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Schumacher still in search of old magic

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Sarah Holt | 16:09 UK time, Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Three days after a frustrating Australian Grand Prix, Michael Schumacher climbed back into a Formula 1 car for a public demonstration of donuts, pit-stops and burning rubber in Malaysia.

Driving around a car park in the centre of Kuala Lumpur was probably not what the seven-time world champion had in mind when he agreed to return to the sport after a three-year hiatus.

But then again, two races into the 2010 season, it has hardly been the comeback that Schumacher or his Mercedes team would have wanted either.

The record-breaking German, winner of 91 grands prix, has collected just nine points out of a possible 50, with a sixth-place finish in Bahrain and a battling 10th in Australia.

"We know we still have to develop the car a bit more," Schumacher told the crowd at another PR appearance under the shadow of the city's Petronas Towers - named for the national oil company that is also Mercedes' title sponsor.

It's not just the car that is off the pace, though.

Away from the public stage, Schumacher said he felt he was squeezing as much out of the Mercedes as possible.

The 41-year-old may well be driving at his limit but he is not yet up to the speed of his younger team-mate Nico Rosberg, who has found more time out of the car to trump his famous compatriot in all but two sessions this season.

In Melbourne, Schumacher surprisingly found himself embroiled with backmarkers; at one stage he was re-passed by rookie Lucas di Grassi's Virgin before struggling to find a way past Jaime Alguersuari's Toro Rosso.

Niki Lauda, who successfully came out of a two-year retirement in 1982 and went on to win his third title with McLaren in 1984, predicted Schumacher would be back to his best three races into his comeback.

Michael Schumacher drives in front of the Petronas TowersSchumacher will hope to be closer to his best form in Malaysia. Photograph: Getty

Ahead of this season's third grand prix in Malaysia on Sunday, Schumacher rated himself as "very close" to the form he was in before retiring at the end of 2006 and was confident that he could take another step forward at the Sepang circuit.

"A podium is what I envisage here," said Schumacher, who has won three times under Malaysia's tropical skies. "The track is a big challenge but maybe some rain at the right moment will help."

Mercedes have cautiously set themselves a longer deadline to return to the front of the constructors' class.

The team won both championships last season in their former guise as Brawn, as Jenson Button streaked to sizzling victories in six out of the first seven races to lay the foundations for the crown he won in Brazil in October.

But Mercedes are a long way off 2009's early dominance and the team now find themselves with the fourth fastest car on the grid behind Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren.

"Last year was a fairytale but those things don't last long," team boss Ross Brawn said. "Our reliability is good but we need to find some more time; we're not quick enough yet. It's a very important phase for the team now but by the European races we'll be in a stronger position."

The problem with expecting the Spanish Grand Prix on 9 May to be the scene of a big step forward because of a major technical upgrade is that all the teams will be doing the exact same thing as, after four long-haul races, they can absorb new parts and solutions currently being worked on at their European bases.

McLaren's innovative aerodynamic "F-duct" has already been copied by Sauber while McLaren team principal Martin Whitmarsh and Brawn have both said their teams are looking at imitating what they believe to be Red Bull's adjustable ride-height system.

But Brawn knows as well as anyone that the only way you can catch your rivals is if your rate of development is the fastest and most effective.

"We are building for a stronger future," he added. "So we can be a strong team for a number of years."

German car giant Mercedes may not be putting any pressure on the team after just two races but there's no doubt that there is a long-term desire to succeed.

The "Silver Arrows" returned to Formula 1 after an absence of 55 years after winning back-to-back crowns with legendary Argentine Juan Manuel Fangio in 1954 and 1955.

As a brand, Mercedes is synonymous with success in motorsport and the company will ultimately want more if it is to be prevented following fellow manufacturers Honda, Toyota and BMW out of F1.

"We promise we will do it step-by-step," said Mercedes motorsport vice-president Norbert Haug in Malaysia. "But you need to be patient."

As rumours begin to swirl about Schumacher's future, it remains to be seen whether he, too, has the patience to come good on his promise to stick it out for "as long as it takes".

Comments

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  • 1. At 5:28pm on 31 Mar 2010, Schumi4ever wrote:

    Schumacher has 9 points - not 11.
    He outpaced Rosberg in two of the three practice sessions at Australia - not one as your article suggests.
    Please get the facts right!

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  • 2. At 5:37pm on 31 Mar 2010, adil wrote:

    He also had the 2nd fastest time in the Australian grand prix!!!

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  • 3. At 5:40pm on 31 Mar 2010, adil wrote:

    Apologies, for I am mistaken. He had the 5th fastest time.

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  • 4. At 5:40pm on 31 Mar 2010, Anthony wrote:

    Let's be honest; Schumi wouldn't have been any faster in Oz if he was driving a Ferrari! Haha

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  • 5. At 5:43pm on 31 Mar 2010, theblobinator wrote:

    To be fair, Schumi is still pretty competetive - had he not have become involved in the first corner accident then he may even have got a podium - then we'd all be saying that Schumi's going to the win the world championship. he was having the better of Rosberg throughout most of the weekend up to that point. I think we'll see him on the podium sooner rather than later.

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  • 6. At 5:45pm on 31 Mar 2010, steve wrote:

    I think schumacher is past it,Nico is slowly but surely demoralising him.

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  • 7. At 5:47pm on 31 Mar 2010, U14370947 wrote:

    Why is the BBC trying to get rid of schumacher with all the negativity

    Hes 41
    Hes not raced for 3 years
    New team
    Different cars

    Give him a chanve

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  • 8. At 5:50pm on 31 Mar 2010, Shivraj Gohil wrote:

    I think anyone driving these new cars, even Schumacher need time to get used to it, I think Lauda's right, malaysia onwards he will get into the groove, and mid season he will consistently outpace Rosberg, thats my view anyway. I don't know why everyones giving him a hard time, when he got whacked into the first corner, comes out of the situaion dead last after a pitstop, gets a visor stuck in his front wing...it pretty much stacked up against Schumi in Australia...Alonso was in a similiar situation, but that Ferrari is super fast, lets just see what happens in Malaysia, I hope for some 2001 weather in daylight!

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  • 9. At 5:59pm on 31 Mar 2010, mr_hag wrote:

    Not a very good analysis of Schumacher's comeback.
    Most experts rate his performance in Oz as pretty good to excellent, given the context - every bit as good as Hamilton's drive, maybe better.
    And pray tell, what rumours regarding Schumacher's future have you been privy to? The link in the last paragraph is to one of the worst tabloid articles ever referenced on a BBC website - I hope you have better sources than that.

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  • 10. At 6:00pm on 31 Mar 2010, the3douches wrote:

    I'm not a Schumacher fan, but I think you need to wait until the end of the season to be able to make a comprehensive judgement on the success of his comeback. I don't believe he will be Champion, but he's capable of winning a race or two.

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  • 11. At 6:06pm on 31 Mar 2010, Joe wrote:

    7 time world campion, I think he can do what he likes whether that be racing at the back or the front.

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  • 12. At 6:09pm on 31 Mar 2010, Anthony wrote:

    How long will it be before he shunts someone on purpose or parks on the racing line again? He does not disserve to participate in the sport; it should be a privilege to drive in F1 and he has shown total contempt for both the sport, fellow drivers and fans it since he first appeared.

