Michael Schumacher: Should He Leave Mercedes GP To Be the Next Stig?

Craig ChristopherAnalyst ISeptember 8, 2010

Michael Schumacher:The Next Stig?
Michael Schumacher:The Next Stig?

Some say the mere thought of being overtaken makes him try to run other drivers into a wall, and that he is completely devoid of any sense of guilt—all we know is that Michael Schumacher should be the next Stig.

Now that British racing driver Ben Collins has outed himself as the enigmatic character “The Stig” on BBC’s worldwide smash hit motoring program Top Gear, he has apparently been relieved of the white overalls and been sent packing.

Apparently, the show’s producers—and fans too, it would seem—were so incensed by Collins’ decision to walk away from his confidentiality agreements, that he has been fired. Collins has reportedly decided to strike out on what will probably be a short-lived, but lucrative literary career by writing a tell-all book about his time on the show.

Host Jeremy Clarkson and the show’s producers have failed in their efforts to take out an injunction to stop the publication of Collins autobiography “The Man in The White Suit."

So, that presumably leaves an opening in the Top Gear lineup for a new Stig. The precedent has been set with the original black Stig being fired off an aircraft carrier—also after naming himself—so why not just get another. Perhaps Top Gear could borrow an idea from Doctor Who and just drop someone else in the slot and come up with some sci-fi reasoning about how it happened.

Which brings us neatly to Michael Schumacher.

Schumi has, in fact, already auditioned for the show and appeared in The Stig’s trademark white Alpine Stars racing overalls in 2009 to pilot a Ferrari FXX around the test track in the blistering fast time of 1:10.7. He then sat on the couch and revealed himself as the Stig, playing on one of many rumours that have since proven to be false.

Apparently, he also attempted a lap in the reasonably priced car, but got lost and didn’t record a time.

Some might argue that Schumacher has already started identifying himself with The Stig. There can be few other explanations for him trying to pin Rubens Barrichello to the wall in Hungary after the diminutive Brazilian shaved one-tenth of a second off the Stig’s time of 1:44.4 around the track in the reasonably priced car.

Even Schumi’s most rusted-on fans would have to admit that his comeback to Formula One has been a disappointment. He has inherited an underperforming car and has been comprehensively out-driven by his young teammate, Nico Rosberg. By continuing, he is only damaging his legacy and it’s already taken enough of a battering.

Maybe it is time for him to move on to something a bit gentler, where he can still drive fast, but without the pressure of actually having to race. Who knows, he may even come to be loved again—but by a whole new generation of fans.

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