg was similar to Mark Webber’s pace at Williams. So I guess that means he would have a similar pace to Vettel and Heidfeld.

    4. All the Schumacher haters are the FIRST to post everytime when the article concerns the Champion of Champions,it is the usual British vitriliocism -highly embarrassing to see and read.The same names come up time and time again.They read like a book.

      I am glad I have decided not to post anymore on this forum.I for one cannot stand the hate message.

      1. So true Diana, so true.

      2. Dianna

        I’s not a matter of hating Michael Schumacher. All he’s shown this season is that he can be beaten by an also-ran, Rosberg, and that he is still prepared to cause serious injury, Barrichello, to get his own way.

        No hate, Luv.

        1. Enough of the spin, Leslie. It gets boring.

        2. How are we so sure that Rosberg is an also ran? You look to have wildly under-estimated him.

        3. Leslie, don’t be daft.

          Rosberg is no also ran, if nothing else then Singapore last year proved that to people.

          “and that he is still prepared to cause serious injury”
          … Your joking right? Do you actually believe he would?…

          Diana: There will always be Schumacher lovers (Us) and Schumacher haters (Them), But attributing that to the British is A) Naive, and B) counter productive.

      3. wow, thanks Dianna for that fact-based argument. I totally see how I’m wrong now.

        All of the arguments about him being well and truly outclassed by his teammate and making silly errors and dangerous moves are totally immaterial next to your hughly convincing argument.

        (sarcasm)

        (and no, I’m not British).

        Face it, he doesn’t seem to have ‘it’ anymore, and worse, it doesn’t really seem as if the rust is flaking away as the season continues.

        Thats not taking anything away from his past achievements, but by the same token those past achievements do not give him immunity from criticism about his current performances.

        Please, rather than just dismissing people as haters of the “Champion of champions”, why not give us some kind of argument as to why he should stay. Otherwise you are just as bad as those ‘haters’ you claim are all over this site.

        1. Well, It’s very easy to answer why he should stay, Because he seems to be enjoying it. I think your making an assumption that the question is refering to whether Mercedes should keep him. Or whether he is showing the ability that is required of an F1 driver.
          And then obviously we could debate for hours.

          But I don’t think even you could dispute that he is good for the sport. None of my friends like the sport, any time I mention F1 they all roll their eyes and gain a particular eyes glazed over look (which is quite unnerving when they do it all at the same time…) But if I say “Mickey Shoemaker” they all know who I mean… And for me, that far reaching awareness is what F1 does in fact need in order to grow. So for the sport, no doubt he is an asset.

      4. Dianna – you’ll find this site (and any other site, I should imagine) a more worthwhile experience if, instead of complaining that other people don’t share your view and making simplistic assumption based on their nationality, explaining why you disagree.

      5. Dianna , I agree , but at the same time it can be expected with the huge success Schu. has had – his haters will always get in a bit harder whenever they get a chance. So don’t let them stop you from writing , the more opposition they get the better. My opinion , if Schu stopped end of 2010 , think about it , like watching an interesting movie halfway , then walking out …. just not right. He has to at least see 2011 through , with the new tyres and his involvement in next years car , if he cannot at least beat Rosberg , then the question would have been answered. End of story. But my guess is , he will beat Rosberg next year , and maybe even challenge for the championship.

    5. I agree, hes old and been around for so long and hes just not that intnersting, his driving has looked way too defensive, and really he hasnt progressed much, he tends to drop back in races, i wonder if hes really that hungry or just bored and trying to fill his life again.

      1. Drop back in races?? In the last 10 races he’s bettered his qualifying position on track..

    6. haha, good mercedes :p… good good mercedes. tell ya what, if schuey was in for vettel, he’ll be leading the championship by now.

    7. IMO, everything you say on your post is completely wrong. My guess is that the first season you watched F1 was 2007 (maybe 2010 ?) and you think Hamilton is the best driver in F1 history ? If my guessing is right, I would tell you that before 2007 and since 1994 approx Schumacher was by far Formula’s 1 most famous driver, every fight for the title was between him and someone else, from the clashes with Senna till the fights with Alonso.
      You say Schumi should quit so “Better and more interesting” can replace him? there is NO ONE that fills both characteristics in the world today.
      “liability on the track” ? tell that to Webber, Hamilton, Alonso, Kubica, Liuzzi, Alguersari, Vettel, etc… countless times some of these drivers have been involved in dangerous racing behaviors… when F1 was a MEN sport the ones like Schumacher were fighting for a position the way he did with Barichello’s last time, unlike the drivers I mentioned before HE DID NOT made Barichello to end in a barrier or with parts of his car broken, but my guess is you don’t know anything about Mansell, Senna or even Juan Pablo Montoya, great drivers like Schumacher that weren’t joking fighting for a position and knew how much exactly was too much (JPM crossed that line a lot of times though but I prefer him to the idiots that make cars crash from today).
      “If F1 wants to see more overtaking he should be the first to go.” that sentence is just false in every sense, again hoping the guess I made at the beginning of my post is right (that your first season you watched was 2007), I would tell you that Schumacher and perhaps Hamilton are the ONLY remaining hopes for F1 to see more overtaking. I usually don’t comment on this articles, but your post is so extremely wrong, that I had to post something. Please read the article before you post, Keith knows what he is talking about, unlike you.

      1. Many of us who (like you and I) didn’t start following F1 in 2007, recall that when Schumacher was at his peak, F1 was about as boring to watch as things like paint drying and grass growing. Schumacher may have been the orders of magnitude better than every other driver, but when one driver wins race after race after race, it’s natural to question how level the playing field was. He had a chassis designed for him alone. He had his own tire company. He had his own FIA. Now, Schumacher’s back and he’s older, and he can’t match Rosberg’s performance. He’s a washed up fish out of water, an anachronism, and he’s largely irrelevant. He’s not the only hope for F1. Let’s move on.

  2. Neh, give him 2011, if the car sucks then he should grab a thinker if he want to stay with them or maby change theme. Or if his happiness is low, leave the sport.

  3. I think it is a forgetable come back( a bit like Michael Jordan’s last come back)and it won’t hurt Schumacher in the long term if he leaves at the end of the year. Sometimes, one should simply call it quits, and let a younger man take a valuable seat.

    1. Mansell is still seen as a great driver, and he had a bad comeback, wheras Niki Lauda and Alain Prost won titles during their second stints in F1, just give Micheal time, I wouldn’t bet against him if he had a decent car in 2011 for the title, but it won’t blot his acheivement in the Sport if he can’t acheive. Put it this way, most people already have an opinion on Schumacher already, whether that be legend or cheat. The Mercedes drive will not change people’s opinions!

      1. Very astute observation :)

      2. Michael Schumacher is definitely still a great driver, I have watched him race many times and he would put the car where others would never dare – but that fire appears to be gone. He is most definitely part of the illustrious group you mention. But I’m just not sure he is enjoying himself !

        Half of the fun of racing is the enjoyment he gets from it, and he said so himself when he retired, that he would stop if he wasn’t enjoying the challenge anymore.

        When you watch his body language and the way he approaches the press, he is not in a good place with himself.

        I’m not sure that a better car next year will provide that stimulus to bring the fun back that he so craved when he decided to make a come back, especially with the current fierce competition of engineering excellence and increasing experience of the younger hungrier drivers . . .

        1. I doubt the fire is gone, if it was, The Rubens nor the Monaco incidents would have happened… He wouldn’t be making so many places from the stay and he wouldn’t be defending like his life depends on it…

          The Fire is there, he just can’t find the pace.

    2. Chandhok would be nice.

      1. If Kimi takes his seat, then yeah he shld quit. :-D
        I dunno if it is just me, or has Schumacher really been a bully like, on the track. He, for some reason does not respect other drivers on the track, and also during interviews I often find him replying like a celebrity rather than a racing driver.

        It could be just me, but I dunno.

  4. This will seem unbelievably petty, but I hope he stays for one reason: I’m enjoying seeing him embarrass himself.

    Another reason would be this. I want to see him at his best so the current crop can beat him then, too.

    I’m not a Schumacher fan…did that come across?

    1. Ah, the schadenfreude factor…

      1. Schadenfreude – To take pleasure from anothers misfortune :/

        Each to their own I suppose, I watch F1 for the racing.

