Critics Corner.

Opinions. And LOTS of them.

Michael Schumacher- Conqueror of the World???

Posted by Sports Snob on November 3, 2006

Schumacher… What the hell does that name mean? To any Formula1 fan, it means passion, excellence and most of all a burning and all-consuming desire to win.

In 1991, he drove his first race for Jordan, miraculously taking a pathetic car to seventh position on the grid; everyone on the grid immediately took notice. Over 250 grand prix, 91 victories, 68 pole positions and 7 world championships later he’s firmly stamped himself into the record books and our memories. His driving is perfection itself- he makes precious few mistakes; he’s supremely fit, technically astute and tactically brilliant but that isn’t what makes ‘Schumi’ who he is… It’s the man behind the driver who made him the success he is today.

Joining Ferrari, a team which hadn’t produced a world champion since 1979, he gelled them into a cohesive unit, leading them by example with a singular enthusiasm for the sport, a raging competitive spirit and exemplary work ethic (Williams’ bosses once lamented that Ralf Schumacher and Juan Montoya didn’t show Schumi’s enthusiasm for work. Michael, reportedly, used to call his technical director at three in the morning to discuss adjustments to his car.) all of which has made him a demi-god at Maranello. No champion is without his detractors and Schumi has his share, like those that believe Lance Armstrong took performance enhancing drugs and think that Pete Sampras was unexciting. For them, I have a story to tell – Eddie Jordan is fond of recollecting how before he gave Schumacher his first drive, he had asked him if he had driven around the Spa circuit to which Schumi promptly replied that he had, conveniently leaving out the fact that he had done so on his bike…. Jordan, of course, has no regrets considering the qualifying performance that he managed that weekend but that’s classic Schumacher. He may bend the rules a little, but he gets the job done…

Schumacher has driven us through sixteen years of unforgettable moments- the duels with Senna, Prost, Mansell and later Hakkinen, Villeneuve and Alonso, the many last minute blitz to pole position, the tears after equaling Senna’s number of race victories and more shocking ones like ramming into Villeneuve in 1997 but the picture of him that will always always remain in my memory, is him taking his victory leap on the podium, jumping onto Ross Brawn afterward and reveling in the champagne showers. The look on his face, reflecting all the joy in the world, is inspiring. Flawed genius though he maybe, that desire to win makes him an unequalled champion….

– Ranjani Murali, Guest Writer


A long due post on Schumi. The writers have been fairly busy and hence the drop in frequency of posts. Hopefully, this situation will be amended in the near future.

Hope you enjoyed the post… let us know what you think.

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17 Responses to “Michael Schumacher- Conqueror of the World???”

  1. Formula 1, post-Schumi

    My take on Formula 1 in the post Schumacher era

  2. why flawed? Senna was no saint. Lauda said that what MS did is what many did before too, but there were no TV camera’s around.

  3. Ravi said

    senna wasnt a saint. wat ppl did before MS in the absence of cameras, doesnt make right wat MS did in the presence of cameras. Alonso has won 2 world titles without indulging in any histrionics. rather he has been harshly & unjustly punished a few times

  4. Z said

    damn my knowledge of F1 is so poor . I cant even argue here 🙂

  5. DS said

    MS has done way more right than wrong through his career. But the fact that the media (Lets remember that it is primarily the British that we hear and read) decides to harp on his mistakes every time they talk about him smacks of prejudice.

    How much of MS’ wet weather brilliance have you read about in recent times? Instead, all you hear about is how he was No.1 within the team. Isn’t it plain silly that someone can harp on MS being No.1 within the team, when that has actually lead to 5 consecutive WCs?

    Maybe if he did feed the media with juicy quotes last year, they might have regarded him higher. But he said “we win as a team, we lose as a team!”. How BORING??!!! No wonder he is crucified.

    Alonso – no histrionics????? Imagine MS brake testing someone and then hoping that the media does him a favor by forgetting it. Or, imagine, MS suddenly braking to ensure that his fellow championship contender following him on the track, is forced to overtake him under yellow flags and then hoping that no one ever talks about gamesmanship. Imagine MS accusing team, tyre supplier and teammate whenever the going got tough and then…..never mind. It’s Alonso who did all this. No wonder that these aren’t histrionics.

  6. Ravi said

    on the alonso penalty – even the president of the FIA admitted it was uncalled for

    the race leader is entitled to control the pace of the chasing pack by accelerating or braking his pace.

