Schumacher announces Formula One retirement
Not surprising, after the news about Hamilton and his performance the past few seasons.
What the hell happened with him in Singapore?
It was good to see him come out of retirement and finish mediocre most of the time due to having a mediocre car. Kind of proved what I thought all along that it was the car that made him the fastest driver.
In comparison of the late 70's when Gilles Villeneuve had the ****tiest car (Ferrari) and literally drove the wheels off it to win.
Of course that will always be up for debate, but in his prime, no one could even come close to Schumacher in the wet and his feel for the limit was always discussed as being scary good. Any one else remember that documentary where they reviewed telematry of Schumi vs. another F1 driver? The difference in the number of steering inputs vs. the other driver was astonoshing
also look at the difference between alonso and massa. driver does still play a big difference, but having a fast car obviously helps
Some of schumacher career notes: From another site i frequent
1969: Born on January 3 in Huerth-Hermuelheim, Germany.
1973: Makes his racing debut in a karting event.
1987: Wins German and European kart championships.
1988: Finishes fourth in German Formula Ford championship and is second in the European series in his first year of car racing.
1990: Wins first major single-seater title, clinching the German Formula Three crown. Steps up to sportscars, driving for Mercedes.
1991: Makes Formula One debut for Jordan in Belgium, qualifying seventh before retiring. Poached by Benetton for the rest of the season.
1992: Takes first Grand Prix win in Belgium on his way to third in the championship.
1994: Wins title, with eight wins to his name, after controversial last-race clash with Damon Hill in Australia.
1995: Retains world crown, taking nine victories.
1996: Moves to struggling Ferrari and manages three wins on his way to third in the championship.
1997: Wins five races but is stripped of second in the championship for attempting to take out title rival Jacques Villeneuve at Jerez.
1999: Breaks his leg at Silverstone when easily leading the championship.
2000: Finally wins Ferrari's first drivers' title since 1979, amassing nine wins on the way.
2001: Another nine wins and another title, setting a new record for all-time victories.
2002: Wins championship in record time, setting a new mark of 11 victories.
2003: Wins title by a point after six victories, breaking Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five championships.
2004: Breaks his own record for wins in a season, 13, to take title number seven.
2006: September 10 - Announces his retirement at end of 2006 season after winning Italian Grand Prix.
2009: July 29 - Announces plans to make a shock return to F1 with Ferrari, deputising for Felipe Massa until the Brazilian recovers from injuries suffered in an accident in qualifying for the Hungarian Grand Prix.
August 11 - Forced to abort comeback due to a neck injury sustained in a motorbike accident in February.
December 23 - Signs a three-year contract to drive for Mercedes GP, ending three years in retirement.
2010: Makes his return to F1 in Bahrain and finishes the season in ninth, with a highest finish of fourth.
2011: Betters his previous season with an eighth-placed finish and 96 points, with a fourth in Canada his best result.
2012: Returns to the podium for the first time since his retirement, finishing third in the European Grand Prix.
Last edited by RQ1; 10-04-2012 at 12:05 PM.
As a generalization 40% of the drivers in F1 could do every bit as well or better than the points leader if they were in the points leader's car. This has held true for a number of years.
The years of Fangio, Senna, Villeneuve, etc. are long gone. The cars have so many driving aids now that the machines make up the majority of the variance between lap times. Yes it still takes a skilled driver but let's face it, they're all fairly equally skilled for the most part.
Nobody could do duplicate what Villeneuve, Senna, or Fangio did in a car. No one on the grid. Period.
I realize many changes have been made to make the competition more exciting (and quite successfully). I'm a fan of F1 again in recent years, I really lost interest during the "Parade" days of the early to mid 2000s.
Fangio was in the best car, when he was not he would leave a team to go to a better car, so did Senna. And Schumacher did drive the wheels off his inferior Ferrari from 96-99. The fact that the was contending in those years when Ferrari was inferior to Williams and McLaren by some margin is still the difference a driver could make.
Schumacher's best car was still a large part from his own doing. They used to TEST 30,000 kms a year. Now they don't test anymore. You can't out work somebody to build your performance edge. The whole system doesn't work the same way it does from his previous career. And he is still a 40+ years old. F1 now though is no doubt much more competitive than the previous era. In the old days when you are 3-4 tenth off someone, you would maybe be going from 1st to 3rd or 4th. These days you can have a 4 tenth gap from pole and you'll be in the teens. The amount of the performance he might have lost through age or preparation is tough to make up. On top of a pretty under-performing Mercedes team....