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  • 13. At 6:11pm on 31 Mar 2010, McFerrari wrote:

    Schumacher was well beat by Rosberg in Bahrain. Australia he was unlucky. He drove and hustled the car far more convincingly than in Bahrain where he looked quite tentative at times. However despite a great start off the line in Melbourne he found himself the unfortunate victim of a racing incident alongside Button and Alonso. That well and truly ruined his race and despite finishing behind Rosberg again, he was in effect much much closer to his teammate. I honestly see no reason why he can't challenge for a podium. If he had escaped the accident at the start of Melbourne he would have been ahead of Kubica - who we all know finished second. I predict he'll beat Rosberg this weekend - but will need rain if he is to reach the podium and the Mercedes isn't quite there.

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  • 14. At 6:24pm on 31 Mar 2010, Kris wrote:

    Come on Sarah, I thought a long time f1 and motor racing fan would resist jumping on the band wagon and compliment Schumacher rather than slate him!!

    What do you expect of him? There are many reasons why he hasn't had the fairytale comeback but I thought even the press would have realised the most obvious reason. The car is not good enough, in my eyes the pecking order is Red Bull, Ferrari, Mclaren then Mercedes/Renault. With this in mind his finishes are in line with where is car is at.

    Now to the Rosberg situation, Schumacher left the sport with grooved tires, huge rear wings, tiny front wings & aero add-ons all over the car. He's been out for 3 years, limited testing & a completely different car. Rosberg is a current f1 driver who has 3 years racing on Schumacher. What did any of you expect???!!! Two races & two points finishes in an average car.......should the press not be admiring this??

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  • 15. At 6:31pm on 31 Mar 2010, Hookers_armpit wrote:

    "collected just nine points out of a possible 50"

    A rather twisted use of the new points system to suit your story isn't it? Mercedes have said they wouldn't be winning races at the start of the season for a long time.

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  • 16. At 6:36pm on 31 Mar 2010, Killy wrote:

    I am not a schumacher fan but the schumacher bashing really is getting old already, when the facts of qualifying incidents and collisions in the race, race pace in only his second race back etc simply make a mockery of all the sensationalist rubbish continually being spewed out by journalists. Move on!

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  • 17. At 7:12pm on 31 Mar 2010, dougd22 wrote:

    This is incredibly lazy journalism! Next time, why not think outside the box and write something that every other tabloid writer IS NOT WRITING!

    He's been away 3 years, he's in a relatively)uncompetitive car and he's joined a new team. He had a decent first race and his race in Australia was compromised by Alonso/Button. He still dug out a point and posted one of the fastest laps.

    You may point to the pace of Rosberg (one of most talented drivers on the grid by the way) but let us not forget that - a) Schumacher was right there with him in terms of pace in OZ and b) Rosberg's been in F1 for about four years - almost the same length of time that Schumacher's been out of the sport.

    I think he'll be challenging for podiums and maybe wins later in the season.

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  • 18. At 7:33pm on 31 Mar 2010, dom taylor f1 wrote:

    Schumacher made the completely wrong decision coming back at 41. He can't compete with the likes of Alonso, Button, Vettel, Hamilton, Rosberg etc.

    His reputation will be eternally damaged!!

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  • 19. At 7:35pm on 31 Mar 2010, Ragerod wrote:

    He'll still go down as one of the greatest in history but his start isn't promising. Considering his high standards and everyone's expectations he is underperforming. But he is 41 and hasn't been in F1 in awhile so it proves he's human after all. Hopefully if it rains heavy in Malaysia we can see some Schumacher magic.

    I don't mind the Schumacher bashing, he's bashed enough people in his career. It's a break from all the stories on Hamilton, which gets tedious.

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  • 20. At 8:00pm on 31 Mar 2010, Dean Cassady wrote:

    Schumacher has covered his bases well on advancing expectations for his performance and that of Mercedes, including, at one point, indicating that it would be a three year program to reach championship.
    As can be judged by comparison to Rosberg, currently outperforming Schuey, the car/team and driver formula is not at the top end of performance; so it isn't totally Schumacher's performance that is at issue. However, embedded in this comment is the real issue for assessing Schumacher's return to Formula One, his failure to lead his team mate.
    Never before in his career has he been in this position! It is ominous for the blinded favourite followers, having gravitated to the Schumacher brand, with the media frenzy associated with his return.
    For others like me, those following the subtulties of the sport for some time, Schumacher's failure to beat Rosberg, 'out-of-the-box', is not so surprising; (I suggested as much on previous Sarah blogs).
    Regardless of the current team mate comparison for Schumacher, few seasoned fans would expect him to show what he can do this time around, before three or four races.
    But if Rosberg continues his dominance in Malaysia, the under-performance of the Mercedes will begin to be less and less relevant for the future of the winningest driver in Formula One history!

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  • 21. At 8:09pm on 31 Mar 2010, Dean Cassady wrote:

    By the way, while I am not personally a big Schumy fan, for the obvious racing incidents, not to mention the disproportionate media focus, slagging him without justification in inappropriate based on his indisputably superlative record in the sport.
    Despite that, 9. At 5:59pm on 31 Mar 2010, mr_hag: his performance was not even close to being as good as Hamilton in Melbourne in 2010; come on!

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  • 22. At 8:40pm on 31 Mar 2010, mr_hag wrote:

    Dean Cassady:
    "Never before in his career has he been in this position!"

    Schumacher has been getting closer to Rosberg, who is a great young driver in his own right. Not bad for an old man just returning to a changed sport. Incidentally, the amount Rosberg will learn from Schumacher is staggering (and keep your 'race incidents' rap to yourself). Don't forget Schumacher's ties to Mercedes go back a long way - what he is doing here is far more than just a sporting comeback, it's unfinished business.

    When MS started at Ferrari, it took them a year or two to make the car competitive, before dominating completely. It won't take that long at Mercedes, though they might not dominate the way Ferrari did when MS was in his pomp. MS will be on the podium soon, no doubt. Maybe he'll even get to 100 wins before the three years are up - would you bet against it?

    As to his Oz performance compared to Hamilton, it wasn't far off. Check the race stats. And his failure to get past the Toro Rosso may have something to do with Alguersuari - he's one to watch.

    All in all, an exciting year lies ahead for F1.

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  • 23. At 8:54pm on 31 Mar 2010, mr_hag wrote:

    Dean Cassady:
    "For others like me, those following the subtulties of the sport for some time [...]"

    Aah, yes. Personally, I have no access to these subtulties. Unless you mean subtitles, which are often wrong.

    Seriously though, I tend to agree with much of what you say. And I don't consider myself a Schumacher fan, but like with other geniuses of their sport like Federer and Tiger, and before that Maradona, you've got to give credit where credit is due.

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  • 24. At 9:56pm on 31 Mar 2010, sohaib wrote:

    Why does bbc and british press always bash Schum? Why cant they just give him a break, i am a bbc fan but their journalism should be crystal clear and unbiased, i am unimpressed by this article, who is sarah holt? i dont think she knows abc of f1,
    And i wont write anything for schum, bcz we know he is the gr8st and that cant be changed by such lowly articles and comments, he will shut mouths of critics by his performance, this media and tabloids is always junk and nothing else, and people r always jealous of Greats like schum

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  • 25. At 10:14pm on 31 Mar 2010, McFerrari wrote:

    sohaib - this is the only country with a large anti Schumacher following in the press and the fans. Of course it all stems from the bitterness that still derives from Adelaide 1994. But they still won't let it go. How desperately sad.

