Well, the news I thought (and hoped would never come) has arrived this morning. Mercedes GP (formally Brawn GP) have confirmed that seven times world champion Michael Schumacher will make a comeback in 2010, racing alongside Nico Rosberg. To be honest with you I am hugely disappointed, but I’d love to know what other people think.
I think my main issue is that I am over the Schumacher story. As far as I’m concerned, he has had his time, he was great, he won seven titles. Although that eighth just alluded him in 2006, we all agreed that it was a great season and he was beaten by arguably his successor in Fernando Alonso.
Many thought that F1 wouldn’t be the same without Schumi, and it wasn’t. However, that wasn’t for the worse. Where Schumi was, we now had Massa, Raikkonen, Alonso, Hamilton, etc. We got some fantastic seasons and some close run title battles.
My other big problem is that I don’t want to see Schumi return and flounder like some tragic dad trying to keep up with his football playing kids. As I say, I thought it was fitting that Michael was beaten by Alonso in 2006. In my mind it was the handing over of the baton and Alonso became the greatest driver in the sport.
Then there’s Hamilton, of course he’ll be very keen to test the popular theory, "could Lewis beat Michael?" The problem is, Lewis at the top of his game will be racing Schumi at the end of his lolly pop. If you ask me, it won’t be a fair test and Lewis will whip him. It was better in my mind to have that question hanging in the wind.
Of course I’m assuming that Michael will come back and do badly. I’d like to think he wont, but you’ve only got to see how awful Badoer and Fisi were when they got back in completely different cars. Sure, Schumi is in a different league to both those guys, but the fact is, since 2006, F1 has significantly changed and every car feels different.
I would have liked to see Schumi jump into a Ferrari for a couple of races last year. There would have been a lot less pressure and it would arguably have been like the champ taking however many glory laps.
I think people will expect a Ross Brawn-like rise from the ashes, but don’t forget, Ross signed for Honda in 2008 and it took him a full year, with a head start on everyone else, to conquer the early stages of 2009. Also remember that Michael is joining last years constructor's champion team.
However, towards the end of 2009 Brawn GP really slipped and the likes of McLaren, Red Bull, and Ferrari will almost certainly be faster in 2010. Remember how great it was when Hill won in a Jordan and nearly won in an Arrows?
That was because no one expected that and I think Hill gained a lot more respect through those gutsy performances. I don’t think Mercedes GP will be as fast in 2010 as it was in 2009, but I think a lot of viewers will expect the same speed.
What I mean is, I think Schumi could certainly win at least one more race, but it will take time. It took Lauda two years to win the title after he returned in 1982, does Schumi have that long?
I know this article reads like a massive winge. It will be nice to see Schumi back, I guess. My overarching feeling though, is that this was designed simply to make a lot more people tune into F1 in 2010. If Schumi can come back and set the world on fire, all power to him…good luck Michael…