Should Schumacher keep on racing?

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Michael Schumacher, Mercedes, Singapore, 2012Michael Schumacher is out of a drive at Mercedes for 2013 following today’s announcement that Lewis Hamilton will join the team.

What now for the seven-times world champion? With no seats left at the top teams should he look for a way to stay in F1 or head back into retirement?

For

The third year of Schumacher’s comeback has been his most promising by far. In the seven races he and Rosberg have finished, Schumacher was ahead in all bar one of them.

His position in the championship does not do justice to his performances. Earlier in the season he lost a stack of points due to various car problems. He began the year holding third place in Melbourne until his gearbox gave up. In China a problem during his pit stop meant he had to retire having been running second.

Schumacher has been on an upward trajectory since returning to Formula 1 and he shouldn’t stop now.

Against

Schumacher was criticised after his embarrassing shunt during the Singapore Grand Prix in which he took out Jean-Eric Vergne. It earned him a ten-place grid drop for the next race as he’d had a similar crash at the Spanish round.

In the three years since he returned to F1 with Mercedes he has failed to emulate the success he enjoyed at Ferrari and Benetton.

With the top seats at Red Bull, McLaren and Mercedes taken for 2013, and a move to Ferrari looking unlikely, he would not be able to drive for a top team, further diminishing his chance of being able to compete for wins.

I say

Rather too much has been made of Schumacher’s mistakes this year. Even when he was at his peak, Schumacher was prone to the occasional blunder, usually when battling in the midfield. In 2004, his most successful season of all, he had scrappy races in China and Brazil.

Schumacher clearly has the appetite to continue racing and although his options are increasingly limited, it’s possible he could. One option might be to ‘complete the circle’ by taking Sergio Perez’s place at Sauber, having been associated with them when they ran Mercedes’ sports car team in the early nineties.

But for a grid penalty and a fuel pressure problem he might have won the Monaco Grand Prix this year. I don’t think a driver who is capable of that needs to hang up his helmet just yet.

You say

Should Schumacher continue in F1? Cast your vote and have your say in the comments.

Should Schumacher keep on racing in F1?

  • Yes (63%)
  • No (37%)

Total Voters: 452

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120 comments on Should Schumacher keep on racing?

  1. I’d like to say that Schumacher should keep racing – his pace has been fairly good this year – but I just don’t see the point in it to be honest. James Allen raised the point a few days ago that there isn’t space in F1 for new drivers to get through, and I think that if he moves to a midfield team like Sauber, he’d be slowing down the entire sport. It’s painful to see my former hero get shoved out like this, but I think he should cut his losses now and retire.

  2. I voted no. He is improving, why stop now? If he continues to win races, then any move would make it nearly impossible and he should retire. Knowing he has limited options if he remains it’ll be because he wants to race. As much as I’d like to see him at Sauber it would be a shame to see such a successful driver battling in the midfield every time, unless the team produce an even better car than this year’s. He returned only because he was going to Mercedes, now that he’s out will he continue? Have these 3 years brought him back and have they renewed his passion for racing? If yes he should remain.
    However, I’d like to see Gutierrez in that Sauber. If he can’t take it then I’d like Michael to do so.

  3. SubSailorFl said on 28th September 2012, 21:15

    Let see Schuey go back and run for Peter Sauber again. His cars have done quite well for not being a top team. I still think he can do it, and if a team will have him he needs to be out there. He needs to decide when he is done.

  4. cduk_mugello (@cduk_mugello) said on 28th September 2012, 21:26

    The standard argument against Schumacher staying is that he’s constantly damaging his legacy, race by race. I don’t buy that. That might carry some sway back at the end of 2010, but it’s gone way past that. Sensible commentators can separate the post-2006 Schumacher from his predecessor, so to speak, and appreciate him for what he is; a decent F1 driver.

    In my book Schumacher’s 7 championships and 91 victories earn him the right to stay in F1 as long as he wishes, almost like when someone gets given a key to a city. As long as teams want him he should carry on driving.

    For Schumi fans, you don’t know how amazing it is to see him still driving in F1. It’s unbelievably incredibly fantastic and words can’t even describe it! Picture Hamilton staying in F1 until 2028 and you might start to get the idea! If driving for Sauber brings another season for me to enjoy watching my boyhood hero race, then I hope it comes off.