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  • 26. At 10:20pm on 31 Mar 2010, Isaac12 wrote:

    I think Michael has shown that he is still rusty in his performances and his Mercedes is of the pace which doesn't help his situation. The car needs more development on pace.

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  • 27. At 10:24pm on 31 Mar 2010, goldenbales wrote:

    Im not sure people were expecting a fairytale start to his career. Nor he of his team suggested it either.

    If not for the accident at the start of oz i think he would of been right up there. I can see him getting some podiums, perhaps not this racce but in the near future as he clearly still has some pace and merc will only improve. He wont be winning any championships but he certainly will be competitive and I think thats all he wants and at 41 its pretty impressive.

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  • 28. At 10:32pm on 31 Mar 2010, Isaac12 wrote:

    In reference to Sohaib 24. comment. The British press didn't like when Michael use to out class Damon Hill. It's amazing how people hardly mention when Damon Hill took Michael out of the British grand prix in 1995.

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  • 29. At 10:52pm on 31 Mar 2010, laughingdevil wrote:

    I am not a Schumi fan.

    In fact during his "first" stint in F1 I despised him and everything he stood for (namely the win at whatever the cost mentality)

    However, there is another way of looking at his comeback

    -In his first race back he finished in front of the defending Champion. I know no-one really expects Jensen to retain his crown but so far he's not exactly doing a bad job with a new team set up around one of his 2 main rivals. And he is the defending Champion and will be till we have a winner this year.

    -In his second race he finished 10th despite being hit by Alonso (After alsono was pushed into him by button) and having to go back to the pits for wing repairs. Due to the nature of F1 racing even to overtake mid-table cars you need to be in a very competative car, he isn't.

    -Many people blame the lack of re-fueling for making it a procession, at the weekend the only overtaking was caused due to the weather mixing strategys up, Schumi's was ruined though (again by the first corner)

    So it could be all doom and gloom and he'll be back in retirment before the seasons out.

    Or it could be that he's still getting back into the groove while doing a decent job against people who've not droped a step since he left. His car isn't going to win him any races baring weather and reliablity issues, and until it is even he can't make the car go faster. The car could simply suite Rosbergs driving style better.

    He didn't win every race at his peak, he didn't even finish on the podium every time (despite what the media ledgends would have you believe) he even occasionally had a bad season, never mind bad race!

    It's far to early to tell as yet. Re-write the article at the 1/2 way point and maybe there would be enough evidence for a constructive debate and analysis!

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  • 30. At 11:05pm on 31 Mar 2010, buymespresso wrote:

    Er - nobody actually expected Michael to be a serious challenger, right? It's more like the other Michael's second comeback - we're all delighted to see him back, but we don't actually expect him to win anything. That would be a bonus.

    We do expect him to be a good mentor to those around him. If Nico Rosberg learns nothing from Michael this year, then I'd be hugely disappointed.

    I'd also be disappointed if I thought Michael himself wasn't aiming to win - if I thought he still didnt have the fire.

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  • 31. At 11:15pm on 31 Mar 2010, paul wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 32. At 11:16pm on 31 Mar 2010, vdv wrote:

    MSC was qualified 7th behind N.Rosberg (diff. of 43/1000) and F.Massa (diff.of 90/1000). The average length of a blink is 300 to 400 milliseconds. It can give you a relative idea of the difference between those drivers.
    As an (sorry) absolute fan of MSC, I can only say that it is simply great to see him back and trying his best. And if this means 43/1000 slower than Rosberg, I don't mind because seeing his red/orange helmet on TV is 1000 better than not seeing him.

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  • 33. At 11:17pm on 31 Mar 2010, craighillel wrote:

    Anthony

    I am a Schumi fan but will keep my opinions to myself regarding his comeback.

    To say how long before he "shunts" or "parks his car on the racing line" is a little biased against him. While i can not condone the incidents lets not forget Ayrton Senna at Suzuka 1990 - Whenever Ayrton's name or legacy is mentioned this incident never is. However with Schumi his legacy always seems to come second to his actions.

    Did Senna not deserve to participate in the sport/show total contempt for both the sport, fellow drivers and fans. No - He just did whatever it took to win - at all costs.

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  • 34. At 11:23pm on 31 Mar 2010, paul wrote:

    'All posts are reactively moderated'
    So why are there so many posts 'awaiting moderation'?
    I wish someone had reactively moderated this appaling article!

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  • 35. At 11:31pm on 31 Mar 2010, pvandck wrote:

    I'm surprised no-one has mentioned the war!

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  • 36. At 11:37pm on 31 Mar 2010, Riggadon wrote:

    I too am no great Schumacher fan, but I do respect him. He's a 7 times world champion, something that carries respect. It's just that nobody told the BBC that. I look forward to the inevitable two-faced turnaround by the BBC if/when Schumacher starts turning it on in a car more suited to him (when they've had a chance to develop it more). The amount of contempt a 7 times world champion is getting from the Beeb is both surprising, and dissapointing, and this is coming from a McLaren loving Englishman.

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  • 37. At 00:10am on 01 Apr 2010, Anthony wrote:

    craighillel

    The difference is that Senna admitted what he did and even said he was going to do it. Whereas Schumacher always trys to talk his way out of the blame for his stunts, attempting to make himself look the innocent party; which frankly stinks when it's clear that he's just intentionally cheated or got something by default by a non-sporting action. I enjoy seeing him struggle, and I hope he continues to for the next 3 years. £30 million well spent Merc... well done!

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  • 38. At 00:21am on 01 Apr 2010, paul wrote:

    My following post removed because it broke rules?? Its not racist,sexist, abusive, contains swear words etc etc
    I have removed a couple of words that may, but it seems it was removed because you dont like criticism:

    That article was pretty lacking in facts and simply wanted to sensationalise Schumachers' disappointing first 2 races.

    ''Driving around a car park in the centre of Kuala Lumpur was probably not what the seven-time world champion had in mind when he agreed to return to the sport after a three-year hiatus.''

    So he didn't think he would have to do any PR then? Rubbish!

    ''It's not just the car that is off the pace, though.''

    What 'pace' is that then? the pace of the drivers finishing behind him, or the fact that he was consistently quicker than rosberg over the weekend bar his problems? 6th out of 24, then 10th out of 24 drivers.

    ''As rumours begin to swirl about Schumacher's future, it remains to be seen whether he, too, has the patience to come good on his promise to stick it out for "as long as it takes".''

    I mean come on! That is some pretty appaling journalism. Coming from the Daily Mirror as well! Or are you privvy to some other exciting rumours?

    As I have posted elsewhere, I was overjoyed that the BBC were taking F1 from ITV (thank the lord) but it seems now that they are destroying their credibility with poor commentators and littering their website with shoddy journalism.

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  • 39. At 02:56am on 01 Apr 2010, smilingSpongeMuffin wrote:

    It would be nice if Murray Walker came back. He was professional, humble in his analysis, and intelligent with his summary.

    Now we have journalists after the "shock"value, who know little to nothing of F1. It is a technical sport, and not something comparable to ice skating or Pop Idol. A terrible piece of journalism.

    Schumacher is a 7 time champion. Will he be as good as he was in 1994 - No. But he is doing as well in his team as any other driver would. His comeback may not be scoring an expected 50/50, which the retards think he should be doing, but to those who understand F1, his comeback is a solid start.