      2. Schudenfreude, surely?

        1. Good pun work :-)

      3. The Battle of the intellects continues… with Google to hand, who’s going to win?! :)

    2. me and my friends have a drinking game whereby we have a drink whenever Nico outperforms his team mate, or if Schuey burns out his tyres, or when someone mentions the car doesn’t suit his driving style, or he does something silly like try to ram someone off the road.

      Needless to say we’re normally sozzled during F1 weekends now.

      We did the same last year with Buttons “lack of grip”.

      1. That sounds like a good game! I wish I had friends that were into F1… Looks like I am moving to England! But I too would like Schumi to go for another year. Rosberg is obviously very fast and even he can’t manage to win in that car so I can’t blame Michael. Next year he should be up to speed and Mercedes will have recovered from the success of 2009.

      2. haha, nice…

        If you drank every time Massa said ‘for sure’, you’ll probably be in hospital by now ;)

        .. what do you think Felipe? : ‘for sure!’

        1. haha for sure you should have a drink every time lewis says “fantastic”

          or 10 if vettel gestures with his hand ‘#1’ post quali

    3. Couldn’t agree with you more, for years I insisted that Schumacher was an above average racing driver, I’m enjoying his pain, and I’m not ashamed of it one bit. He doesn’t deserve 7 world championships due to the fact that he is a narcissistic cheater and a shame to the sport: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jmKbGW7OmVg lest we forget.

      1. If you’re going top waste time claiming he didn’t deserve 7 titles, then everyone else can lecture you on how he easily “could’ve” won more than 7 championships.

        As for now, I feel that so long as Mercedes feel like having him in the car, then he should stay. I don’t think he’ll come close to winning another title, but he should be able to do better than he is at the moment.

    4. I share the same sentiment as Chris. I was always hoping to see Schumacher battle against the new breed of drivers, and this year he decided to take that challenge on.

      Personally, every time Schumi makes a Q2 exit, or pulls some ridiculously embarrassing moves on track, I have the widest smile on my face. I would like to enjoy this feeling for another year. So i voted for him to stay on another season.

      1. Michael who?…..oooohh…the new guy at Mercedes.Naaahh,I’m not very impressed with him so, I voted yes, please leave.

    5. I think this sums up McLaren fans pretty well.

      1. McLaren? Who mentioned anything about McLaren?

  5. Mercedes have started develoiping for 2011, so should have a good car next year. I think he could be winning races next year with a good car.

    1. Depends really doesn’t it. Obviously there car this yeear was badly designed but the Brackley team had produced a collection of total dogs in the years proceding the BGP-01.

      1. Wurz said that the Brawn GP01 was develeoped by 3 different teams. Who each developed their own car with their own windtunnels.

        The design that eventually won was either from the Super Aguri team or the Dome team. Forgot which one, but the point is … it was not from the Brackley based Honda team.

        So in fact one could say that they never designed a good car.

        When they got their hands on it it went downhill. The Brawn GP01 only lost out mor and more as the season went on. Much the same as we have seen with Mercedes this year.

        1. So that makes it easy for Mercedes: find out what team did the BGP01, and replace some of the W01 people with them, presto, a winning car!

          It probably was a set of factors coming together though that gave us last years champions, and it won’t be repeatable.

        2. Indeed – It’s rather telling that both drivers didn’t stay with a team that had been that dominant. Almost like they had no faith in the team to produce another similar car in the next few years.

          Mercedes bought the wrong team.

          1. right team wrong time!

  6. I hope he doesn’t retire. As you say in the article, we know he’s much better than what he looks like at the moment. If he does bend the development of the W02 to his liking he will be competing for podiums next year just like Rosberg did this season.

  7. Nathan Bradley
    21st September 2010, 9:41

    No, he should not quit. We are, as Keith says, aware that he is 7 million times better than he is performing now (slight overstatement.)

    Besides, I believe anybody would need a year to return to form after a three year break.

    If however, the situation is the same about 6 races into next season, then I’m afraid I will be calling for him to go.

    Nathan

    1. “We are, as Keith says, aware that he is 7 million times better than he is performing now.”

      Replace ‘is’ with ‘was’ and I’m with you. He’s simply too old nowadays to be successful with such a croft of fast young drivers.

      He’s too old to drive without TC. Should we get Stirling moss back in an F1 car? No. At what point is someone too old? Round about now for Schumacher.

    2. Gotta disagree with Keith and Nathan. He really isn’t much better than his current performances. Maybe he will fare a little better when the car is designed around him… but .. he will still get beaten by Rosberg on a regular basis. And IMO he is a below average driver compared to the new breed of racers

  8. No. He should give 2011 a go, but if that goes poorly I can see him walking out mid season. It isn’t Schumacher’s style to just quit before the jobs done but I think if he feels that he can’t do the job he wants then he’ll be the first person to admit it and walk away.

    1. I agree, he should continue.

      From the start he has taken this year as something of a preparation year for the real thing (sure, he nobody did really believe it would be this bad). The car was completely defined and almost finished when he came.

      I think he is already taking this as a learning experience and making miles on track to learn about the tracks and test parts.
      What does he have to win by quitting now?
      The nay-sayers will be proven to have been right, the fans will feel disappointed and his cheat legacy will not have changed much for the better.

      If he goes on, he can help Mercedes get back to the fore. The car will certainly fit him better next year and he will know more of what to expect from the tracks and tyres. He can win some races, or even the WDC if they get it right.
      And even if Rosberg beats him, he can still take credit for helping Mercedes build the winning team and still take some wins home to make it a happy end.

      1. And there is no better driver for bringing a team to the fore. His knowledge, experience, drive, commitment, feedback and input.. you’d want him in your team if you’re going to develop a car capable of winning races and championships.. who else is there that can even compare?

        1. My sentiments exactly Hare!

  9. Yes and no,

    The question is should he quit in 2011?

    A: No

    He should quit in November 2010.

    I answered Yes in the pole anyway.

  10. I think we’re all guilty of knee-jerk reaction to the Schumacher issue. Take a look at all of those who have either returned to the cockpit this year (Massa, De la Rosa, Yamamoto) or are rookies (Petrov, Hulkenberg, Di Grassi, Senna, Chandhok and to a lesser degree, Kobayashi). Discounting Kobayashi, who I think has really impressed, none of them have particularly dazzled, all have been inconsistnet and all have been way overshadowed by their team mate. Schumacher, however, has been right on the pace of Rosberg (who, I think we’d all agree, is one of the fastest out there) – pretty much all of the time.

    It seems to me that the current cars are just hard to master – compared to Hamilton jumping into a McLaren and being instantly competitive or even Shumacher himself being instantly competitive back when he started out in the 90s.

    1. And Hamilton had quite some testing milage before the season kicked off.

    2. Thats just a bunch of excuses. Schumacher has more F1 track time than 95% of the drivers on the grid. To classify a 7 time world champ in the ‘rookie’ category is just ridiculous.

      Schumacher has been on pace with Rosberg??? Have you seen any races this year?

      1. I agree he has more track time over his career, but I’m arguing that it’s irrelevant because these cars are just so different!

        1. Cars have evolved since dramatically since 1991. And no one has seens more changes in cars than Schumi himself. He was the only driver present in the no refuelling era. He was also around when there was no traction control, just as cars are today.
          The last couple of years have seen the cars change a lot, and all the drivers have been re adjusting as well. The really good drivers just manage to adapt quicker.

          1. Todfod, if your suggesting Schumacher isn’t a “really good driver” you are going to have trouble arguing it, you can’t discount what he has achieved. Likewise, I must admit that he is struggling in comparison with the majorities view prior to this season.

            Yet, Schumacher has clearly been on Rosberg’s pace, Shanghai was a serious low for him, but with every race he is getting quicker, look at Spa for example, In the end. this is Schumacher’s last chance in F1. If he leaves now, he won’t be allowed to come back again, not for a remotely good team anyway. I think he is an intelligent person, and must realise this, I doubt he will leave by choice, and I think it would be to formula ones detriment if he did. Even you must admit this.

      2. That’s like arguing that Linford Christie could win again after 3 years sitting out.

        I read about an athlete who’s coach said about their training, that ‘if you miss a day, you lose a week, if you miss a week, you loose a month, if you miss a month, you lose a year.’

        Based on that, you’d be sure that Schumacher wouldn’t be at the top of his game for some time coming in to the season.

        Incidentally, I heard he doesn’t like simulators as they make him ill. Well that an obvious disadvantage.

  11. I personally think that Schumacher is comfortable enough with his own image to not have to worry about any damage to his legacy from a failed comeback. If he believes that he still has the impeccable work ethic, competitive fire and the desire to win, then he should ignore the naysayers and stick around for 2011.

