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post #1 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 11:45 AM Thread Starter
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Schumacher, love him or loathe him.

Love Him Or Loath Him Schumacher's A Great
Thu 07 Sep, 3:09 PM

Decision day is looming for Michael Schumacher, who will announce on Sunday whether he will call an end to the most successful career in Formula One history.

Expectation within the Monza paddock is that the 37-year-old will indeed hang up his helmet at the end of this season, after 16 seasons and 249 races at motorsport's pinnacle.

Aside from a string of controversies, the German will leave behind a legacy of unprecedented success - the only meaningful record to elude him will be most career starts.

His records have long been considered unbreakable, generated by a sporting one-off, a man whose astonishing ascendancy coincided with the retirement of a whole generation of greats.

But as he considers whether to leave the Formula One record book alone, Schumacher has been warned his achievements are already under threat.

Niki Lauda believes if Schumacher retires the door will be left open for Fernando Alonso, who could be a double world champion at the age of 25 this season, to tear into the records.

"Michael comes as a complete package but even when great drivers age, they face some problems," three-time world champion Lauda told the Italian Grand Prix programme.

"What Michael is facing is risk management. The risks become more obvious the older you get and the only sensible thing you can do is try to fight risk with experience.

"This is perhaps just one area Michael is not really good at.

"Because of his age, risk is not as important to Fernando and he might beat all Michael's records because risk management only really enters the picture when you approach 30.

"There is a long way to go before he reaches that age."

However long Schumacher's records last, his mark is indelibly made on Formula One.

For a generation, the sport has known only Schumacher and the success intrinsically linked to his name. His departure will leave a vacuum no current driver can be expected to fill.

Love him or loath him, Schumacher arouses passion like none of his contemporaries, keeping alive the fires started by the likes of Ayrton Senna, Gilles Villeneuve and Juan Manuel Fangio before him.

For all those who mourn the end of an incomparable era when Schumacher retires, there will be those who celebrate the long-awaited exit of Formula One's most controversial figure.

All that success came at a price and many would argue Schumacher sacrificed sportsmanship for glory.

That he had the talent to dominate Formula One without the repeated accusations of foul play is without doubt - a handful of dubious moves alone do not win seven world titles.

But Schumacher's flaws are part of his mystique and no matter whether he is a hero or a villain, he will be sorely missed by Formula One if October's Brazilian Grand Prix is his last.
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post #2 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 12:36 PM
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Totally agree,

an all time great of Formula 1, if not the greatest.
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post #3 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-07-2006, 09:13 PM
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Winning is the glory. Sportsmanship is 2nd place in racing. He did what it took to win. One of the greatest? Yes!!
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post #4 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-08-2006, 01:31 PM
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One Of the Great Greatest.
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post #5 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 12:12 AM Thread Starter
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Monza was a fitting win for Ferrari/Schumacher. But I am disappointed at his retirement statement. Schumi and Raikkonen with equal status in 07 would have been something to look forward to.
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post #6 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 03:36 AM
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I wonder how well he would have gone if his contract didn't give him a mobile chicane for a team mate?

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post #7 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 05:06 PM
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I have had the opportunity to watch Michael Schumacher race 18 times in the past 10 year and he won 15 of those races [14.5 if you discount Indy 05]. He should have won another but mis-timed the flying finish at Indy to Rubins in 02. He took Ferrari out of their doldrums and to the absolute top of the sport requiring, toward the end, monthly rule changes to allow the other teams to finally catch up.

History will decide whether he is the greatest driver ever to pilot Formula One. His Monaco stop will not even be a blip on motorsport histories radar leaving his tangles with Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve to decide if he was a pure competitor. I think he was. The drives I saw with Mika Hakkinen and Jacques Villeneuve were brilliant. He had several great exchanges with JP Montoya but Montoya never was able to maintain his intensity. Kimi Raikkonen held the best chance at taking it to Michael for several years but the cars let him down.

I don’t think we will see that level of pure dominance in Formula One again. It might be good for the sport but sad to not see another giant in the sport like Fangio, Lauda, Stewart or Schumacher.


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post #8 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-11-2006, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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I could not have expressed it better than mcbear, but would like to add Jim Clark and Stirling Moss to the all time greats list. The FIA had to change the rules for 2005 in order to break Ferrari's dominace. I have been a fan of F-1 since watching my first race at the age of 12 at the old Nuerburgring over 40 years ago. Having witnessed great drives by Stewart and Lauda and also by Senna and Prost plus many others, I doubt we'll see another driver of Schumacher's dominance for a long time to come. .........IMOP the points spread between first and second is too narrow. 11 points for a win and points for the top qualifier might be worth a try.
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post #9 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-13-2006, 01:26 PM
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Zidane's retirement (with his head butt) was much more greater than Schumacher. What a glory says Yahoo Sport. But we will miss him as a great F1 driver just like Mika Hakkinen.

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post #10 of 18 (permalink) Old 09-14-2006, 12:22 AM
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Schumachers biggest achievement I think was to focus Ferrari on the future rather than the past. He brought a performance culture to a team that had up until then traded only on their rich history. Now they make more history every second weekend. That is a legacy that everyone who loves motor sport and formula one can appreciate whether or not you like Schumacher.

He created bonds in that team that go way beyond contracts. When he got out of the car after the race at Monza and went over to his team - that was one of the best sporting moments I have seen on television in a long time - the passion, compassion and pride was infectuous.

I think it does a huge injustice to Rubens Barrichello to call him a mobile chicane. He was certainly always the number 2 driver but Ferrari can thank him for at least 2 of their constructors world championships.



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