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  • 40. At 03:07am on 01 Apr 2010, smilingSpongeMuffin wrote:

    There are many other channels and internet sites which we could get our F1 news from. Sure, the journalism is rubbish, but so is the BBC's. I only wish channel 4 would take it on.

    It is journalism like this that makes me want to tune in to the SPEED channel and watch it there. I am not a Schumacher fan, at all, but since Murray Walker left, it seems the integrity of the journalism has sunk to new lows of sensationalism and irrational assumptions.

    The BBC has no guts to post the majority of posts, because it is calling them on their shoddy tabloid work. I am going to press send, but may as well have written "This comment has been referred to the moderators. Explain."

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  • 41. At 05:24am on 01 Apr 2010, mattbenn wrote:

    "rumours begin to swirl" backed up by a link to the most pathetic article from the renowned F1 experts at the Mirror. Shouldn't BBC employees be capable of more than this?

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  • 42. At 05:38am on 01 Apr 2010, Chris wrote:

    What we all have to remember is Rosberg has not made any progress from last year he is still finishing off the podium and around 5th or below (Probably where he deserved to be last year on the show of his qualifying but was let down by the slower williams). Just because of the new points system this makes the position more worthwhile, where as we all no Schumi is not at his best yet but he will get there.

    I don't see Rosberg getting a win that will boost his confidence taking him to the next level.

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  • 43. At 05:43am on 01 Apr 2010, Adam wrote:

    I think its outrageous to suggest Schumi is on the way out. Sure, he 'only' had 10th in Australia, but he had the beating of Nico most of the weekend and admitted his setup for qualifying was too cautious. At this stage of the comeback, caution is probably wise. Had he not been taken out by Alonso and Button at turn one, I believe he would of finished an easy 2nd. People are too stupid to realise he can't drive off into the sunset, purely because he doesn't have the car to do it!

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  • 44. At 07:31am on 01 Apr 2010, james wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 45. At 07:33am on 01 Apr 2010, james wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 46. At 07:35am on 01 Apr 2010, james wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 47. At 07:37am on 01 Apr 2010, paul wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 48. At 07:42am on 01 Apr 2010, james wrote:

    David Coulthard won 13 Grands Prix in 14-years of racing and he has the nerve to criticise schumacher..

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  • 49. At 07:44am on 01 Apr 2010, james wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 50. At 08:05am on 01 Apr 2010, Radar_Rob wrote:

    Like most things in life, the middle ground is often not too far from the truth. I agree with a number of posters here that the article is a little biased and somewhat superficial. I'm by no means a Schumacher fan, but to knock him so vehemently so early into the season is premature. There are things he has done better than expected on his return, and others not so well - i.e.great battling performance in Oz during a difficult weekend, but would have expected more parity with Rosberg over all the various sessions so far this season. Also, while Schumacher is undoubtedly superb in the rain, I would urge people not to forget that out of the current crop of drivers Hamilton, Button and Vettel are also excellent in the rain and stand apart from the rest. This is not true of Alonso and Massa in my opinion.

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  • 51. At 08:13am on 01 Apr 2010, Yerocida wrote:

    @Anthony,

    Why the comments about Schumacher shunting? Do you still watch F1 with your Senna tinted glasses that seem to forget the little Brazilian taking out team mates or anyone that was going to stop him winning? Lose the jealousy of an awesome champion and read more into it.

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  • 52. At 08:44am on 01 Apr 2010, Tree wrote:

    Come on now - can we just stop writing things off so early in the season? People were writing off the season and the rule changes after the 1st race in Bahrain, and now that they realised they've got it wrong, due to the fact that the Grand Prix at Albert Park was superb, F1 journalists are now writing off Schumi instead. Can we just give it a rest?

    Let's think logically here - the guy is an absolute legend, but he's been out of the sport for 3 years, and to get back to the right level of fitness is difficult for anybody in any sport, especially F1.

    He's also now in his 40s, which makes the transition back into the sport even harder.

    He's not with Ferrari anymore, and is instead with a team who are not as competitive as they were last season, which is a crying shame, because I loved watching BrawnGP winning the championship.

    Therefore, give the guy a break here - the season's only 2 races through, and there's many more to go yet, so let's spare the judgement until we're a bit further along with it. He knows what he's doing, he hasn't lost his touch, he just needs some time to adjust to it again, so let's give him the time.

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  • 53. At 09:32am on 01 Apr 2010, DaveWalnut wrote:

    If you're going to write articles like this stating that Schumacher has only managed 9 points out of 50 while driving in the 4th quickest car; why not write about Mark Webber who has managed a massive 6 points out of 50 in the supposedly fastest car and without any reitrements.

    This couldn't be a clearer case of bashing Schumacher for the sake of it. Anthony at #37 is quite capable of that, we don't need a bbc journo to do it.

    If you're so desperate to criticise under achievement after two races, look into it a little more deeply than simply the final points.

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  • 54. At 09:49am on 01 Apr 2010, craig wrote:

    I echo the comments regarding this article being a great example of poor journalism, however it is only a blog, not a detailed analysis on Schumis season so far. Although frustrating I am used to the BBC's bias against schumi over the years so am immune to it now.
    To those who suggest Rosberg is 'slowly demoralising' Schumi, please.. are you serious? Do you honestly think a 7 time world champ, with nothing to prove, is going to be sitting in his motorhome after 2 races feeling like he cannot achieve any progress against his young teammate? What a ridiculous thing to say.
    To those already writing him off, how do you think you would perform at work after a 3 year holiday? Exactly where you left off?

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  • 55. At 09:52am on 01 Apr 2010, James wrote:

    I think too much is just being read into is performances so far, considering hes been out of the car for 3 years, hes done respectively well!

    Qualifying at the Albert Park was closer, and as Adz mentioned he would have probably finished in a strong position had he not been tangled.

    Mercedes have got a pretty good deal regardless, theirs more to a driver than just pure pace, specially considering the experience hes brought back to the team and media coverage!

    As Shivraj mentioned, lets hope for some rain (which I think is on the cards at the moment?).

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  • 56. At 10:56am on 01 Apr 2010, Shivraj Gohil wrote:

    James....totally right, everyone reading into 2 races after 3 years of retirement, he did do well, and I don't any fan of Schumacher expected him to jump in the Mercedes and be 2 seconds a lap faster than anyone else. He's probably still getting used to that dodgy air off the car in front, which would be a wake up call for any driver.

    Schumacher will bring the results, he's already brought the buzz back, race attendance figures are up, tv figures are up, even I'm most likley going to attend 2-3 raes this season, everythings looking up for this season.

    In a nutshell, the media really do overexagerrate everything, in my opinion if Schumi retires sooner than expected it will be because every reporter asks the same questions, not because he's not back to winning ways.

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  • 57. At 11:02am on 01 Apr 2010, SA_sports_fan wrote:

    Premature disregard for a champion of champions I would say. It took Jenson Button in excess of 100 grand prix's for him to register his first win was it not? Yet in 2009, the remarkable adaptation of Brawn GP to the evolution that is Formula One, he swept past all his challengers.

    Now, Schumi, once the pinnacle of the sport returns and after two dismal performances in the opening races is judged to be past his best.
    Need I remind you he won 3 grand prix's in his debut season with Ferrari, a car vastly inferior to its rivals in that championship year?
    Although Schumi re-joins Brawn at Mercedes, a partnership that yielded unrivaled success, he still requires time to forge a winning relationship with his engineers and shake off the obvious rustiness that comes with a 3 year hiatus from a dynamic sport.