  12. Difficult to judge him at the moment. If he wasn’t Michael Schumacher, who swept the field aside in the early noughties, I’m sure our opinion of him would have been rather more appreciative. To be honest, having jumped into a F1 seat of a car that has undergone monumental changes since 2006, Michael must have no easier time adapting than any of the current rookies. In this light, let us, for one, compare the performances of Schumacher and Petrov.

    Both drive decent cars and are outscored by impressive team-mates. However, Merc car is no better than a Renault, and Michael is doing far better than Petrov. And if we’re saying that Petrov has done more than enough to keep his 2011 F1 seat; the same can be said about Michael. In fact if Michael was a rookie, he’d surely be praised as one of the better rookies this year. Problem is, he’s not quite a rookie.

    But on the other hand, much of his technical experience from the previous years cannot be smoothly applied to the current F1 technology. The jump from understand a 2006 F1 Ferrari to 2010 Mercedes must be no less challenging than a jump from GP2 to F1. In this light, Michael must feel quite a rookie, in technical terms. This was exposed most vividly in changing conditions, when, of course, his knowledge of the tyres, car behavior, etc was quite irrelevant.

    Hence, I don’t think we should judge Schumacher too harshly. I’m not saying he’ll become a flying rocket in 2011 – I don’t think he’ll ever be at the top again – but he adds enough spice at some races and I enjoy seeing him on my tv screen. F1 audiences need him and he can stay as long as he does some reasonable driving.

    1. See my post above – great minds think alike

    2. I get your point, but teams put up with rookies because, well, they are rookies. Meaning : young, and sometimes full of promises (Hulk and Petrov per instance). Schumacher has maybe two years left in him, tops.

      1. Haha GR good point. We do think alike. Tango – agree with you, Schu has max 2-3 years in him – but he is no rookie and once he figures the new cars in maybe 1-2 years, he’ll be able to challenge for victories imho. Though I doubt he’ll fight at the very top.

        Rookies need to grow up both technically and psychologically (e.g. Vettel), and as I believe Schumacher is already a psychologically mature racer (well that Barrichello assasination attempt aside), he needs time to just understand the new cars. Mercedes can give him that time and then it will be up to him to perform in 2011 or 2012. He’s doing a decent job which quite satisfies me as a spectator.

  13. I think you said it all there Keith : “With Pirelli replacing Bridgestone next year the reset button will be pressed and everyone will be back to square one”
    And I also agree with Dan Thron’s very pragmatic view…

  14. Sorry :( Dan Thorn I meant, apologies…

  15. there’s no way he’ll be able to recreate his Ferrari days, and people shouldn’t be expecting that in the first place..I have a modest hope that he’ll be able to mix it with the frontrunners and show his formidable driving skills instead of his championship-winning skills

    and still..41 years of age is a lot, it was a lot even in the 60s and 70s

  16. At his age, Schumacher needs TC in my opinion.

    He’s too old and will be even older next year. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great to see him in the paddock, and I don’t think he’s tarnishing his reputation as much as people say… he’s just too old and the reactions are not what they were.

    As for the W01, well ok it may have not suited his style, but he is still has *less than half* the points of his team mate, that just isn’t acceptable to even get a drive next year IMHO.

    1. Indeed. For instance Massa has trouble with the tyres and people are calling for him to be replaced. Yet he only has about 20% points less than Alonso.

      Rosberg has 2.5 times as many points as Schumacher. That’s similar to the whipping that Kovalainen received from Hamilton in 2009.

  17. ‘the move to smaller-width front tyres this year which are ill-suited to his driving style’ He raced before with these tyre dimensions between 91 and 98 seasons . Considering how much more money he bring to Formula 1, I would say vote to stay for as long as he wants. However, I never like him ..

    1. those were fat Goodyear tyres, the only resemblance was that they were slicks

  18. The problem is called Rosberg, nothing else.

  19. I’m probably the most anti Schumacher person out there but I hope that he carries on. I’d like to see him battling up the front as he is very capable of it.

  20. you mean hes still in F1 !

  21. Schumi has been and is a class driver. He might be having quite a hard time currently with all the things that has changed in F1 currently compared to what it was in 2006. We can still see the spirit in him which has not reduced. See the way how he starts in every race, he almost makes up 2 places. He’s got the potential and more over the desire for the sport. People like Jordan, Moss just keep critizing things and what they speak does’nt make sense anyhow. My guess is he will stay back and show everyone that age does’nt matters and moreover he’ll be back to his winning ways. Wish him all the best and hope he pays back his critics in a great fashion. He is the living legend of F1 no matter where he stands currently.

  22. Everybody loves a fallen idol. Especially when it has always been a flawed and controversial one like Schumacher. He is a great commercial asset to F1 whether he wins or not. This article is proof enough and I doubt his current perfomance will put a dent to his 7 titles legacy.
    I mean look at all the articles about how great Kimi is! Unless my memory fails me, only a few years ago he was called a drunkard

  23. I think he should go at the end of this season. I know the W01 hasn’t been a great car and he’s struggled with it, but another year in makes him another year older and I simply don’t believe he’s got that extra sparkle in him any more than made him special.

    The hoped-for battle between the old master and the new generation (Hamilton, Vettel) never really materialised and he’s sitting in a seat that could be occupied by a star of the future.

  24. No. He should stay.

    I think he’s getting more stick than he deserves. Pace wise during the race he was pretty much there at Bahrain which I was surprised at so I think he’s still the same.

    Pedro has struggled this year with 3 years out, Felipe was struggling just after 8 months out so I think this year was always going to be a write off for Michael. It may be a frustrating time for him but whenever he speaks he always says about how much he is learning so I think he’s just preparing for next year and has been as soon as he knew the car wasn’t there.

    The tyres are changing next year so that could suit him (I think a few drivers are praying for the Pirelli’s to be good), the car will have his input and he’ll be more at home in the team so things could be much more comfortable.

    He went to Ferrari to challenge himself and maybe he came back for the same thing. He won’t have the same glory days but he can get some good results. The frutstration now will only make it more satisfying.

    I see absolutely no reason why he should walk away now and I actually think just quitting would do his image more harm than staying for another year and seeing what can happen. However, with rumours about Ross Brawn going then perhaps his decision will also be influenced by that and also thinks might not be right for him at Mercedes.

    PS good article and a nice debate. It’s good to read what you all think.

    1. I think Michael knew that he couldn’t be competing competively this year, with being out for 3 years, and the car have being designed towards Jenson who has a completely opposite driving style to Schumi.

      I believe next year we will see Mercedes firmly in the 2nd/3rd team position instead of the 4th/5th the find themselves in now.

      He hasn’t embarassed himself at all, I think we were expecting too much of him simply based on past performances.2011 will be the year to judge whether the real Schumacher is back or not.

      1. By the same reasoning, surely Sauber were wrong to drop de la Rosa? My point is, are we being a bit generous to him because of his past record?

        1. Although De la Rosa never quite had the same past success as Schumacher…

          I think that if he’s assessed as a rookie he’s doing better than most and if he’s assessed as a promising past performer, it’s still too early to tell – because he’s still kind of a rookie

        2. How can you be a bit too generous to a 7 time champ? What did DLR ever do in F1?

          We know Schumacher has an champions edge, but it may be that he needs all the time, tech and support he can get to balance on that edge.

          Much of Schumachers talent lies in his nous to set up a team, a car, a structure around him to make the whole much greater than the sum of the parts. He’s not had much chance to deploy that skill this year.

          DLR has no proof that he even has what it takes to win in such a fashion, let alone dominate.

        3. I think Sauber were too quick to drop de la Rosa personally and yes Michael is getting an easier ride because of his past record.

          If this was anyone other than a world champion (nevermind a 7 time world champion) there would be huge question marks and probably booted out for someone like Sutil.

          Mercedes know what Michael can achieve though, he’s got a great advantage ont he rookies starting out because he’s already shown his worth and the possibility that Michael could come close to his former competitiveness is incredibly appealing. It’s probably Michael’s saving grace and perhaps Pedro’s downfall because he was never that competitive before so there was a lot less faith in him.

          1. I have sneaking suspicions (that are more like 500 mile wide gorges…) That Mercedes isn’t in F1 because of it’s love of the sport and the teams heritage.

            Which leads me to believe they are their for advertising, In which case, they couldn’t have a bitter driver than Schumacher.

