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Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Is Schumacher appraising his racing legacy?

For Michael Schumacher his future is under scrutiny with a lot of webchatter talking about pressure from Mercedes. I don't think this is the case, based on the performances of the season so far  While this is his worst ever start to an F1 season it is he who must be wondering why he's still racing and not Mercedes.

So far this season his performance looks suspect but that's down to a number of factors:

    Australia - Great Quali (4th), great start (3rd).  Out of the race with gearbox failure
    Malaysia - Great Quali (3rd), Hit by Grosjean on the first lap. Finished 10th
    China - Great Quali (3rd), Started 2nd, Pitstop error forces retirement
    Bahrain - You know my feelings on this one but finished 10th after Mechanical problems in quali and gearbox change
    Spain - Qualified 8th due to not setting timed lap - Ran in 6th from the start to Lap 9, inherited 5th when Grosjean pitted, pitted himself and came out in 10th behind Senna who had yet to stop and then made a drivers error and ran into the back of Senna misjudging Senna's tyre degradation and his need to brake earlier for the turn

Based on the foregoing you can see that 3 of the 5 races have been affected by mechanical and pitstop issues, one was as a result of another driver and only Spain was Schumacher's fault.

I'm thinking that the rumours are a lot of hot air and all Schumi needs is a couple of finishes to put him into the right mindset, however one or two more cock-ups, whether his own, the mechanics, or another drivers may well see Schumi decide that the whole F1 circus is just too much hassle and is doing his reputation and legacy more harm than good.

One driver's mistake out of 5 races does not make this a Mercedes/Schumi crisis.