    Past his best or not... he's still better than most.

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  • 58. At 11:17am on 01 Apr 2010, mr_hag wrote:

    33. "However with Schumi his legacy always seems to come second to his actions."

    Only in the UK.

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  • 59. At 11:23am on 01 Apr 2010, mr_hag wrote:

    Most sporting journalism in the UK is part of the entertainment, like the cheerleaders in the IPL - if you make the mistake of thinking that it even attempts to be objective, you will be unable to enjoy the spectacle.

    Sarah Holt probably thought she knew her audience - but forgot that F1 fans are generally quite technical, which may explain why so many of her readers aren't impressed by her attempts at a tabloid blog.

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  • 60. At 11:36am on 01 Apr 2010, Hookers_armpit wrote:

    Er...I think some unfair flak is flying for this article. Its not that negative about everybody's favourite jughead.

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  • 61. At 12:22pm on 01 Apr 2010, Shivraj Gohil wrote:

    Mr_Hag's comment makes sense, where F1 fans are generally very technical minded, theres no need to dumb down the coverage or journalism to gain a broader audience. I do find with the tv coverage, the same questions are asked, its very opinionated like 'Do u think Lotus can get a point this season?' That in my opinion is not a question its more like a stab in the dark...a guess....the answers not an answer.

    I could ramble on and on about this. Does anyone share my views? I mean the BBC do these like 'days out' with drivers, and its not really surprising when they say things like 'the team is fantastic'...or 'the team has potential', no drivers going to give an honest opinion about the situation they are in, if they interview Trulli, he's not going to say 'this Lotus is a dog, it won't be anywhere on the pace in the years I'm driving for them'

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  • 62. At 12:29pm on 01 Apr 2010, Michael Schumacher Is GOD wrote:

    I dont know what all the fuss is about, i mean yes he has nt done too great when he has come back but what do you expect he has nt been able to drive a formula one car in three years, everyone has slated him because he has nt jumped in the car and been 30 seconds ahead of the pack, when he first went to ferrari he never won much, and after a few years he help build the team mostly around him and took them into domination, personally the comments saying he has damaged reputation and how awful he was, just wait and think he has 7 world titles possibly the best driver to ever hold a steering wheel, before you start slateing him, think about what you have achieved compared to his feats in his career.

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  • 63. At 12:38pm on 01 Apr 2010, James wrote:

    I think the dumbing down of "F1" is a rather broad subject which the media have jumped all over, and as often mis-quoted the fans aren't interested in the technical aspect of the cars, only on track racing, which personally is completely untrue. Its just as exciting (though pre-dates me!) when the Tyrrell P34 or Lotus Gas Turbine cars made their appearances in the 60s and 70s, and when the F1 cars where truly ground braking. Regulations like everything have gone to far... better stop their :)

    Regardless I do agree the coverage if Formula 1 is somewhat bias, and as you mentioned rather opinionated (again im sure they will be picking up this weekend on how Schumi under performed), but on the other hand how can it really be done any better? if you want good commentators then you have to have people with character, and people with character tend to have opinions on most subjects :)

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  • 64. At 12:45pm on 01 Apr 2010, Swerve1 wrote:

    @ Post 17, Dougd22

    Your post has it pretty spot on i think.

    Schumacher is in the 4th best team on the Grid and i'd say he's 'in the mix' of things, which is all you can really ask for at this stage of the season.
    I also think he's being rightly cautious and not too attacking too much early on this season as was his trademark in seasons gone by. He knows he's not in a top 2 team so trashing the car off the circuit doesn't mean he can come back at the next race and blow everyone away, therefore he's trying to get points early on and not push the limits too much.

    In think he's one of 7 or 8 Potential race winners on the grid, and for a bloke who's been out for 3 years, coming back to a sport where the regulations have led to the cars now handling differently isn't too bad.

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  • 65. At 2:00pm on 01 Apr 2010, My Good Self wrote:

    Sarah Holt - I must admit you have me eating humble pie.

    Prior to reading this blog I didn't quite understand what qualities you brought to the BBC F1 team. I thought having Ted Kravitz and Lee (I see safety cars) McKenzie as pit lane reporters was more than enough over the GP weekends. Then I would read some of your comments posted on the Live Text during practise and so forth and think, 'What is this Holt person on about.' If it wasn't comments about what sandwich a driver was eating it would be a comment about what type of sunglasses they were wearing or what their favourite colour is. Your posts give me the distinct impression you were a school girl on work placement with too much time on their hands and a unhealthy love of Heat magazine. A true gossip queen. Plus you didn't have a Z in your surname.

    So I will hold my hands up and admit that maybe my first, second and maybe even tenth impression of you may has been misjudged. This blog goes some way to convince me that everything I orginally thought may have been wrong.

    Based on your blog, with any luck you can dispose Lee McKenzie as the number one female BBC F1 reporter very soon. I would however recommend that you vacantly nod your head when drivers are responding to your questions, ask questions that have no relevance to the previous answer given by a driver, bat those eye lashes for all their worth and of course ask a driver if they had trouble avoiding the errant unicorn that ran across the track when interviwing them after a race. Tick those boxes and you will replace Lee in no time.

    So thanks again for the blog, it was a welcome read even if I'm not a Schumacher fan. It is clear that a driver ten years younger than Schumacher would need a good number of races under their belt before they could regain their form after three years out. Some people are saying that Kimi would find it difficult returning to F1 if he choose to return next year. If that is the case then Schumacher will find it even more difficult. I think that Schumacher will continue to struggle for a number of races yet and may rely on a lot of luck to win a race during the first half of this season, if win a race at all. But as you have already shown me Sarah, I am more than happy to be proven wrong.

    Cheers.

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  • 66. At 2:04pm on 01 Apr 2010, tomjol wrote:

    Talk bout lazy journalism. You even linked to the Mirror for Pete's sake, you may as well have quoted the NOTW!

    Numbers 1, 3, 5, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 32, 33, 35, 36, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 52, 53, 54, 55, 56, 57, 58, 59, 61, 64, all great points.

    There's absolutely no need for me to repeat all the excellent points people have made above, so I won't. I will add some however, for example that he's by far the most successful driver in the history of the sport and the skills which got him there do not disappear. He's as fit as ever, seems as motivated as ever (and much more than 2005/06), and the tiny distance to Nico in qualifying for Melbourne speaks volumes about his ability to adapt after three years out of the sport.

    We've had two races so far, and he was taken out at turn one of the second race - so we effectively have one race to judge him on, and you're doing exactly that. Not appropriate, and not good enough.

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  • 67. At 2:24pm on 01 Apr 2010, Pete M wrote:

    Schumi's drive every bit as good or possibly better than Hamilton's, Oh perleeeaase.

    Look I'm no Schuey fan I admit but I just don't see the evidence for that statement. Hammo drove his socks off and was putting up stunning lap times till he got up to Alonso and no one truly beleived that cry baby would let him pass did they. Alonso would sooner crash them both that have that happen.

    I totally agree that Schuey needs a bit more time to get his act together but until he's consistently out qualiy-ing and out racing Nico, he cannot be considered to be there yet.

    There are always rumours in F1 so I wouldn't pay too much attention to rumours about Schuey, unless they appear in Autosport who normally get these things right.

