Michael Schumacher’s 2010 comeback was somewhat abortive. The results, the driving standard and the overtakes were well below par for the former champion. He even let his team mate beat him for the first time in his career. So why can Schumacher, the fallen Ferrari hero, win the world championship for an 8th time?
It’s still the same Michael Schumacher
Indeed, we saw glimpses of it last season. The passion, and the desire to do well. He was racing on the ragged edge, braking as late – if not later – than anyone else. The trouble was, he didn’t have the car underneath him to be able to win. It took him a while to get reacquainted, but in truth it would take anyone a while to get used to be these new cars.
The 2011 car will be built around him
Sorry Rosberg fans, the fact is – Schumacher & Brawn will be running the show at Mercedes Benz. Let’s not forget, they are paying Michael an arm and a leg to race for them. He will design the car around him, something he didn’t get chance to do last season. He also has an entire year of racing with the wide nosed, tall winged cars so has plenty of data and ideas to call upon when constructing the new vehicle. An insider has already said that downforce and grip levels on the simulator are exceeding expectations. Not a bad start?
Yep, the great big unknown means it’s all a level playing field this season. No-one knows much about Pirelli just yet, so it’s a fair and even start for all the drivers. It’s about adaptability, and we know deep down inside the 42 year old he can adapt. He also looked quick in the 2010 car on 2011 rubber.
Less expectation than last year
At the start of 2010, we all expected the Schumacher from 2006 to jump behind the wheel and immediately win. Let’s not forget here, 2005 and 2006 were barren seasons for Schumacher – he walked away with nothing. He was in decline, so why did we expect him to be immediately brilliant? I was and still am a Schumacher fan, but I knew he was not as good as he used to be. This year he will have less expectation than before. We’re all used to him driving and Germany has a new world champion to thrust under the spotlight at every opportunity in Sebastian Vettel.
Other drivers still fear him
When the red baron’s helmet is filling your wing mirrors, surely it must make your heart beat twice as fast. Fernando Alonso has already said he fears Schumacher the most for 2011
“There will be five world champions on the track and the most dangerous champion for me is always Michael. Now in January if I have to choose one name I have to say Michael. He is seven-time champion, he has nothing to prove. He had a difficult season but he is still a champion. N He is still super class and if the car is right he will be a contender,”
Its not all going in Schumacher’s favour. Michael is a lot older than any of the other title contenders now, and that could be his downfall. Not suggesting he isn’t fit, he is probably more athletic now than he was before – but age is still a factor. Red Bull are not suddenly going to be slow, they just aren’t. Not with Vettel and Newey onboard. Ferrari and Alonso will be desperate for the title. McLaren have two world champions driving for them. Oh and there’s the small matter of the fact Nico Rosberg was better than Michael last season.
Nevertheless, as an outside bet – you could do a lot worse than Michael.
January 14, 2011 | Categories: Mercedes Benz GP, Michael Schumacher | Tags: Fernando Alonso, Jenson Button, Lewis Hamilton, Mercedes Benz, MGP WO2, Michael Schumacher, Michael Schumacher 2011, Ross Brawn, Schumacher, Sebastian Vettel | 12 Comments