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?

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  1. jpowell (@jpowell) said on 29th September 2012, 18:14

    I voted for him to stay ,I have never been a fan, but I remember his early years ,boy was he quick. Unfortunately you are not able to drive an F1 car like that any more ,if you were ,he would have given us more entertainment during his comeback. I am sure Sauber would love to have him ,go for it Michael.

  2. I voted no; however, there are specific reasons behind that stance.

    First, I believe that he shouldn’t get a race seat at any of the top 5 teams as there are better drivers, who deserve them more. But I also believe that he is still among the best 24 drivers in the world. So I’m not going to be very disappointed if he ends up at Sauber or Williams next year.

    I don’t think that Schumacher’s legacy is going to suffer from average or weak results, too. The legendary Tazio Nuvolari continued to race long after his glorious years had gone, when he was old and ill, yet noone thinks much about the final years of his career today. In 30 years, people will talk about the legendary 7-time world champion Schumacher, not how good or bad his performance in his ‘second career’ was.

    However, if I have to choose between Schumacher, de la Rosa, Barrichello and Valsecchi, Bianchi, Alguersuari as F1 drivers in 2013, I clearly prefer the latter trio. Why? First because I don’t believe that a driver’s presence on the grid today is necessarily a good thing for the sport just because he was great/good 3, 5 or 10 years ago. It’s his shape today that matters. Second and most importantly, I think it’s clear that Schumacher cannot reach too much at Sauber or Williams. He will not become a world champion there and I believe that a race win would be a big surprise, too.

    Moreover, Schumacher himself doesn’t seem to be sure that he wants to stay, if he wasn’t able to give an answer to Mercedes during the summer. That makes me wonder if he still has that much appetite for F1.

    Schumacher’s best years are over anyway and I just rather would like to see a promising and passionate youngster in F1 than a veteran, who still regularly delivers decent (rarely great) performances but otherwise his results are nothing special and there is no hope that that will change much in a year or two that he has left in the sport.

  3. maxthecat said on 30th September 2012, 1:51

    Up to him, be sad to see him slide down the grid though.

  4. 755Assassin (@755assassin) said on 30th September 2012, 4:29

    I’d love to see him keep racing as he clearly has a lot to give still despite his age.

    I think we should all make a facebook page or something to get Ferrari’s attention, that might in someway help them consider hiring him, I mean can you imagine a Schumacher/Alonso superteam!

    As they are surely firing Massa anyway it’s really not a bad idea to hire the old guy for a year or two,
    he’s got the experience, he can still perform, he knows the team and it would give them time to evaluate some young drivers or lure someone like Vettel over from another top team.

    For a short term deal I can only see positives, let’s hope Ferrari does too.

  5. f1rules said on 30th September 2012, 9:19

    I voted that he should stay. If you look at this season amg mercedes is one of the worsts f1 teams on the grid atm. Their reliability is horrible at best. And even if they manage to complete a race without reliability issue there is tire degradation. Just these 2 reasons make Sauber or Lotus, Williams a better team and even force india. Schumacher is not doing to good this season but its mainly due to MERCEDES AMG not being competitive i wonder why they grabbed hamilton. When they clearly have car problems. Schumacher would be doing better in ANY OTHER TEAM that has a car that has a car that can finish a race. In my eyes mercedes ruined Schumachers come back to f1. Sure he did take some time to get used to the new regulations of f1. But if you look at everysingle race. At the start where you find out what a drive is made off Schumacher have always gained places in the first few laps until either his mercedes let him down or his car ate its tires. As for rosberg i do understand that rosberg is skilled but nowhere near as skilled as hamilton schu or alonso or vettel I dont think he will ever make it. Yea he did win one race this year. Thanks to the DOUBLE DRS advantage over other cars. And if you remember schu is a 7 times champions. Out of those 7 i would say 5 was his pure talent because the ferrari or the benneton wasnt the best car on the grid.
    I wonder how the f1 drivers of today would have faired up against schu or hakkinen in 1999. They would be lucky if they could get less than a second on each lap from either one of them. I would really like to see him at any other team than mercedes next year because a slower more reliable 70 lap car is still better than a faster car that cant finsh.

  6. AndrewTanner (@andrewtanner) said on 30th September 2012, 13:20

    He should look for a drive as much as the next guy. He clearly still has the talent and the passion…not much else is required.

  7. glenj (@glenj) said on 1st October 2012, 0:21

    No. He has had a long career and had more focus from a team + tyre supplier than any driver has or ever will receive. Better to let the younger drivers have a chance in a much more competitive & exciting era. Those Ferrari procession years nearly killed the sport

  8. dragoll (@dragoll) said on 1st October 2012, 7:48

    @keithcollantine I must say that I’m hugely surprised by the overwhelming support for Schumacher in this forum.
    I am very happy with the result, not sure that its really anyones decision other than his personally. My opinion however is that he’s retired once before and didn’t think much of it, so wouldn’t be surprised if he continues next year.

  9. JACoz (@jacoz) said on 1st October 2012, 13:49

    Thats a Yes! from me. It would be a shame if he stopped just as things were starting to look good again this year (mechanical failures aside).
    I think Martin & Crofty’s comments after he ran into Vergne at Singapore were a little unfair (as in his age had something to do with it) as Button almost did the same thing to Vettel shortly afterwards!
    Michael back to Ferrari and Felipe back to Sauber perhaps?

    • Bobdredds (@bobdredds) said on 1st October 2012, 20:16

      The Ferrari rumours are gathering pace but you have to ask why did Michael not pick up the option earlier in the year. If he was going to retire then it could have easily been done to coincide with Lewis joining the team. So I think he wants to continue and if he does Ferrari is a very logical step. I think the Sauber link is a smokescreen. Discussions with them are more about free engines and Massa.;) Montezemelo would love the drama it created and go on about how the old Michael had returned. :) I believe it’s all about Michael and what he wants in the end. The money generated by merchandising alone from a move to Ferrari would be staggering so money is not an issue. It’s really hard to see a downside.

  10. Hadzhiev (@hadzhiev) said on 2nd October 2012, 10:30

    I’ve been a great Schumi-fan since 1993. There hasn’t been any other driver to be able to catch my attention. The reason to watch Formula One is Schumi’s participation in it.
    I believe that I stated my position very clearly… :)

  11. Rob sharman (@rob98138) said on 2nd October 2012, 14:53

    How about schumacher having one last swan song season at Ferrari…..It has been well publicised Ferrari are unhappy with Massa and with Perez off to Mclaren seemingly, maybe they could sack off Massa and have Schumacher on a rolling 1 year contract. It would also give them time to find a decent team player to support Alonso

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