Wednesday, October 25, 2006

What I will remember about Micheal Schumacher

I'm not a Micheal Schumacher fan. Yet, in all fairness, I do agree that he's probably the greatest racing driver of all time. What I didn't like about him was his gamesmanship. I felt it was unnecessary and most of the time uncalled for. That's I have put together things that I remember in this post rather than going by what the pundits say. For e.g. I can't say that I saw the 1994 collision with Hill because I just stopped watching F1 when Senna died. I didn't see the 1995 season either. Seasons earlier to that are so far back that I just don't remember much about Schumacher in those years.

This post is a tribute to Micheal Schumacher.

Things that made me drop my jaw -
1. Revival of Ferrari. There's no way that Ferrari could have won any of their championships from 1999 onwards without Micheal Schumacher. The genius of man was such that he was able to win 3 races in 1996 with a POS. That's when Williams were super dominant and could have won every single race. What also made the difference was Ross Brawn and Rory Bryne following him to Ferrari. The difference was visible immediately and Schumacher could have won the 1997 season itself.
2. Overall Record. The same number of wins as Prost and Senna put together. That's pretty amazing. I still remember the post race press conference where Schumacher had equalled Senna's Record of 41 wins. Going hand in hand with these was his absolute domination of the 2002 and 2004 seasons.
3. Jerez 1996. Some say that he could won that race in a Minardi. That's how good he was in that race
4. Spa 1998. This was a race he didn't win but it was because he ran into the back of DC's car. But it was a rain affected race and it was just incredible to see him in the rain. He had nearly a minute's lead and was coasting to victory when it happened.
5. Sepang 1999. To my mind, this is his best race ever. He came back from injury and promised to help Eddie Irvine win. And boy oh boy did he do that. Nobody is a better defensive driver that MS and the way he held back Hakkinen was just incredible. It wasn't just 1 or 2 laps but a whole bunch of laps. Mind you Hakkinen was no slouch in the Mclaren either. Hakkinen did get the better of Schumacher in Spa 2000 with an amazing overtaking move, and keeping that in perspective, this effort in Sepang was astonishing. I also remember him defending against Ralf in Brazil 2002, but won't rate that as highly because Ralf's known limitations as a racer.
6. Brazil 2006. I think his last race was a bit underrated. He was nearly a lap down on Massa after a few laps and yet managed to come within a few seconds of second place Alonso. That means he gained almost 40 odd seconds on Massa! That's pretty special.

Some of things that made me go "That's why I don't cheer for him" aka gamesmanship -
1. Last race of  1997 against JV
2. Austria 2001, 2002 "against" Barrichello
3. Indy 2004's Dead Heat Attempt
4. Monaco 2006 Car Parking

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