    Finally the Mercedes is not good enough to win and may not be all year unless they fluke another double - diffuser type issue like last year. The only Schuey victory will come if he inherits a win from crashes etc.

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  • 68. At 2:56pm on 01 Apr 2010, Regenmeister wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 69. At 2:58pm on 01 Apr 2010, Vito wrote:

    Hi everyone, hope your all well...
    im sorry but i have a few things to get off my chest....1st of all i am truly dissappointed with every member of the bbc f1 crew..they have been making ridiculous comments about michael schumacher since March...I am sorry, but he has done more for this sport then all of the drivers put together! He is the best, was the best and will continue to be the best until the next star comes along..He has just got back into a F1 car and has finished both races and scored points in both races....how on earth can you criticise him for that??? im totally confused lol...i mean its so funny how they are giving Michael negative reviews, when the master himself has only come back to have fun!! Why cant u let him enjoy his racing...he didnt say hes coming back because hes the best, or he wants to beat everyone...no simply to enjoy racing...Apart from Alonso, lol there is no other racer who you can even compare to Schumacher, I know we are British and must hold the best regard for British drivers, thats fine, but that doesnt mean we must be DELUSIONAL and arogant about the German. Especially Martin Brundle, hes always been honest and experienced, yet he hasnt even acknowledged Schumachers brilliance since hes returned....I am sorry if this angers anyone, but if any other driver on the current field left for 3 years and then returned....I think they wouldnt even complete a race, let alone score points TWICE....

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  • 70. At 3:02pm on 01 Apr 2010, Salvador_Limones wrote:

    Hi Sarah, great blog thanks. Mercedes are currently the fourth best team, in my opinion, which makes Michael the ninth best driver compared to Rosberg, his teammate that has outclassed him so far this season.

    I think Michael has a lot to prove when racers like Nick Heidfeld were overlooked in favour of him. It's good publicity for the new Mercedes team, having Schumacher back, but I'm not sure if he wants to be just a publicity stunt, I think he wants to compete and hopefully he will show something extra this weekend.

    By the way, BBC coverage is awesome, so much better than ITV and is extremely appreciated, all of it. Don't listen to all these fanboys replying here. I doubt they would like it if someone told them they were doing a terrible job of emptying peoples bins.

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  • 71. At 3:05pm on 01 Apr 2010, schumi4eva wrote:

    I don't know about everyone else, but I'm sick of the negative press Michael has been getting. I'm British and a Schumacher fan and it's so frustrating to read all this 'he's past it' rubbish. They've had two races and it seems the media in particular are expecting him to win every single race. He posted the 4th quickest lap time in Australia, and if it wasn't for bozo Alonso not looking in his mirrors in qualifying and the race, I think Michael would have been right up there. Plus, their car clearly needs more work done on it to get up there with McLaren, Ferrari and Red Bull.

    Michael didn't need to come back to F1, and he doesn't really need to win. He's done EVERYTHING. Nobody will beat 7 world championships. He's doing this purely because he's a racer and that feeling is obviously so strong that he can't do anything else. Please everyone just give him a chance.

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  • 72. At 3:11pm on 01 Apr 2010, Vito wrote:

    Very good comments also...Especially about the new rules for the cars...they are so pathetic this year lolol...i say kick the bbc f1 team and get new neutral people...all they want to see is button and hamilton win lol. quite sad really.

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  • 73. At 3:40pm on 01 Apr 2010, hackerjack wrote:

    Apologies, for I am mistaken. He had the 5th fastest time.
    -------------

    Fastest laps in the race mean absolutely nothing anymore.

    The fastest lap will be set by someone having the right combination of:
    - Low fuel
    - Less worn tyres
    - Clean air
    - A reason to push the lap times

    By the time they get to a low fuel situation most drivers will either have wrung most of the life out of their tyres (if they havent then they havenot made best use of them), stuck behind someone else or protecting their position. Certainly other than the odd occasion where they are hunting down someone in front who they can catch before teh end very few will be pushing 100% at this stage.

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  • 74. At 3:49pm on 01 Apr 2010, Psychic-predator wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 75. At 4:03pm on 01 Apr 2010, gralex wrote:

    As rumours begin to swirl about Schumacher's future, it remains to be seen whether he, too, has the patience to come good on his promise to stick it out for "as long as it takes".

    Of course he does. Almost everyone here seems to have forgotten that Ross & Schuey rendered the sport borderline boring, just a couple years after they got hold of a struggling Ferrari.

    This pair's patience and determination are legendary. It got so bad that the FIA comically stepped in with a fair number of (blatantly obvious anti-Ferrari) rule changes that never even came close to affecting their perfomance:-) What DID bring them down in the end, however, was their partnership with Bridgestone. Had Ferrari been running on Michelins, Schuey might have had 10 world championships under his belt...

    So yes, I think it's safe to say that these two are in it for the long run.

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  • 76. At 4:08pm on 01 Apr 2010, U14334741 wrote:

    "It's amazing how people hardly mention when Damon Hill took Michael out of the British grand prix in 1995."

    That's because the British have very selective memories when it comes to cheating. Every Englishman remembers the hand of God, they never remember, however, the dive that won their game against Argentina in WC 2002 or Paul Scholes' handball that knocked Poland out of Euro 2000.

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  • 77. At 4:25pm on 01 Apr 2010, Redstarsilver wrote:

    If one had read this page without watching the races one would be left with the impression of schumacher as a tired old sheep dog but that is simply not the case. To finish 6th in his first race in three years is nothing less than superhuman and then last week he was punted off on the first lap when Button and Alonso dcided to tangle with each other which damaged schuys front wing. Then Schuy had 3 pit stops when most of the others only had 2 this is why he finished in 10th not because he is any less talented then 2006! Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but write Schumi off at your peril because mark my words he WILL win races in 2010!

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  • 78. At 4:25pm on 01 Apr 2010, paul wrote:

    I have emailed twice to ask why my posts were removed when they appear to break no 'rules', with no reply. Why is there censorship of critical comments on the quality of journalism on this blog?
    Your rules state that an answer will be given if a mail is sent-which I have.
    It also states that posts are 'reactively moderated' which is untrue, as all new posts are 'awaiting moderation'. I have asked this question earlier.
    If the BBC wishes to provide areas in which 'debate' can happen, why censor posts which are in any way critical?
    If I do not receive a reply I will have no choice but to make a formal complaint, as the content of this blog, and statements made, are factually incorrect.

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  • 79. At 4:38pm on 01 Apr 2010, SupaSix-1 wrote:

    Im british but Im very disapointed & ashamed with the attitudes of the BBC F1 Team. Surely you people as realists & professionals, cannot expect any retired driver like schumacher to jump straight back into a car & be on top form beating all others after not driving a car for 3 years - would david (not even a world champ) be any different? Any rational person will expect it to take time to get used to. In the coverage...Jake, david & eddie slating michael constantly despite his race being ruined by webber. They also shamefully & constantly took pot-shots at Lewis. The biased views towards jenson was not professional & as being British you all shouldve ALSO shown support to Lewis aswell considering Lewis was being attacked all weekend by everyone & despite that he out-drove all others. It seemed like you all have been pro-jenson, anti-Lewis & anti-schumi. Also didnt like it post-race when jake, david & jenson were sniggering when numerously bringing up about Lewis' radio rant to the team...very childish & a stab in the back!