  5. gavmaclean (@gavmaclean) said on 28th September 2012, 21:28

    Great post, it’s summed up the Schumacher situation perfectly. He used to be the guy I loved to hate in the 1990s, but now he is my connection to the 1990s and want him to continue selfishly because of that. In my eyes he is the greatest competitor in F1, not due to his records but due to how he has raised the bar to be a world champion in F1 so high. Fitness, knowledge, driver input, media participation, etc, have all been raised so high that it would be no surprise if he was blown out of the water by the Alonsos, Vettels and Hamiltons. But he still has the speed and deserves better than, ironically, being put in a position vaguely similar to Barrichello.

  6. bosyber (@bosyber) said on 28th September 2012, 21:39

    I think he still enjoys the racing (though not sure if that was true just after Singapore), and should keep doing it with the results he has been getting. Maybe in a slightly less top team, he feels less urge to overdo it, or maybe he will become more erratic, that is a risk.

    But I don’t think a guy who has 7 WDC’s, despite misgiving I have about the circumstances of some of them, need worry about his reputation as a racer. He just needs to find a team that allow him to fight – maybe Williams to make up for him stealing their 94 WDC ;)
    (right, MAL and BOT seem likely there, so probably not)

    Would be “interesting” to see him at Sauber. they could learn to be a bit more cut-throat at times I’d say! Ferrari would be cute, Massa stepping out to return the favour to his old friend? Aww. But don’t really see MSC as ALO’s backing …

    • I see no reason why he couldn’t end up at Williams tbh. Lets say Williams decide to get Bottas some experience before they stick him in their car and do a deal with HRT for free gearboxes or something. That way they could take on Schumacher (who I’m sure would be willing to drive for peanuts if its a drive that he wants) and who better to help Maldonado overcome his wild streak? As I recall Massa used to be a bit wild too

  7. Please Micheal, join Sauber, invest some money instead of earning, and show your “friend” Ross Brawn that he is the one getting old.

  8. AndrewMansell (@andrewmansell) said on 28th September 2012, 21:49

    Schumacher should keep on racing kart, and let one seat to a young driver in F1.

  9. I like his character. He gives F1 a likable image.

  10. Sohaib Ahmad (@sohebbasharat) said on 28th September 2012, 22:03

    I almost clicked on the wrong option!!! Plz change the previous sentence……..

  11. verstappen (@verstappen) said on 28th September 2012, 22:06

    Even if he performs only once a year as well as in Monaco, I’d rather have him over any rookie.
    I’m still a fan of Bruno, but Williams would be my favourite place and Pa$tor won’t move – and is currently faster.

  12. Cryptowillem (@cryptowillem) said on 28th September 2012, 22:09

    I would love to see Schumi do a one-year swan-song with Ferarri, the team that helped him to so many of his wins and championships.

  13. I voted yes … because he has won in under performing ferrari , he has won in controversial benetton. He has glorified teams over the years and if he goes to a team like Sauber or Williams or (highly unlikely but possible) Force India .. he can bring in victories , if not a championship , and once again show what he is made of. On a slightly offset note … I would just like him to win 9 more races.. complete the Ton and retire as he likes .

  14. I was no Schumacher fan, but the way he has been treated by Mercedes is curious. Let’s hope that he can get a drive for 2013, and by the way the Sauber team has been going this year – way better on recent form than the Mercs – then the 7-time champion could be on to a winner.

    Some of his drives have been specacular, but sometimes he’s just had the worst luck. I would like to see Peter Sauber take him on. It doesn’t really matter about legacy – he’s already got that in the bag. He wants to continue and he should be allowed to do that. It would be great if he could bag a win with Sauber, and it would show the rest of the paddock that he’s still got it.

    Look, I’m becoming a Schumacher fan – I thought I’d never see the day. Go for it Michael!!

  15. KingNigel (@kingnigel) said on 28th September 2012, 22:28

    Hey guys, don’t write off Ferrari ! What about Schumacher alongside Alonso ? I know this sounds crazy, but i’m sure some people at maranello are thinking about it right now. Let’s wait and see…

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