Schumi Returns – (for real this time!!) :D
Today it was announced that the legendary Michael Schumacher would be a making a much-anticipated return to F1 with Mercedes. When the possibility of Schumi returning to deputise for the injured Felipe Massa after the Hungarian grand prix this year, I became incredibly, uncontrollably excited. And believe me, that doesn’t happen very often – I’m quite a low-voltage kind of guy.
As I infamously tweeted at the time:
“No matter how excited you might think I am at the prospect of Schumi returning, I’m a little bit more!”
And that pretty much sums it up this time, too. I’m absolutely thrilled that Michael’s returning and 2010 promises to be a great season. You can’t help wondering whether Mercedes didn’t have this planned all along and wanted shot of the mediocre Button in favour of a true (and German) great. McLaren, of course, were labelling the signing of Button as a massive coup over Mercedes – I guess the joke’s on them now!
Michael, of course, started his professional motorsport career with Mercedes and he referred to this move allowing his career come full circle in a press release earlier. There was always a feeling he retired before he was ready and that sublime drive in his final race in 2006 hinted that even more greatness was yet to come.
Schumi left Ferrari, of course, after they had painted themselves into a corner with their 2007 driver line-up when Ferrari snapped up Raikkonen. I’ve always felt that hiring Raikkonen was more about snatching him away from McLaren rather than truly wanting Kimi for his undoubted skills as a racing driver. Kimi’s personality always dictated that he was never going to rally the troops and inspire the team during the difficult moments – Ferrari always knew that and made no apparent effort to modify the team and their way of working to better incorporate Kimi’s idiosyncrasies. And now they’ve dumped Kimi and hired Alonso, who they hope will emulate Michael’s approach.
In any event, I think the glory days for Ferrari are over – for now at least, and Alonso’s signing will do little to change that. As more and more of the dream team (Michael Schumacher, Jean Todt, Ross Brawn and Rory Byrne, etc.) have left, the force behind the Scuderia has dwindled markedly. But with Michael now returning to the paddock a new chapter begins - and that’s what truly matters.
F1 is F1 again with the greatest driver of all time returning to the sport. :D