        4. Possibly, but as GR said, De La Rosa never showed himself to be a class driver so obviously he can only get worse, whereas Schumacher has shown himself to be a very good driver and so thats why he should stay.

          In regard to your second point if anything I think we are being to harsh on him because we are expecting too much because of his past record

      2. Schumacher said that the 3 year break was good for him. His battery was recharged and he would be ready to compete again.

        In a Bahrain interview he said that the only reason the current drivers looked more competitive was because these cars were so easy to drive.

        Which says that he saw no problem in beating the current crop of drivers nor in the cars (that’s after the wintertests and i think even some Bahrain free practice)

        When Schumacher performed poorly the first few races he commented that the season was still long. He only stopped repeating that halfway through the season when it was painfully obvious that he wouldn’t play any role in this season.

        Schumacher really DID assume he would be competitive this year.

        1. The gap may have helped his motivation but anytime away from a car hurts; the body isn’t as sharp and the cars had changed alot.

          He thought he’d be competitive in the beginning as I remember him saying both titles had to be the aim after the success of 09 but then he abandoned that and talked about learning constantly.

  25. Hope he gives it (or is given) another year. Because he’s way more interesting than the likely replacement, much improved though Sutil is. Who cares what Sutil thinks of team orders, or driving standards in F1?

    And let’s see what sort of car Ross Brawn and the team can make with a massive Mercedes budget. The 2010 car was done with way less money around, and I wonder if Jenson Button saw that coming.

    But if they can make a car good enough for Schumacher to challenge for another title, Rosberg will be world champion…

  26. The recent “trend” of very experienced drivers is not good for the “sport”.

    We need new drivers to be given opportunities. This is not happening right now. Schumi at 41 should go back to retirement and leave the driving to better drivers, he has overstayed his welcome.

    I better way of testing I think would be to remove winter testing and have test on track AFTER the race weekend ( say on a Tuesday, not after all races of course, esp city circuits ). This would certainly give chance for all the teams to gradually improve their cars and for the young drivers to learn the tracks and the cars. The more interested fans would get a chance to monitor the progress of the teams. No in-season testing is bad for the new teams and new drivers( how ironic is that ? ).

  27. 2nd year in a row that Rosberg has had a shiddy team mate!

  28. It’s a difficult call to make, and I think what it really comes down to is whether Schumacher is willing to leverage his reputation against his future success. This year has not been kind to him, and while there is plenty of evidence that the W01 chassis and the Bridgestone tyres have played their part, it’s not the first time Schumacher has driven a car that has been less than stellar – and in years gone by, he’s managed to make something of it. I think Schumacher’s edge is still there, but I think it’s a little blunt.

    What it’s really going to come down to is whether Schumacher is willing to bet on the W02 chassis being better than the W01 and the Pirelli tyres being more-suited to his driving tyle. If one or both are, then it’s very likely we’ll at least see him on the podium, if not the top step. But if the W02 and the tyres are not up to standard, Schumacher could well too irreversible damage to his image and his reputation.

    1. According to that, we might see Schumi decide on the matter after the Abu Dhabi test.

      I think you are pretty much on it. If the tyres don’t do it for him and the chassis proves not to be what he needed at the start of testing, would it be still early enough to get in another guy to drive the mercedes?

      1. The problem then becomes who would replace him? The longer Schumacher waits to decide on his future, the less drivers that will be available to the team. Adrian Sutil has been tipped to take up Schumacher’s seat if Schumacher leaves, but what happens if Sutil signs with Force India or someone else before Schumacher makes up his mind? The worst-case scenario will see Mercedes forced to do a McLaren 2008 and sign a Heikki Kovalainen – someone who is certainly capable, but out of their league, only getting the drive because they were the best-available driver at the time.

        1. Yet Schumacher isn’t doing any better than Kovalainen did against Hamilton.

          Mercedes should be able to pick up any midfielder even if Schumacher decides in december that he quits.

          Perhaps they could put Di Resta on a preliminary contract at Force India so they can take on Sutil if Schumacher decides to leave.

    2. I really can’t see a couple of lackluster seasons at the end of his long and (mostly) illustrious career doing anything to tarnish his reputation or legacy in the sport. IMO, as long as Mercedes is happy with him, and he is enjoying himself, he should continue. At least through next year. If he winds up getting waxed by his team mate again next season in a car that he helped to develope, I’d expect him to then hang up his driving suit and say, “Well, that was fun”. He certainly won’t have to slink away in shame. His accomplishments and records are secure.

  29. Nope. With tyres changing and a better car there’s still a chance for him to show a bit of his old days. I think he should race the next two years. Besides we would seem like a coward running away.

  30. Schumacher should stay, for one main reason: He makes the title mean so much more. If you win a season with Schumacher in it, it adds weight to the achievement. We need to see Schumacher get a car he’s happy with, and be given as much reasonable time to get up to speed with it ( I would argue there’s still more options to be tried yet including next years spec ).

    I hated the Schuey years, but I love him being in F1 right now. If Kimi comes back, we have the best line up in the last 10 seasons, probably the last 20, with all the champions of this millennium taking part.

    I want all these guys on the grid, I want to see Schumacher pulling moves that horrify me, and others that delight me.

    And finally, if it was me in a McLaren, or a Ferrari, or even a Red Bull.. I’d want to know I beat Schumacher every time.

    1. Beat MSC, Nah, too easy, I bet the drivers thought that at the first race but not now.

      1. Tell that to the ones who have to pass him…..

        If they could race against Stewart, Prost, Senna or Fangio they would leap through fire for it. Maybe some current drivers will reach those heights in time. But Schumacher is the only one already there, And I doubt they don’t realise that.

  31. He should stick with it. He seems to genuinely be enjoying himself, is more open to the press and didn’t find something to replace F1 while he was away so why stop.

    However I do find it amusing that all the excuses are coming out “oh the tyres don’t suit him” and “oh the car’s not to his taste”

    If this is true, then it puts a different light on the “legend” of his 7 titles when he had everything in his favour and his teammates were going through the pain of “oh the tyres don’t suit me” and “oh the car’s not to my taste”.

    A truly great driver would drive through the lack of testing, lack of bespoke tyres etc. Lets face it, Nico didn’t have much testing of the Mercedes or have it made the way he wanted. In fact, even since Mercedes changed the car to try to make it more as Schuie likes, Nico’s still outperformed him.

    1. That’s a fair point about Rosberg being in the same boat and not having a problem.

      That’s the issue in a nutshell, isn’t it? Rosberg beat Schumacher. The end!

      1. Absolutely correct.

    2. Not sure if Schumacher is actually enjoying it. There were stories of some insane tantrums in the Mercedes garage.

  32. disagree. although I think comeback of Schumi is a mistake, but he should be given more opportunity. at least one more year. as you know, mercedes have non-competitive cars, and as many said, originally it was made for Button. I believe these car would suit well to Nico, but not to Schumi. and Schumi’s perfomance could be not as good as he was, but also not bad. So, I won’t be suprised if he bounce back 2011.

    1. A driver’s job is to get the best out of whatever equipment he is given. A great driver will take that car and go fast. All of these excuses would be fine for you and me, but seven-time WDC simply needs to get the job done. Nico is the superior driver. If you doubt that, look at the lap times, qualifying positions and accumulated points. The question is why would Mercedes want to pay so much for a driver who can’t deliver what Nico does?

      1. 3 words: to sell cars. :)

  33. Hi Everyone,

    There seems to be a lot of you asking for the old races. Well guess what ? I have them, ALL of them. 1978 to 2010 Every single race and qualifying session ever transmitted on British TV.

    Plus loads of F1 races from the 1930s to 1970s. They are mostly on VHS cassette and DVD. I put a transcoded high quality DVD version of them on a pair of 2000 gb usb hard drives.

    So if anyone would like a FREE complete collection of every single F1 race email me at senna-fan@hotmail.co.uk
    Senna-fan

    1. Sorry, but I think you ought to at least set up your own website if you are offering to sell unlicensed copies of other people’s intellectual property.

  34. schumi is bearing all the critiscms and is quiet,bcoz he knows that he will be competitive in 2011…so i too personally feel he should stay and prove what he is capable of,he has to prove that he is the only legend in f1…
    people talk too much now bcoz they are expecting too much from him now itself…they should understand what f1 is and what changes are there in between 3 yrs….rather i appreciate him that still he is driving in constant speed,make good starts and moreover getting points…
    he is not going off roads or spins or crashes or slower than his teammate by 4 or 5 sec…he has to catch up just 0.5 sec to catch him
    so a car which suits him is enough to blow his rivals and his teammate
    so to all people out here telling he is out of form and must leave….must wait and watch for schumi winning his 8th title…he has returned for that only….