Anyway it was probably a good time to call it quit. He is making much more mistake than he was used to, and even if he is now as competitive as he ever was with Rosberg in this 3 years pace wise, the team is still pretty not going to be a front runner consistently...and it'll just be terrible if he has to drive for Sauber or something...
Bottom line: Schumacher had an unparallelled talent (in his prime). True, the car played a huge roll in many cases (seasons), but there were years in there that he made some masterful drives in a fairly sh***y car.
Good point about Massa/Fisichella and now Alonso/Massa. Still a driver's sport! Not a computer driving around the track...
I was thrilled to see him come back and work with Ross Brawn once more, but it has been painful and depressing watching him perform at a mediocre level after so many dominant years. Still, Rosberg hasn't done much better in that car...
The carpet pissers did this?!
I don't think you can dismiss Fangio as it being the "best car". There are drivers who win by mediocre margins with the car barely twitching (Schumacher) and then there are drivers who slide, twitch, near miss and fight their way to the finish by a large margin using every ounce of tire/throttle the car had. (Villeneuve/Fangio/Senna). Go watch a video of Senna trying to find traction mid corner on and off the throttle.
Villeneuve was ****ing crazy and it ended up killing him. He wasn't happy unless he found the limit and stepped over it. His theory was if you didn't find the limit how did you know how fast you could go?
The cars Fangio drove were extremely challenging. To say they were "the best" is a moot point. He drove the wheels off them and was head and shoulders above the competition, with a reputation as "The best driver of all time" that is still held in high regard 60 years later. 1957 German Grand Prix comeback at the Nurburgring. The "car" didn't make up that gap.
I can't think of a single "masterful" drive that Schumacher had that made me say "holy ****, did he actually just pull that off?" He was a sore loser (running Villeneuve off track) and carried too inflated of an ego IMO.
I'm not one to base who the best driver was on a bunch of trophies or points totals. That's like saying the best hockey player of all time was Wayne Gretzky. That's hugely up for debate as the guy never got so much as bumped into during the majority of his career, politics played a huge role.
When we discuss a guy like Villeneuve we're talking about a legendary driver in the sport. A legendary driver who had 6 wins. Hardly dominant, hardly something to even brag about. Raplh Schumacher had 6 ****ing wins and he's nobody.
These guys are legends and excellent drivers because of how they drove. Not their points totals, not their years of championships. Simply how they drove the car.
Last edited by Cousin Eddie; 10-04-2012 at 01:16 PM.
Some of the many reasons why I didn't like him, poor sportsmanship. A true "Champion" wouldn't resort to such B.S. to win.
1994: After hitting the Adelaide wall and terminally damaging his car, smashes into Damon Hill to secure his first world title.
1997: Cynically slams into Jacques Villeneuve in a failed bid to win the world championship. Is stripped of his second place in the championship by the FIA.
2002: Takes advantage of Ferrari team orders to pass team-mate Rubens Barrichello yards from the chequered flag in Austria for a victory greeted by boos from the crowd.
2002: Inexplicably attempted to engineer a dead heat at Indianapolis, only to lose out to Barrichello by 0.011 seconds.
2006: Parks his Ferrari across the track in Monaco in an attempt to disrupt qualifying and retain pole position. Sent to the back of the grid by stewards.
And yes you can have flashes of genius in a crappy car for memorable drives. But you don't pull together a championship run. Senna was not a title contender that 1984 season neither. 96's Ferrari was a POS, Irvine finished less than 50% of the races. MSC had 5 DNF, 1 DNS that year. He had 4/16 poles with that car scored 4 wins, of the 11 races that was finished, he finished outside of podium twice and finished 3rd in the championship. That year's winning Williams had the rest of the poles and wins(bar Panis in Monaco), and DH and JV finished 1-2.
I can hop in my 74 Datsun Z and then hop in my dad's new Nissan 370Z and see the obvious ability to corner faster and put down a faster lap. That's a given.
How does that discredit anything I said about them being great drivers?
As cars progress we may never see that kind of excitement or driver skill again in motorsports. A lot of the "seat of the pants feel" for a car has been shadowed by technology. I mean F1 is the mecca of technology in motorsports and we should progress forward.
I'll put it this way. I, myself, do not think any F1 driver today could hop in the very cars that those men drove (Fangio/Senna/Villeneuve) and make the car dance the same dance on the edge the way those drivers did.
It's all a matter of opinion, i'm not really arguing anything. You can't argue that he won championships, he did. It's not that he isn't a good driver, he is. I just don't think he's the best of all time or really anything that special.