I think the Schumacher naysayers and fanboys will form their opinions regardless of Rosberg’s form this year, but it’s good to see a more nuanced view emerging as well.
While I do think Hamilton is still getting the hang of the car, Rosberg is driving very, very well this season. I honestly never rated Rosberg highly at Williams, but that team wasn’t exactly winning races while he was there either.
I think people such as myself mistakenly disregarded the idea that Rosberg could actually be that good and somewhat preferred the idea of Schumacher driving dismally. Rosberg himself has also improved a lot since 2010, but I would have never imagined him having an edge of Hamilton. I think we’ll have to wait until much later in the season to see how Rosberg really compares to Hamilton, but it does at least put Schumacher’s 2012 form in another light.
I do feel his silly crashes (Spain, Singapore) were due to age and perhaps, not being used to such close racing in his earlier career (he had some crazy oopsies and ding dongs in those years as well, like crashing into JPM in the tunnel in Monaco in 2004), but his Monaco pole and some of his feisty drives, as well as out-scoring Rosberg in the races they finished together, do look even better in hindsight. I kind of gave up hope on his season after Spain last year, but his bad luck and mechanical woes kept a dim on his season all year, in my opinion.
With this year’s car, I think Rosberg might have still had the upper hand somewhat, though. Schumacher never was an amazing qualifier and never a really great defender as well. I’d imagine any team orders would have exploded much more than with Hamilton, too.
If anything he could take some credit for Nico’s form this season.
He himself probably wouldn’t do that. He never commented on his work at Ferrari beyond his own years, either.