    1. Totally agree with you!!!

  35. everybody said and even wrote bad in the media that he is too old and lot of nonsense in 2005 although really his car was not good…..but he shocked everyone by catching 30 points in the dying stages in 2006 to alonso…..in brazil although he didnt win the crown…he proved nobody can drive like him
    the same story is repeating………………
    2005=2010
    2006=2011

    1. In 2006 Ferrari managed to get the FIA to ban the tuned mass damper as a “moveable aerodynamic device”. Going against their own stewards!

      Obviously that crippled their car enormeously. Even with that handicap for Alonso, Schumacher still only managed to catch up 4 (!) points over the last 7 races (since the ban).

      Your claim that Schumacher caught up 30 points is simply a blatant lie.

      The biggest deficit that Schumacher had to Alonso was 25 points. At the end of the season it was 13 points.

      1. ya its approx 25 to 30 points difference i accept….he catched alonso and both were equal in suzuka,where he was about to win ,but his engine blowed…its not easy to catch 25 points mate when alonso is on a winning car….hope you(patrick) understood…..

        1. Alonso had 2 retiremens due to mechanical problems. That’s how Schumacher managed to catch up.

          Besides Alonso was NOT in a winning car anymore. It had been severely hampered by them having to redesign it’s dampers for mid season.

          So Alonso had to settle for P2 and he had 2 retirements when Schumacher had only 1.

          With all that advantage, Schumacher still only managed to catch up 12 points.

          I certainly do understand.

  36. Michael did not win a championship in the first two seasons with Benetton or Ferrari. It took him time to reshape the car and the team to get the best results. His reactions may be a hundredth or so down since the glory days but his race cunning and need to succeed have not diminished one iota. He’ll do much better next season. If he can handle the begrudgers and his own self doubts he could be a serious contender in 2012. It took Niki Lauda a couple of seasons to get in the groove as well. Even then he only won the title by half a point.

  37. Give him another year. If next year is an improvement then he can take it from there.

  38. He should stay.
    He’s having a lot of fun competing. That was not always the case in his Ferrari.
    And besides that, you’ve gotta give the new kids a chance to play with grandpa.

  39. I said he should stay, Even if you don’t like him, you can’t say he isn’t good for the sport.

    I can’t say I’m unbiased, So me saying this might seem hollow, But I think, F1 is something he must enjoy, he didn’t come back because others told him to, he did it because he wanted to. He must realise, why he came back, and if the same feelings would come back, and then realise that if he leaves again now, he will not get another shot.

    I think the question should be, will Merc keep him?
    And then it gets harder.

    1. HounslowBusGarage
      21st September 2010, 13:05

      I was scrolling towards the foot of the comments to make exactly the same point.
      It’s not just SCH’s decision is it? Supposing Haug takes him to one side and says “Y’know Michael, the Board think it might be time . . .” or even Brawn saying “Well, you gave it your best shot Michael”.
      If he’s not successful in these last few races this season, and if ROS continues to outshine him, the Team are going to start wondering about the worth of a past-champ on the team. Good for headlines, but maybe not so good for results.
      Personally, I think they all took a huge gamble on his comeback – and it hasn’t been a winner, has it? Why should it be a winning gamble next year?

      1. Because the 2010 car was designed on a Brawn budget while still competing for the title, this year the 2011 car is being designed on a Mercedes budget and most definetely not competing for the title. This will make the car better and Schumi can have the car designed and built in a manner that will suit him.

        I think 2011 will be Mercedes deciding year in whether to keep him on or not, because with the new regs coming in next year it could prove a chance for Schumi to shine again.

    2. Schumacher came back because he missed competing for a championship. He’s not really getting that now.

  40. I agree with PM down the line on this one. For those wingeing about “new drivers being good for the sport” then blame the testing ban.

    Indeed, MSC has been away for 3 years… “for sure” the lack of testing has hurt the driver on the grid with the 2nd most experience in the sport enormously because he always tested, tested and then tested some more.

    I’m trying to remember a comment from ESPN when I was in the States. It might have been from David Hobbs. While in Park Ferme, Mika was looking at the MSC’s Ferrari… I think that Hobbs commented that (pharaphrase) “Well when MSC looks at a Macca… He knows what he was looking at.” Well it was something like that.

    MSC knows F1 from the ground up and he knows how to win.

  41. I have a gut feeling that Schuey will stay and get that win before Nico, despite Nico out performing Schuey for so long.

    1. Chalky, man was born to win and he knows it. At this point in his career he may be fighting himself more than he is fighting the car. I think he still has something to prove and who knows what that could be.

      I certainly don’t want him to end up like Mario Andretti, racing on his past laurels and collecting a big pay day and producing nothing except a draw at the gates for fans to see him.

      Yeah, that was brutal but that’s how I felt about the last 10 years of Mario’s racing career.

      1. ‘the man’ Sorry about the typos but it wouldn’t be an Alex Bkk comment without one ;)

  42. In 10-20 years time Schumacher’s time at Mercedes is likely to be remembered as a brief but unhappy footnote to his career, based on present form.

    After all, say “Alan Jones” and it’s hard to avoid thinking of him battling to victories in a Williams. Likewise Nigel Mansell. The fact that both drivers made abortive comebacks (Jones for Arrows and Haas, Mansell for McLaren) is probably an afterthought. It certainly is for me because I’ve been following F1 long enough to see what came before the ignominious end to their careers.

    So Schumacher has little to lose by continuing as a Mercedes driver into 2011, even if he then quits a few races in. And if Mercedes’ work on the W02 is already progressing well, while the title battle hampers the efforts of its main rivals, it’s always possible that Schuey could go out on a high note.

  43. I really didn’t like Schumacher back in his Ferrari days, but after he left I kind of missed him and was pleased that he came back. For me the disappointing aspect is that he’s not fighting at the front, I didn’t think he’d win the championship but I thought that he’d at least be on the podium regularly.

    Still, it’s clear that the car isn’t a winner, which at least partly explains his perfomance. I think he should stick around for next year to see if he can improve and help Mercedes develop a better car – which we know is one of his skills. If he continues to underperform next year though, he should call it quits.

  44. I think that part of Old Schuey’s disadvantage was that he had the three years off with very little racing mileage in that period, apart from the odd ROC and his falling off motorbikes.
    Most of the other has-beens we could mention (Villeneuve, Mansell, Brundle, DC etc), never seem to have stopped driving once they left F1, so a few could rightly claim to step back into a car if they were asked.
    As for Schuey’s future, I have to agree with Keith, I think he will put 2010 down to experience and basically start again in 2011, as thats his nature, even though I would personally like to see another youngster in the car instead.

  45. I agree with the article. I think he should be given a chance like anybody else. If things pick up for Mercedes GP next year, which i’m confident they will, then he is still a great figure to have in the car.

    It will be interesting to see him and Rosberg battle it out next yar.

  46. I’m in two minds on this one. He is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. If he does retire, it will be a sad way to end his career. But if he doesn’t, then he has no excuse if he still isn’t doing well next year, other than he has lost it. And to be honest, while he could be more competitive in 2011, he will be 42 and simply not at the level that he used to be.

    Of course, with hindsight the best thing would have been never to come back in the first place. It does have a wiff of a midlife crisis about it. But he did come back, and now he is in a very difficult position.

    1. I don’t think he has to ‘retire’ as such from F1 though. Ferrari missed a trick when they didn’t appear to use him on their young drivers scheme, and I think that he could do a very good job with the Mercedes version too.
      Also, theres no reason why he couldn’t be part of the test and development group at Mercedes, giving feedback during car development.
      He is in a good position to run a GP2, GP3 or similar team, where his expertise would be put to good use with young drivers, and of course, he does part own a Karting team, and he could do a lot of help there too.
      I find it very odd he never took any of these routes when he ‘retired’ before, or that nobody managed to persuade him into a Le Mans car, a DTM car, or over to America (I know he has said things at various times about the last two, but he never drove them did he?)

