I know he’s won seven world titles and did his best to put Rubens Barrichello in the wall at Hungary a couple of years (and drove our Damon off the road in Australia, and tried to do the same to Jacques Villeneuve a year or two after that and…), but I feel sorry for Michael Schumacher right now.
Because now that Lewis Hamilton is signed, sealed and delivered to Mercedes and will be driving for them as from next year, this means Michael will have been ousted from not one, but two of his last GP seats.
You didn’t realise that he didn't jump from Ferrari in 2006 but was pushed? Although publicly the Scuderia did its best to make out that Schumi had retired of his own accord, it was actually Luca Cordero di Montezemolo himself – Michael’s 'special' friend – who ensured that he was dispensed with in 2006 so that Kimi Räikkönen could drive for the team instead.
And now a similar thing has happened at Mercedes, although this time it wasn’t di Montezemolo who was involved but one of Schumi’s other 'life long friends' in the form of Norbert Haug, who, among others, pulls most of the strings at Mercedes, including those attached to the magic purse. Which would appear to be what turns Lewis Hamilton on nowadays, more so than a fast car. (Sorry Lewis that’s not fair, I know. I happen to think you’re an exceedingly top chap, but it does seem a touch odd that you are leaving McLaren just at the moment they’re coming good with the car.)
The other irony in all this, of course, is that Schumi himself is also being led into the wilderness just as HE is coming good again as a driver. Fair enough, he did appear to fall asleep and drive straight into the back of poor old Jean Eric Vergne in Singapore – or maybe he was trying to put a new tape into the cassette recorder instead – but putting that to one side for a moment, Michael has looked bang on it of late. Especially in the races, which is where it matters most.
Either way, it’s Schumacher out, Lewis Hamilton in at Mercedes. Which means Sergio Perez goes to McLaren (wise move turning Ferrari down there, Sergio; you would’ve been a clear number two at Ferrari, right up until the day you threw a tantrum and left, whereas at McLaren you’ll get a fair crack at it. Hopefully).
In turn this means that xxx will go to Sauber to replace Perez. And xxx will go to xxx to replace xxx at xxx.
Feel free to fill in the gaps – because the silly season in F1 has just begun.