    MS went one step further and rammed into his competitors to ensure they did not win the title!!

    on Alonso accusing,
    teammate – Fisi has been a far from ideal no2. hes barely even contributed to Renault’s constructor title
    tyre supplier – Bridgestone had the edge over Michelin this yr, so Alonso was justified in asking for a step up in performance. and we all remember Michelins boo-boo from the US grand prix. so we know how bad they can get.

    MS’s genius is undeniable. but he still ran into opponents, parked his car intentionally during qualifying, indulged in gimmicks like the photo finish with Barrichello at the US GP, claimed hollow victories through team orders at the expense of Rubens even when not required, etc etc

  7. DS said

    Massa – 80, Fisi – 72 -> Is that how you concluded that Fisi ‘barely even contributed’ to the Constructors?

    Couple of other points to note:

    1) The penalty at Monza was NOT what I was talking about. I was referring to Alonso brake testing Doornbos during the Hungarian GP. As expected, it is *conveniently* forgotten. The penalty at Monza was applied as per the law. While it was unfortunate, there was no malice there. The race stewards had to punish Alonso as per the law. Acknowledging that the law was an ass, the FIA changed the law immediately after the race. The incident, however unfortunate, makes clear sense.

    2) The gamesmanship that I was referring to happened during the practice sessions of the Hungarian GP. Do they have race leaders for practice sessions???

    Another point to note is….Bridgestone did not have the legs on Michelin this year. They had the legs on Michelin during the SECOND HALF of this year. Also, to point out Michelin’s poor performance in one GP from 2005, when they ended up winning every other GP of the season, doesn’t present a very convincing argument.

    Schumacher has faults, just as Prost did and Senna did. He had a submissive No.2 just as Fangio did. Like I said earlier, to harp on these is mere one-eyedness. Alonso, during his short career in F1, has shown flaws that are bound to get more attention now that the British cannot blame MS. That would be revealing….

  8. @ Ravi: Fisi hasn’t been a good No. 2? He has driven consistently for significant part of the season … and to be honest, Alonso is no saint and I agree with DS when he says we will hear of all the flaws of Alonso in the coming years .. let us see if he is half the man MS was… and tell me, in the middle of the season with a winning team, do you make a team change decision and worse, announcement?

    @ DS: Agreer!

  9. Ravi said

    right guys.. i seemed to have mixed some of my facts. apologies for that.

    Alonso would be entitled to announce his career moves as long as he was fully commited to Renault for the remainder of that season. that it would end up compromising his position inside Renault would be unfortunate.

    i dont want to rate Alonso’s manhood against MS’s. 2 world titles and youngest double world champ speaks enough. but then so does 7.

    neither am i going to claim for Alonso’s sainthood.

    as for DS’s grouse with the brit tabloid, they only know how to condemn

  10. Ravi said

    may i also add that MS left Benetton after winning his first 2 world titles. moving to an inferior Ferrari at the time. whether McLaren is upto the mark for next season is yet to be seen

  11. lets not debate how good alonso or kimi etc are

    to win and dominate the sport like MS makes him among the best. if alonso, kimi, NK, or whoever in the next 10 years does what MS has done then we will doff our hat to him, till then the numbers are in MS’s favour.

    unfortunately we never saw him racing against senna for a complete season, that wud have been super.

  12. Prof said

    @ Cyrus: Unfortunate that we couldn’t see him race Senna. I don’t think anyone doubts that Schumacher is the best whent he numbers are thrown up but I think he is the best even without. And if any of these drivers manages to upstage Schumi’s numbers and his skill in wet weather, it will be a treat to watch.

  13. well alonso has not retired so lets see

  14. Neena said

    It would be difficult for anyone to repeat what Michael Schumacher did.
    The Ferrari-Michael era has ended.

  15. Sriwatsan said

    @ Sports Snob:
    1. Alonso has managed to comprehensively beat Schumi, so you can eat crow.
    2. The announcement came after 2005 season, not mid season. There have been precedents before.
    3. Fisi has been consistently pathetic this season. Which part of F1 do you watch? And Alonso’s tirade was against the team was for a specific reason.
    4. You really think Alonso’s mistakes will be magnified once Schumi retires? Dream on.

  16. tracce said

    Interesting comments.. 😀

  17. Lewis Hamilton has every one applauding
    Watch out Kimi & Ferdi

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