  47. F1 is more interesting and exciting with Schumacher in it. You only have to look at Hungary to see that.

  48. Schumacher should quit immediately. His driving is outright pathetic, even a rookie Kobayashi is so much better than him. Brawn should ditch his old friend and look for a better driver straight-a-way. Kimi should be the driver for Mercedes in 2011 as he was a fast and agressive driver. Schumacher’s inability to adapt and cope with a car said to be designed for Button just prove that he had lost almost all his formidable skills during his Ferrari days.

  49. I answered No… as of now. He should test the 2011 car first before making a decision. And I’m guessing he will do just that.

    1. That would be leaving it very late in the day…

      So you’re Ross Brawn, you’re wondering what your driver line-up is going to be next year and Schumacher tells you he won’t make his mind up until he’s driven the car in February. Do you go along with it, or tell him to take a hike and stick Sutil or Heidfeld in the car?

      1. I don’t think they’re keen to fire Michael to be honest. They’re letting him take his time on this one. I’m guessing they’re hoping he’ll be good enough. Better if he decides to quit in February rather than letting him start the season and let him have rubbish races before firing him anyway midseason.

        1. Although I see where you’re coming from here. An earlier decision point for Michael is that week-long Abu Dhabi test with Pirelli. Perhaps he might make his decision based on that.

          1. Or have Mercedes already made up their minds and are keeping quiet about it until the end of the season for PR value?
            If they announce a new driver too soon, they might find themselves losing fans and sponsors…..

  50. It’s not a quit or not quit issue. The issue at present is whether he deserves to stay in that Mercedes car. The answer to that is no. He can go elsewhere, though the options seem very limited.

    At Mercedes he is not getting the potential out of the car. We have been hearing excuses since Spain about how he is going to come good. The car was even redone to his liking mechanically. The best you can say is that he needs to go to a team that will chuck out the car and redo it to totally his taste. He has lost the right to do that at Mercedes.

    Unlike in his better days, there is no room to jump to a better team, because the front of the grid is jammed with sensational drivers. And the middle and back of the pack have solid drivers like Sutil, Kovalainen, and Rosberg.

    One option for him is to field a new team. He probably has more money in his bank account today than Virgin and HRT combined. He could jump in the car and then hire Maldonado or whoever to drive behind him in the other car.

  51. I think if 2011 goes poorly for him and he can’t find his old pace then it is a good time to bow out. In theory, he’s already hurt his reputation by coming back with lukewarm results, a full season (after having time to help develop and hone the car) will make him look like he truly is over the hill.

  52. Surely the guy has to stay. If he leaves now his reputation will be in tatters. By giving it a go next year will prove his has got the stomach for the fight.

    I feel that this is his biggest challenge ever, and while I don’t think he will ever win the championship again – the competition is just too strong compared to his ‘glory’ days, a victory in 2011 will prove a suitable opportunity for him to slip out the back door and let the current generation move on.

  53. There is no way that Schumacher is going to “re-retire” before the end of his contract. (Unless Mercedes wants him out and he says it was his own decision to save face.)

    MS has said over and over again this year that he’s having a blast. He needs to race. He could retire again, and go back to racing shifter karts. Or he can get paid millions by Mercedes to race F1 cars (and shifter karts on the side). What sounds like a better deal to you?

    Based on observing him around the kart track, and on everything he’s said since coming back, I don’t think he gives a damn about his reputation. And I think Mercedes is quite a lot happier to have Schumacher driving for them and scoring 46 points as opposed to Sutil scoring more. Average Joe German ain’t gonna buy a Mercedes because of Rosberg or Sutil, but Schumie still moves markets.

    1. While I think that’s true, that’s also kinda sad – if they’re keeping Schumi around even if they know he won’t win titles, then they probably won’t win any titles in F1…

  54. He’s been on his bike again today:

    Schumacher back on bikes at Sachsenring

  55. Schumi, please go away, you have demonstrated how good you are by winning 7 titles, let other people drive, your being in F1 is boring.

  56. I think Schuey has had a lot of unnessessary stick.
    He rejoined F1 partly because he was convinced by ppl that the championship winning Brawn (now mercedes gp) car was capable of winning things which it clearly isnt.
    The car was also tailored to Rosberg in the beginning which showed in the points difference. Add to that that he is getting on a bit and cannot have the reflexes, phisical ability ect of a youngester 20 yrs his minor.
    The car was developed atrociously and the design is flawed. Plus it has to be said all this has amounted to a lack of motivation by him which is fully understandible.I think if he can get heavily involved in the design and manufacture of next seasons car then he can seriously outperform his team mate on a regular basis. I strongly feel that if he has the slightest hint that next season his car is going to be like this seasons, he will quit for good.

  57. and i totally agree with wdf2

  58. He’s had a great and long career that was full success, now let someone else have a go at their chance rather than just sticking around virtually as a hobby.

  59. No way, just give him the car of his licking & watch him go.

    1. I missed it.

      THE SCHUMACHER STORY ISN’T OVER YET

  60. Schumacher should continue racing as long as he feels like. Over 15 seasons of racing, he has cleared a big legion of fans and equally huge number of anti-fans. A season of bad results or very good results is not going to change anything.
    Clearly, Michael misses the unlimited testing and unquestioned numero uno status, but as a fan, I trust him to overcome these issues.

    Don’t forget, He is still as ruthless as he was before. Monaco overtake of Alonso and the unforgiving block of Barrichello are evidence of that.

  61. Schumacher is not performing well now, but it won’t taint his achievments.

    The field now is more competitve largely due the fact that the cars’ performance gaps are not as wide; not because the younger drivers (Vettel Hamilton Kubica) are better.

    Button beat Barrechelo by a relatively slim margin last year and we all know how good Barrechelo was when he’s teaming up with Schumcher (ok, sometimes there were team orders but can Rubens score second everytime Michael scores a win?). And this year’s championship leader Webbber raced with Schumaher for many years, and we can judge his ability from his performance against Heifield and Couthard.

    Schumacher may still underperform next year, but to say Schumacher never faced real competition during his prime years is a bit hasty.

    1. He had a car 2 seconds a lap faster than everyone else, bespoke tyres created specifically for him, did the most testing and had team orders in his favour. Hardly the same competition he’s facing this year.

      Let’s not forget in 2003 he didn’t have the car advantage and only won the title by 2 points from Kimi with no reliability troubles. Kimi lost one win (Europe) and Montoya 2 wins (Austria and Japan) from breakdowns so both would have beaten him had they not broken down, showing that when things were equal, he wasn’t as dominate as the record books suggest.

      1. Arguably that was the trade off- the Mclaren and Williams were faster, but more fragile. This has haappened in many seasons over the years.

        Plus Montoya only got a sniff of the lead in Austria becuase Schumacher’s car caught fire in the pits when he was leading. And you’ve not considered the points Schumacher lost at Australia and Germany due to bargeboard and tyre failures.

        1. Montoya was on another planet in Germany and Schumacher was struggling from the start, and going off track in Australia caused his barge board issue so that fits in the self-inflicted category along with him and Montoya parking in the wall in Brazil.

          The point is he dominated when he had no competition and was about equal top when he had competition. This year he again has competition and doesn’t a car advantage so it should be no surprise he’s not driving off into the distance.

  62. Mercedes are just getting to the end of this season so they can release their new car which should be good so i think Msc should stay.

  63. No way. I think if he quits now it would seriously undermine his legacy.

  64. what will happened schummy drive this year for red bull everbody say a boring he s back so, what

  65. schummy is good ia m not schummy fan but car is so slow, if he have car good next season he fight for 1 place, vettel this year loose 4 ppositon if schummy drive this year for r bull he will be 1 this year with 8o points more then hamilton.

  66. i think that schummy hates alonso why? exparot do you know why? i think that schummy have only 3 enemies 1 hill 2 villeneuve 3 montoya, what he had with alonso?

    1. Me no agree gideon ;)

  67. look singapore korea and abudabi maybe they will be boring race but suzuka and interlagos will be good , only this season is good 2 race turkey with spectacular fight webber vs vettel and hamilton vs button thhat is the race and belgium always intersant rain and crashes. i hope that iam right. keith are you mansell fan?

  68. I feel there is no reason for Schumi to quit. This car had been a dog since the get go, doesnt Suit Schumi at all so from the early going this was going to be a impossible season, Only glimps of a stron podium we had was Austrailia until Alonso spun and took him off and ruined his car.

    Although this squad since its tyrell days have only produced 1 good car last term, funded by a huge Honda budget next season will be interesting to see what kinda of car they can produce with Schumi driving on the team behind the sceans

  69. If he leaves now he’ll be last remembered for a bad last season. If he continues next year and the same happens, nothing will change and he’ll be remembered the same way. Now if he makes a good/great 2011 season everybody will forget 2010 and think the champion is back.