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  • 80. At 4:38pm on 01 Apr 2010, Vito wrote:

    Hi everyone, hope your all well...
    im sorry but i have a few things to get off my chest....1st of all i am truly dissappointed with every member of the bbc f1 crew..they have been making ridiculous comments about michael schumacher since March...I am sorry, but he has done more for this sport then all of the drivers put together! He is the best, was the best and will continue to be the best until the next star comes along..He has just got back into a F1 car and has finished both races and scored points in both races....how on earth can you criticise him for that??? im totally confused lol...i mean its so funny how they are giving Michael negative reviews, when the master himself has only come back to have fun!! Why cant u let him enjoy his racing...he didnt say hes coming back because hes the best, or he wants to beat everyone...no simply to enjoy racing...Apart from Alonso, lol there is no other racer who you can even compare to Schumacher, I know we are British and must hold the best regard for British drivers, thats fine, but that doesnt mean we must be DELUSIONAL and arogant about the German. Especially Martin Brundle, hes always been honest and experienced, yet he hasnt even acknowledged Schumachers brilliance since hes returned....I am sorry if this angers anyone, but if any other driver on the current field left for 3 years and then returned....I think they wouldnt even complete a race, let alone score points TWICE....

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  • 81. At 4:54pm on 01 Apr 2010, gralex wrote:

    (@ my previous comment #75)

    I was meaning to mention Benetton as well, to further prove my point of the Ross & Schuey relationship but COMPLETELY forgot! I must be getting old:-)

    Time will tell if they can make it a hat-trick!

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  • 82. At 5:16pm on 01 Apr 2010, Shivraj Gohil wrote:

    well its all going off in hear now! I reckon this could be the biggest talked about article since al this BBC blogging began!

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  • 83. At 5:29pm on 01 Apr 2010, Perlman wrote:

    I also do not quite agree with the article.
    If I read the numbers and circumstances right, Schumacher is not being 'out classed' by Rosberg, looks to me they are pretty much on par at this point - which I think is a compliment to both of them.

    Only I doubt Rosberg will get much faster, while MS might .

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  • 84. At 6:58pm on 01 Apr 2010, SupaSix-1 wrote:

    Wanted to take part in this so for the 1st time ever, I registered in order to participate. My message was not breaking any house rules but still has not been posted by the moderators, even though posts by other users made after mine have been. Well if this is how you welcome & appreciate new bloggers then I will cancel & register where its appreciated.
    The content of my initial message merely echoed those on here. The dissapointing, unrealistic & biased views shown by the BBC F1 Team all weekend. The blatant aparency that the BBC F1 Team are obviously pro-button (DC is button's best mate), anti-hamilton & anti-schumacher. DC has achieved nothing apart from a few race wins, would he be able to be at the top if he came back in 3 years? NO..especially considering hes never rally been at the top even during his career. BBC F1 team are quick to slate schumi...but with Button...its like "oh...jensons in a new team & he needs time to settle in, these things take time".

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  • 85. At 7:53pm on 01 Apr 2010, SupaSix-1 wrote:

    Correction from my last message...I said webber ruined schumachers race....it was actually button who caused the 1st corner crash, which resulted in schumacher damaging his nose so he had to pit. The BBC F1 Team didnt mention that on much did they? If Lewis caused the crash...they'd have mentioned it every lap.

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  • 86. At 8:18pm on 01 Apr 2010, crazyfool8 wrote:

    I think people are being too hard on Schumi after only 2 races. He got a brilliant start in Oz, much better than those in front, and he got taken out by Alonso. His race was over after 1 corner. He'll come good after a few more races.

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  • 87. At 00:18am on 02 Apr 2010, paul wrote:

    I think everything that needs to be said, has been said on the subject here-I only hope Sarah takes heed of some of these comments regarding her reporting and skewed judgement. You can report on an opinion, or you can report facts.
    The most staggering fact, which destroys the whole premise of the article, is the following:
    A driver whom has not even been in an F1 car for 3 years, is 41 years old, and is in a car slightly lacking compared to the front runners manages to post the 4th FASTEST LAP of the entire race (1.29.185), faster than Button, Kubica, Alonso, Vettel and Massa. FACT!

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  • 88. At 00:19am on 02 Apr 2010, sohaib wrote:

    @ McFerrari 25 and
    Isaac12 28
    U both r absolutely right, its all about that Damon & Schum fuss that British media is against Schum, But one thing's for sure BBC is loosing credibility (atleast in my mind) by employing such lasy & yellow journalists, i think they should have a look at it.

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  • 89. At 01:51am on 02 Apr 2010, M1nstrel wrote:

    also, mercedes are 3rd, not 4th and Red Bull are 5th, not in the top 3.

    please get your facts straight

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  • 90. At 04:17am on 02 Apr 2010, Sarah Holt wrote:

    Hello everyone,

    Thanks for all your responses to the blog. It's really good to see plenty of debate.

    Any article about Michael Schumacher is always going to produce some strong opinions and those opinions have been divided since he announced his comeback in December.

    I don't think that anything in the article is "negative" or over-critical, as some of you have suggested, and there's certainly no anti-Schumacher agenda.

    The fact is, it has so far not been the comeback that either Schumacher or Mercedes would have wanted - and that has come straight from the seven-time world champion himself.

    He told the media in Malaysia on Friday: "I think it will take us longer than we hoped (to be competitive)." This view has also been echoed by Ross Brawn and Norberg Haug.

    Schumacher has also talked about being rusty and, at the age of 41 after three years out of the car, of course he's going to take some time to get back into his rhythm. And, as many of you pointed out, we shouldn't be so surprised by that.

    I think it's also fair to also say, however, that in his previous career he would not have been consistently out-paced by his team-mate, but this season he has been slower than Nico Rosberg. It's also unlikely that he would have had so much trouble getting through the field in Melbourne five years ago. Schumacher, after all, was right behind Ferrari's Fernando Alonso when the race restarted - and he made nowhere near as much progress as Alonso did, in conditions that in the past you would have expected to be tailor-made for him.

    As regards Schumacher's long-term future, there is talk in the paddock about how long he intends to stay in F1 if he does not improve. There are always rumours in F1 - that's part of the game. It doesn't make them true, and we don't say that there are. We happen to link to the Mirror article because it is an article that reflects those rumours. That does not mean that is our only source of information, or that we necessarily subscribe to what it says. It is our job in the BBC to link out to other places on the internet; that's all.

    I'm looking forward to continuing to observe Michael Schumacher and Mercedes' performance on the track and I will keep talking to him and the team to keep you informed of their progress as the season goes on. What's makes F1 so much fun is there is always so much to talk about.

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  • 91. At 04:53am on 02 Apr 2010, Sarah Holt wrote:

    Hello again,

    And I should add that you can tune in on Sunday to watch Jake Humphrey's exclusive interview with Michael Schumacher during the pre-race build-up show, which starts at 0800 BST on BBC One.

