Seven-time world champion hits back at the criticism aimed at him in his comeback season

Michael Schumacher has hit back at critics of his performances in his comeback season in Formula One.

Criticism of Schumacher reached new highs after the Canadian GP, where he was involved in incidents with Felipe Massa, Robert Kubica and both Force India drivers.

British TV pundits Martin Brundle, Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard were particularly critical; the former accused Schumacher of driving “appallingly badly”.

The Mercedes GP racer told PA Sport in Valencia he was “quite happy” with his performances so far.

“I don't think there are many guys around the world who, at 41, come back after a three year break and compete at this high a level,” said Schuamcher.

“I don't take them seriously because there are different elements to Formula One, and one part is showbusiness.”

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13

25 June 2010

“I don't think there are many guys around the world who, at 41, come back after a three year break and compete at this high a level,”

...and now we know why.

25 June 2010

A once great driver that has enough self belief that he can be again and so does Ross Brawn (one of the greatest minds in F1) and Mercedes as he can't be cheap to employ even if his name does help with sponsorship.

25 June 2010

Schumy is a legend, Eddie Jordan is a sanctimonious, self publicising little **** cant stand the man.

25 June 2010

This isn't exactly 'hitting out' at his critics. More a mild acknowledgement that there is more to Formula 1 than driving the car, there is a shobiz element. The commentators are just trying to crank it up a bit, as the races have remained very processional, with only the Red Bull smash providing much entertainment.

I think that Bernie should flood different corners of the circuit randomly, as the wet races have been so much more fun than the dry ones....

25 June 2010

Far more than movie stars whose looks may fade but their acting skills mature, athletes encounter major hurdles making mid-life comebacks because their early triumphs depended to a great extent on youthful energy and prowess. Trying to recreate past glorious can be a truly frustrating endeavour because physical limitations cannot match ambition. Born again athletes are often not up to the cut and thrust of a sport that has attracted new young recruits since last they took part.

Middle-age causes men to "mellow", to react less swiftly or rashly to events than before. Sitting in a seat to drive a racing car still demands lightning reactions and steel-nerved bravery!

Athletes ought to keep hubris securely in check. Like footballers who become coaches or managers after achieving fame and high award, racing drivers should assume the role of respected ambassador to their chosen sport, not tempt fate and besmirch their reputation, retiring in abject failure. Racing drivers are best advised to utilise their hard earned expertise tutoring a new generation of drivers to success and be content to revel in that reward. After all, their days of rushing over rocks and tumbling down waterfalls like a fast moving stream are over, they are now a sedate river about to merge with the sea.

And if a rush of adrenalin is a permanent need, the should take up bungy jumping.

25 June 2010

At whatever point in his career, Schumacher has dealt serenely with a media and general fan-base that is part rational and part biased against him most irrationally.

Today it is no different. It's significant that, no matter what Schumacher does, whether performing brilliantly or putting in statistically poor performances, his star burns more brightly, even in the minds of the disturbed detractors, than any other driver.

At Valencia, news conferences have offered many nuggets of comment from some other great drivers, but the simple fact of the matter is, none has quite the same cachet.

Schumacher knows that he will continue to bear - archly - the intense focus of a group of slightly warped partisans when he fails, but he must be struck by the fact that there isn't such a vocal group of supporters as he experienced when the idol of the Tifosi. Alonso has some way to go to replace him in that stripe.

Aside from his skill. what's so impressive about Schumacher is his character and wit. He knows best how to resist the depressing effects of unfair bias. He's a master of the political arena in Formula One, which makes the statement highlighted here sweetly ironic. He is again controlling his environment perfectly, even if his on-track performance has taken something of a dip recently.

Even within the extremist, self-proclaimed non-biased coverage of the BBC, it's starkly evident how the porcine commentator David Croft follows the Autocar line on reporting, never mentioning, unless absolutely necessary, when Schumacher frequently leads the time-sheets, yet pointedly making disingenuous comparisons between team-mates, when, as today, Schumacher is slower than the hugely talented and on-form Rosberg.

Croft either deliberately or incompetently failed to notice that Schumacher was hindered in almost every flying lap by a yellow flag. Now, that's not an excuse, because it seems that Schumacher's magic elixir that grants him useable space on track has leaked across the garage into the Rosberg camp; and there is talent and cohesive teamwork involved in that advantage.

This, again, is an important point for the intelligent observer. What we are seeing now is the balance of influence and power at Mercedes moving ever-so-gradually towards Nico, and this is evidence for the hackneyed conspiracy theorist (to coin a horrid phrase) that the team's favouring of one driver follows form rather than artificially creating it. When a driver is recognised by the team as more consistent and reliable, he will inevitably be favoured to some extent.

My opinion is that it's now possible to make some cultivated judgements about Schumacher's performance level, and it's reasonable to say that, subject to some further re-learning of skills, he is set fair at a level that mostly either matches Rosberg's pace, or is slightly trailing it. Although it will happen occasionally, I cannot see him consistently beating Rosberg, and certainly not for the remainder of this year.

This, yet, is a statement of the greatness of the man, and shed in this light, the benefits of having him in the team, as the most skilled and technically progressive wing-man, become clearer.

I predict wins for Schumacher, but for those who aren't besieged by a pointless hatred, the battle between Michael and Nico will be fascinating as it unfolds into the quite-distant future.

On a general technical front, some mixed news circulates regarding the 2011 Regulations. Pirelli could be a positive force in F1 if they push FOTA and the FIA to consider different tyre sizes. They seem to be pushing for larger rims, but what is vital is wider tyres front and rear. To increase the rim size to 18" will have too detrimental an effect on durability, but it is likely that a standard 15" rim is imminent.

The need for adjustable front and rear wings, as I've suggested before, is indisputable. Before another word is spoken about cost cutting and greenifying the sport, this technical change should be afforded in the book. The reason for it is not the chestnut, dredged up constantly by the impostor fan, of promoting more overtaking, but simply to reduce fuel and tyre costs. In this way, teams will have greater scope for advanced technology in other areas, since maximising downforce in the corners will hugely reduce tyre degradation.

Another key technical change for 2011 is KERS, and it is equally critical that there are no artificial restrictions put on its use whatsoever beyond the design specification. What this will mean in effect is that, whenever the system has enough regenerative charge from braking, it is available to the driver at any point in any lap of the race.

Finally - Qualifying 3. It is perhaps the most crucial set of changes needed for next year: to allow teams to use a unique set of qualifying tyres (removing the lunacy of starting on the tyres from Q3's best lap) and to lift almost all Parc Ferme restrictions. The fact that a car cannot be set-up to maximise absolute speed in Qualification is robbing the fans of the spectacle they deserve.

25 June 2010

Certain drivers can bring so much into the team, not just speed and ability to win races. However, in the end that's all that matters! Michael clearly isn't as likely to end up with more points than Nico. Now that says a lot to me, and it should do to Ross Brawn. Would Kimi win races in this car? I think he would, but Michael won't. At some point that is going to become a realisation for Michael, and for Ross, and for Mercedes. It's all rather sad, actually.

25 June 2010

[quote steve crockley]Schumy is a legend, Eddie Jordan is a sanctimonious, self publicising little **** cant stand the man.[/quote]

he is a pr*t i agree, and whats with the tight white trousers anyway?!

25 June 2010

Aah , poor poor Michael. Can't be easy being a has-been , even if he's a pretty special has-been.

Now , who are they going to get to fill his seat in the car ?

26 June 2010

Same old Schumacher eh?,well Michael the prove is in your hands, literally!

Peter Cavellini.

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