  70. He should quit in 2012!
    2011 is his year to show what he has left.
    If he sucks in 2011, he can relinquish his seat for the following year.
    If he runs away now, he’ll look like a quitter and coward.

  71. I’m not being funny but why the hell should they try and mould next years car to suit schumacers style? He is getting hammered by his teamate in every grand prix. Don’t forget rosberg is far from happy with the car aswell, maybe schui is not as good as we once thought!

  72. interesting read 5 pages of it, just shows how much interest there is in Michael,
    he stirs the imagination regardless of whether you like him or not or if he is winning or losing,
    Michael is part of F1 and always will be let him continue, so we can have these debates.
    if he can get on the podium just once next year it will make a difference.
    long live the King.
    personally i don’t like him.

    1. Well summed up. Love him or hate him, he gets interest in F1.

      Personally I don’t like his on track tactics and don’t think he’s as good as the record books suggest, but he’s still a top driver, won’t have slowed down much in old age and still has plenty to offer F1.

  73. I think by now he is sort of up to speed on F1 in 2010, but can’t get his past of testing the car and improving it until it suits him perfectly out of his system – hence he is not able to get the best out of it as Rosberg is doing, but his Spa race must have given him some comfort that he can still race.

    Others have already said it in these five pages above, but I would not be surprised to learn that Schumacher is using the rest of this season as testing mileage.

    He won’t care about anything below 5th in the WDC, and that isn’t reachable this year. If he can get his understanding of the 2011 car even close to what he had before at Ferrari, I think he will feel he can show what he is worth next year.

    If that fails, he will likely stop after 2011, but if he manages to win races and get into the top five next year, with a car that keeps improving through the season, he will want to try again in 2012. I don’t know if he will win the WDC again in either 2011 or 2012, but I would not be surprised if he can at least get a shot at it.

    If the car is good, he and Rosberg should be able keep Mercedes in the WCC fight next year and the year after, at least.

    It will be interesting to see how many other teams are at that level, I hope for at least three, but could see five or six (add Renault, perhaps Williams) teams possibly regularly fighting for very good points.

  74. As by way of example. I play football and at about 26 I played the best I ever have. At 31 I had a renaisance that lasted till I was 35. Since then, I’m 40 on saturday, its been a gentle decline but one which is excarbated by the 23 year olds I play against. Its not that I am 39 it is that they are now 15 to 20 yurs younger.

    Schumacher is no more likely to get better than I am.

    Time. Its a good pink floyd song and a bad accompanyment to sport.

  75. yes he should & i would say he should not even take part in this week ends race & announce his full time retirement

  76. Should he stay? Fairly indifferent.

    Do I think he’ll ever be as competitive as he was again?
    No. So many of the advantages he enjoyed he no longer has.

    -Ferrari had a test track,and both he and Badoer spent hours upon hours testing their car too a degree no other team could really afford to. Now there’s no testing.
    -BAR/Honda was not that good a team. There’s not too much to suggest 2009 was anything more than a very expensive fluke which was helped significantly by the new rules.
    -Nor will his team have tyres designed specifically for them in the way Bridgestone did for Ferrari. It’s very hard to overstate how much of an advantage that is, given the importance of tyres to a car. (And also, the relative lack of testing the new tyres will have)
    -Significantly different political landscape.
    -No subservient team mate.

    I’d say 2001-2004 the cards were dealt rather significantly in his favour before you even start considering talent. He no longer has such an outside advantage, and so I’d expect him to not be able to dominate in the same way.

  77. Who said he was leaving??? He’s not going any where…

    1. Eddie Jordan said so

  78. i hope merc giv him a good car next year i personaly dislike shumi but would love to see how he copes with the likes of vettel webber n lewis and co i enjoy watching him fail but would love to see him have a chance and have some real battles up front not midfeild, any one agree?

  79. end of season they should stick em all in equal machinery see hu comes out on top profits to charity i bet it would be a sell out wherever it was,but big pockets bernie wont let that happen,the race of champions thing isnt realy the same as a full gp or even a kart race

  80. Absolutely not. If you can forget for a moment that he’s a 7-time WDC, he’s been close enough to the supremely underrated Rosberg on a number of occasions to prove that he’s good enough to be on the grid, and should (hopefully) continue to get better. I’m just hoping that Merc is competitive enough next year to allow both drivers to mix it with the frontrunners. Add to that a hopeful return to form from Felipe, who is starting to drive more like his old self, and we could have an even better championship battle than the one currently raging.

  81. This has probably been said in the other 150 comments, but my feeling is he has got nothing to loose so he might as well give himself the chance of turning it around. If he quits now the come back was a disaster, nothing can change that.

    If he goes on next year he might find some form and have a win or two, and all of a sudden the comeback isn’t looking so bad. Worst case scenario is he still struggles and bails out after two years, which I think is probably no worse than calling it quits this year.

    As others have said, he is solid, if not spectacular, he is being a reasonable number 2 driver, which is far better than Mansel managed!

  82. Not at all. I say like him or hate him, the most successful man in F1 on paper should have as much as a right as he can to stay in the sport as long as someone has him. I also think Keith’s account of why he shouldn’t quit hit the nail on the head.

  83. I don’t think Schumacher has ever made a decision about racing based on reputation. Why would he start now?

    He probably will be quicker next year. I want to see that. But I don’t think Schumacher cares what I want to see, nor should he. He should do whatever the hell he wants to do. If he wants to drive a Mercedes F1 car next year, and Mercedes want to let him, then he should do it, regardless of the outcome.

  84. I am a Schumi fan going back to Benetton (and for that matter, a Ferrari fan going back to Lauda – yes, I suffered through the eighties with that team). Having said that, watching Schumi this year reminds me of watching Michael Jordan “comeback” with the Washington Wizards (nee’ Bullets). ALL ATHLETES – when you retire, stay out, enjoy life. Feel free to come back as a consultant, team manager, or even owner. But please, PLEASE, do not try to re-enter a sport for ANY REASON. Thanks you.

    BTW – Beckham, time for you to hang it up as well.

    1. So Lauda shouldn’t have come back either then?

      1. Actually it took Lauda a couple of years to beat his team mate and to win a title again too.

  85. The issue of the testing ban was raised in the original article. I think this should be reconsidered. I can’t help thinking that complex computer simulations are more expensive than a few days on an old track somewhere.

    1. I can’t help thinking that complex computer simulations are more expensive than a few days on an old track somewhere.

      I doubt it – you don’t have to hire a track (Ferrari excluded), run one of the most expensive cars in the world and pay your test personnel to run a simulator.

  86. I am convinced that Schumacher should stay in F1 for next season. His unquestioned experience in F1 with aggression is racing will surely give us a lot of emotions next season

  87. Were Rosberg to have teamed up with a somewhat experienced but relatively unaccomplished F1 driver (say Algusuari, Buemi or Petrov, for example) and that driver were to only have scored the same points that Schumacher has, he would have been written off as having limited potential. Schumachers excuses do more to undermine his previous success than they do to explain his current situation.

    Massive testing, submissive teammates, vast Ferrari resources and substantial input into car design are things few drivers ever benefit from. Yet they are being used as excuses to explain his lack of form, and explanations for his previous stellar form.

    Was he a great driver? Of course. Is he a great driver? Perhaps. But he is now competing on more equal footing than in the days when he won so handily. As the comparisons only serve to undermine the integrity of what he accomplished before, because is appears that all the advantages he enjoyed significantly contributed to his success. Without those advantages, he is simply a great driver among other great drivers.

  88. I don’t care about SCH (not MSC!!!) anymore. I was his biggest fan the early days with Jordan. I cried with
    happiness in his first championship, and second, and third, and……..seventh. I cried at monza 2006. But don’t forget that Felipe was beating him in 2006 season. Now i don’t want him to drive anymore. He is beaten by Rosberg from the start. Next year he will be even slower than Rosberg. I am sure of it.

    For 2011 I want to see young guys filled with passion! I want to see guys like Karun, Senna, Roman (yes! he is super fast!) inside a fast car! And i am sure that the new MERC will be one. For SURE!!!!

    1. Yes and there are some good young drivers coming through. Watch out for Daniel Ricciardo an up and coming Australian driver. Formula 3 Renault Red Bull driver.