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  • 92. At 06:02am on 02 Apr 2010, andiM wrote:

    Hi Sarah,
    You might not have intended it, but your article does appear to have a negative subtext concerning Schumacher, it seems disingenuous to belittle his 9 points ('just') which represents a 6th in his first race and a tenth after an incident resulting in an extra pit stop.The comparison with Alonso is equally problematic since Ferrari seem to have a better car and Alonso has been racing for the last 3 years. The phrase 'all season' also appears fairly pointless after 4 competitive sessions,since who knows about fuel loads during practice. However, the tone of the opening of your article implies Schumacher has an arrogant contempt for the P.R event as if he did not expect to be taking part in something so demeaning.You may not have intended it but this is how it reads to me and seemingly many others. The parts about mercedes were interesting and much more balanced must say as well that linking to a red top papers articles is never a good idea since from first to last page it is usually sensationalist rubbish and would like to think as a bbc journalist you would not trust them as a source worth reading for your audience. It might be interesting to have an article about the ride-height stuff or how Webber is dealing with the difficulties of his start to the season if possible? Ta muchly

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  • 93. At 09:01am on 02 Apr 2010, SupaSix-1 wrote:

    Hey sarah,
    As well as I understand in a way your comments, I'm quite flabergasted that just after 2 races, you're quick to compare Michael's current performance to his past performance?? I'm sure Fernando also didnt enjoy his results during his return to Renault since his 2005/6 years & he did'nt have a 3 year break in between. Also quite importantly the testing ban in place meant that he has hardly driven that car & have anychance to get used to it. Mercedes' & Michael's acknowledgement of the lack of form of the car...is something all teams suffer with throughout in 1 form or another - but this is magnified as its michael. As for Michael being 'rusty', nobody in their right minds, especially those who know about F1 wouldve expected Michael or anyone else being any different in that situation. The media have blown it all up, as this guy is a legend so the meda make out that hes a super-human specimen - Hes human. Im sure Mansell/Hakkinnen or even DC would find it just as tough if they got back in after 4 years - any driver would! Hes shown that he is competitive 2 races in..& will only get better...I think hes done excellent considering. As for his future...We all know that that depends on how far the media constantly & un-fairly bash him...if it carries on like this (which it will regardless of his performance)then I wouldnt be surprised if he leaves at the end of the season....it will be disgusting if that happens. Hope people can lay off him & give the guy a chance.
    Enjoy the weekend & happy reporting!
    :)

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  • 94. At 09:38am on 02 Apr 2010, James wrote:

    I disagree, the article isn't particularly disingenuous and I would even hesitate to say some of the blog comments do seem somewhat overly critical (too much reading between the lines). The overall theme obviously puts Schumi in the shade, however he himself knows that at the moment hes being out performed, even though its only by a few tenths of a second which isn't a great deal.

    On the bright side he could have been another Luca Badoer, but thats not really a fair comparison :)




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  • 95. At 09:41am on 02 Apr 2010, 1tank wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 96. At 12:44pm on 02 Apr 2010, Shivraj Gohil wrote:

    well Malaysia is here now...let the fun begin!

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  • 97. At 2:30pm on 02 Apr 2010, Robert wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 98. At 9:38pm on 02 Apr 2010, Recoba wrote:

    This article is just right. A lot of people here and out there will always defend Michael no matter what...! This year´s F1 seems to be the most interesting one in a long time. For that I´m glad Michael is part of it but the reality is that he is 41 and he will struggle to finish within the top 7 this season.

    It´s pretty amazing he still racing though and he deserves our support and understanding but let´s not fool ourselves... Vettle, Button, Hamilton(on and off the track), Kubica, Nico R, Webber, Massa, Alonso...!! Sutil maybe??

    Maybe I´m wrong, maybe Gary Lineker will read this and think.... why not?






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  • 99. At 10:11pm on 02 Apr 2010, alcon wrote:

    You can make as many excuses until the cows come home for Schumi but the truth of the matter is, he is not delivering the goods. Both him and Rosberg come from different teams. Rosberg for whatever reason has outqualified him and finished before him in every race so far. So this business that he hasn't had time to adjust to the car has to apply to both of them. You have to know when to retire and realise that you are not what you used to be. I know that as a matter of fact guy, I am going to upset a few Schumi fans. I am also prepared to fully eat my words if come the middle of the season he is not still behind Rosberg. Mark my words. My guess is, he's fully regretting his come back though he's obviously not going to admit it!. Nevertheless, I wish him the best.

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  • 100. At 11:20am on 03 Apr 2010, Susan wrote:

    I am a Schumi fan and i think he's doing really well - he'll get up to speed, just give him a chance - he'll be on the podium again. Quit with the Schumacher bashing!! I'd like to see anyone else do as well returning after a 3 year break at 41 year old.

    I'm looking forward to seeing him in the race tomorrow, he was always good in the rain...

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  • 101. At 4:59pm on 03 Apr 2010, Marcus wrote:

    I think it is unfair to expect supernatural results of Schumacher in the first races. The current setup with Mercedes GP could be compared to Lotus...

    Ferrari since 1950
    McLaren since 1966
    Williams since 1975
    Renault since 1977
    Mercedes GP since 2010 :) (same as Lotus)

    The reason why they got already points and are good on track with the top teams, has to be the drivers. And there is still a lot to improve in the car. With Schumachers experience, I see him on the podium in the next couple of races.

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  • 102. At 7:19pm on 03 Apr 2010, wesham scoundrel wrote:

    I was not really a schumacher fan when he was winning all the world titles before his retirement, I think he is brave to come back and in a way feel a little sorry for him as so much is expected of him and his team mate is getting the upper hand a bit.. however i believe this is down to a little bad luck as well as his age and time away from the sport,, if mercedes gets his car to the same speed as the front runners,, i think in the next few races schumacher will start to get the upper hand on his team mate and if the car improves join the hunt for the title. GOOD LUCK MICHAEL

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  • 103. At 00:29am on 04 Apr 2010, Stee_vee_E wrote:

    3rd practise session on BBC iPlayer please!!!!!!
    We have everything else available on iPlayer, even Inside F1, but no 3rd practise session.
    Go on, stick it on there. Not too much to ask... is it?

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  • 104. At 08:44am on 04 Apr 2010, Pete wrote:

    Michael is beginning to learn the wisdom of the saying "NEVER GO BACK"

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  • 105. At 12:59pm on 04 Apr 2010, alcon wrote:

    As expected, more and more excuses. Guys please stick to the facts. To be fair to Schumi, it was not his fault he couldn't finish today (fact). However where was the "Rain Meister" yesterday?. Seven places behind Rosberg (fact). Ditto my last comment (2nd April). Good luck to him.

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  • 106. At 3:47pm on 05 Apr 2010, naksnaks wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.

  • 107. At 4:29pm on 05 Apr 2010, naksnaks wrote:

    Also i reed your reply Sarah in the middle of the posts its full of negativity , I just think that articles should be written fairly and clearly you are not able to do that...........

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  • 108. At 01:47am on 06 Apr 2010, alcon wrote:

    Nobody is calling into question the fact that Schumi was a talented and deserving seven-time world champion. What IS called into question is whether his brave decision to make a come back was a wise one. Very few champions or talented people who have become true legends have been able to 'kill' the bug and come back succesfully. As far as Sara's assertion that "Niki Lauda, who successfully came out of a two-year retirement in 1982 and went on to win his third title with McLaren in 1984, predicted Schumacher would be back to his best three races into his comeback", the only crucial problem with this factual assertion, is that Lauda was 35 when he won his final third championship. Exactly the same age as Schumi when he won his 7th and last championship. Everybody knows what happened to him after that. A few times outqualified and even beaten by his Ferrari teammate Massa. Nobody fools nature even if you are Michael Schumacher. I truly wish him the best.

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