  89. I hope he carries on next year but I do not expect the results to be any different to this year. He cannot help develop the car because he gets sick in the simulators. Brawn stopped developing last year’s car early to ensure this year’s car was going to be a “winner”. Both drivers were new to the car so they really started fairly equally (Bahrain there was not such a large gap between them). Rosberg has simply improved more than Schumacher during the season despite the team attempting to change the car to Michael’s driving style.

    Much of the Brawn’s early season success was the double diffuser which came from one of the Super Aguri designers. So you could say the Brawn had Super Aguri DNA sadly the goods genes did not passed onto Mercedes. If anything I thing next year could even be worse because Renault (and even Williams?) will be up to speed.

    1. i just wana c him toe to toe with lew

  90. 2 great drivers in a flawed car that reflects the amount of dev work put into the 09 car towards the end of the season.

    A driver who tests the last thousandth of a second out of each lap in a radically new car that weighs 150kg more than anything he’s driven before, on skinnier wings and tyres, who’s not allowed to test.

    I’m still surprised by how much he’s struggling, but if you think about what Jenson got out of the Honda with all those years of budget (ie sweet fa) you have to start thinking that it’s not MSC who should worry about his employment into 2011, it’s Brawn.

    Having said that, what if he comes back next year and he’s still pants? Does he risk it?

  91. Dispite an inferior car he has still managed a 4th., this surely indicates that he still has ability. Hope he does’nt ‘throw the towel in’

  92. Con……..how in the hell could another poor season harm his ‘earned’ reputation, he will always be one of the best, don’t be so fickle.

  93. In my opinion, it has nothing to do with the cars, not sure why so many make excuses for him, ‘rose tinted specs’ maybe. In the 90s he jumped straight in a F1 car and was very competitive so the car argument holds no creditability for me.

    Apart from I’d rather see a younger driver with potential in F1 I really don’t care either way if he stays or goes.

    It is a fact that reaction times seriously increase in your late 30s onwards, there are lots of studies on it, and it makes little / no difference how physically fit you are.

    http://www.sizes.com/people/reaction_time.htm

    This is going to be a serious disadvantage to overcome.

    Realistically the only chance he has is if next years car is 0.5 – 1 second faster than any other car, and then he still has to beat his team mate.

    In a bit of a freak race I can see him getting a win (or two), but IMO he won’t ever win another championship, in some ways I hope I’m wrong, but to me that would prove that the current crop of drivers are nowhere as good as we think they are. Given an anyway near equal playing field a 40+ year is not going to beat the best late 20 and 30 year old drivers in the world.

    1. Yes, the older drivers would back off, but Hamilton, Vettel etc would’nt think of it. And believe me, this does not always make the young reckless driver a better driver.

  94. I am no fan of Schumacher and never was. However if he was in the Red car i am convinced he would be as good as Alonso. He still has the ability, i dont like what he did to Phillipe but think that frustration got the better of him ( this was always there with Michael). Put him in Mark Webbers car and i think he would be better than poor little Seb.

    1. if he was in the Red car i am convinced he would be as good as Alonso

      So how well would Rosberg do in a Ferrari?

      1. Rosberg is ready for winning championship. I followed his progress a bit even before F1 and I tell you Rosberg is not as noob as Vettel is.

  95. Schumi shouldn’t quit.

    1. Comoon he’s the guy who won the most championships – so yes I would like to see him driving even in Hispania if nothing better because he has that special something whatever he’s doing in F1.
    In Red Bull he would be winning races, in Hispania he would be the most key person for car’s development. In Mercedes it’s somewhere in the middle, see nr 2.

    2. He’s bad results this year – I would weight them as 70% it’s Mercedes’ bad car and 30% it’s Schumi’s bad form.
    Although if Mercedes would have better car it would be Rosberg who will be winning more than Schumi because he still needs a year to adopt to the technically much different car than he had few years earlier.

    3. I love watching Schumi being worst than Rosberg because the only thing I kinda hate in Schumi is that he was too arrogant because his team mates had to bend over backwards on demand. Also few incidents with Hill, Villeneuve, Coulthard… That’s why I don’t take him as the greatest champion of all times if he has the most wins.

    4. Rosberg is similar driver to Schumi in terms of car’s technical knowledge, and it’s so nice to see and compare veteran Schumi and noob-ish Rosberg in the same team, which one makes better car setup. I guess that’s what I would like to see next year IF Mercedes makes significant improvement on the next car.

  96. Ofcourse he should stay and fight. I dont understand people who say MS should quit – they want him to take such a cowardly step? Unbelievable.
    Go Shumi!

    1. Argh, I voted yes instead of no. I am sorry Keith. Take that one vote on yes as invalid.
      (Time for a morning coffee me thinks:)

      1. This is my theory on how Boris Johnson got elected mayor of London.

  97. I think Rosberg is much much better than most people realise. He’s never had the car to show it, and he still doesn’t. But it must have been a massive shock for him to learn late on that Schumi would be partnering him. Rosberg knew only too well that Schumi would push for #1 status. So Rosberg has done all in his power to make it impossible for the team to give Schumi the #1 status, by consistently being better.

    I think the car is a pig. I just think Rosberg is making the most of it.

    Schumi is not suddenly rubbish. No way. But I just think Rosberg is doing much more with the car at the moment. Because Rosberg is one of the best talents F1 has got.

    I don’t see Schumi winning another champ. But I do see him doing much better in 2011. And there is no way he will give up. Not a chance.

  98. Being a huge schumacher fan.I feel its high time he quit. In-spite of all the technical reasons for him not to do well .We have to agree that the current title contenders are actually very good drivers and schumi is struggling to keep up with roseberg.

    After his return i am not able to compare him to the greats like i used to before.And more over anti schumacher fans are making a mockery of hardcore schumi fans like me.

    Schumi please quit.

  99. Regarding whether or not any driver should or should not “quit” is not a judgement call for anyone here to make.

    1. I agree. The question should have been
      a.) Would you quit if you were in Michael Schumacher’s shoes?
      or
      b.) Would you be happy to see MS quit?
      (My answer is no for both.)

  100. The basic reason for schumacher’s failure is due to lack of pace of mercedes……also don’t forget that this car was originally tailored for Jenson Button who likes his car to understeer(Jenson himself said this) which is not at all compatible for schumacher’s style of driving…..he likes a car which is much more pointly……..so what i say is, give him some more time….next year all teams and drivers are starting from the scratch……i am very much sure that he can beat rosberg next year!!!!!!!!

    1. Well said PIYUSH… what all these ‘pea brained’ Schui knockers in here do not seem able to grasp is that each car is built around the individual driver ie body shape, and other set up preferences. Schumacher does not have this luxury, he is virtually in somone elses car and still has been able to get a 4th and is never at the back. So i say, just watch out for next season, there will be a lot of ‘egg on faces’ especially all these anti Schui posters. Incidentially, i am not a Schui fan, my man is Mark Webber.

  101. That did it for me when hamilton moan about getting past schumacher and said he was agressive, i know schumacher will drive into you, but hamilton has had a few bumps also,mmm, so i thought great some one finaly wont just let hamilton bully his way through, ha

  102. Just read an article and it seems like Michael is very enthusiastic about the next years at Mercedes, remembering it took four years in the Bennetons and five in the Ferraris before we won a championship.
    Personally I think he did a pretty good job so far. Rosberg is the most underrated driver in the grid, he’s cool as Button and fast as Vettel, runs the best line in the tracks and would give any top driver a run for it’s money. Exchange Schumi for Sutil or Heidfield or any rookie at Mercedes and they’d get raped big time like Kovalainen paired with Hamilton.

  103. Messages say something, poll says another.

    Typical cases where whinning minority makes them heard while the real people thinks another way.

  104. Yeah David L, i hope that happens and these critics get their answers next year. I don’t why everytime they single out schumacher and criticize him for anything he does……in fact i believe these criticism is the proof of how successful schumi is…….anyways for this years championship….with schumi not in contention….i am supporting Jenson…..but i will be happy even if mark wins because he has thoroughly deserved it.Jenson and Mark have shown how to achieve greater things by not being team’s favourite unlike Alonso,Vettel & Hamilton!!!!!!

  105. If he goes this season in 2010, he will be happier as the media and persons like Eddie Jordan critizing him, formula 1 is turning so bitchy he will be better off than working with people like that. To me they are not to be trusted and they are all wicked, the only honest person out there is Ross Brawn as for the others they are spiteful.

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