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Would You Want To See Michael Schumacher Return?

Would You Want To See Michael Schumacher Return?

The return of Michael Schumacher to the cockpit for a recent test session has apparently sent shock-waves through the Formula One media. I must admit, I don’t think the shock-waves have reached me, but it has certainly caused a few members of the paddock to suggest the German might want to make a comeback. Mika Hakkinen and Alan Jones have each said that the seven-times world champion might be missing the competitive racing aspect of Formula One, and knowing he can still set decent lap times could be enough to lure him out of retirement.

He used to take a couple of months off at the end of each season, so another few months won’t make a big difference. Two or three years might have done. It’s a win-win situation: Ferrari gains from his expertise and he enjoys it. And you can never rule out a comeback… Alan Jones.

Is he missing racing? The answer is probably yes. Doing competitive lap times probably satisfies his feeling and he’s happy he is still competitive. Mika Hakkinen.

Many drivers have taken time out of Formula One, only to return a year or two later and claim another crown. It must be very satisfying to know that even after a break, you can still mix it with the new faces and defeat them on the tarmac. Niki Lauda famously took time out in 1980 and ’81, and when he returned in ’83 in a McLaren, he proved he could still win races. In 1984, the Austrian took his third and final championship title.

Both Nigel Mansell and Alain Prost took sabbaticals as well, Mansell in 1993 and Prost in 1992. Mansell left the sport after winning his only title in a Williams. He went to America and raced in the CART IndyCar series, taking the title and becoming the only driver to hold both crowns simultaneously. However, after the tragic events at San Marino in 1994, Williams convinced the Briton to return to fill the gap left by Ayrton Senna. Mansell famously won the final meeting of the year, despite initially struggling to keep up with his younger rivals. In 1995 and feeling confident, Mansell decided to join McLaren, but not being able to fit in the car, he couldn’t race until the third round. After just two events, Mansell retired again, complaining of the McLaren’s woeful handling characteristics.

Alain Prost’s comeback from a year out proved to be much more successful than his British rival’s. Prost took 1992 off, freeing up Mansell to take the title for himself. However, Williams convinced Prost to return in 1993 and the French driver took the championship after a dominating campaign of seven wins, three seconds and two thirds. However, Senna regularly challenged Prost in an inferior car and The Professor knew his time was up. Leaving Formula One contributed to the return of Mansell, the two careers intertwined not too dissimilarly as Prosts and Sennas.

So clearly, a return to the cockpit could prove successful for Michael Schumacher. He looks as though he hasn’t lost any of his spirit and I imagine testing the F2007 will have brought a satisfying smile to his face. Particularly the ability for Michael to still set quality times. But would a Schumacher return be good for the sport? Bernie Ecclestone seems to think so, stating various times this year that he would like to see Schumacher on the grid again. Perhaps Bernie is just thinking of audience numbers, but it would undoubtedly boost Formula One’s appeal across the world. However, should Schumacher return, the already crowded arena will be made worse. Currently we have just eleven teams lining up for Australia in 2008, but we have way more than 22 drivers vying for seats. And if Ferrari were allow their golden child back into the monocoque, which one gets the boot?

From the rest of the field’s perspective, I imagine they would like to see Schumacher return. Either they’ll get to trounce all over the weary old dog, or enjoy another chance to do battle with the old master. Either way, they would be in a win-win situation. Unless of course, Schumacher completely dominates the season again, 2002-stylee.

Personally, I’m not so sure I would like to see Schumacher back in racing trim again. The German driver perhaps left at the wrong time, but now he has gone, Formula One has moved on. It is like the sport has progressed into a new era, and waiting in the wings are new race winners and title contenders. I would like to see BMW start to win races, Honda and Renault to make a return to the front, Lewis Hamilton’s team mate to be given a chance to win (assuming he will be a non-winner to start with) and I would like to see Felipe Massa and Kimi Raikkonen battle each other over race wins on a more regular basis. I feel, perhaps unwarranted, that if Schumacher returned, we may not see this because of the dominance he could bring to Ferrari again.

But I’m not necessarily asking myself the question. I’m going to ask you. Would you want to see Michael Schumacher return to competitive Formula One racing? Let me know in the comments below.

Oliver White

8 comments

  • I’m not sure about a full return to F1, but I would like to see some kind of race – similar to the Race of Champions, but with all the current F1 drivers plus Schumacher, all in the same cars just to prove once and for all who is best and whether Lewis would have been as good in another car (and against Schuey).

    Not going to happen though, and neither is a Schumacher return to F1 – in my opinion at least!

  • I see no reason why he shouldnt do a one year stint in a return to F1, I dont specificaly agree with the whole F1 has moved on thing F1 is constantly changing and at the end of the day you want to see the worlds best drivers competing with each other on track if Schumacher does it again then good for him! I would like to see an all out approach to F1 and not a softened down version where rules, drivers, technology are manipulated or limited for the sake of dumbed down TV entertainment,, or to make the sport more spectator user friendly,,there are other formula for that,,

    Its F1!!!!! and should be all out! no compromise!

    That said I think Michael may have just had enough of all that goes with being such a superstar and is enjoying proving his point on His terms from a distance, as in the current testing. Deep down I would love to see him beat Hamhead and Alfonso in a show a complete domination!

  • Thanks for your comments guys. Regarding all the trappings that go with being a “superstar” driver, I don’t think Schumacher does too much of that anyway. In fact, he arguably has done more PR since he has retired. And surely, if a comeback were on the cards and Schumacher didn’t want to do all the schmoozing, I’m sure something could be done about it. But as Craig says, I think it is highly unlikely either way.

    So Craig isn’t so sure about a full return to F1, and Allen cannot see a reason as to why he shouldn’t give it another go and wants to see the competition.

    Any other opinions out there…?

  • I would like to see him come back, but only in a front running team and only alongside a decent driver on equal terms. Seeing him at Ferrari with Raikkonen or at McLaren with Hamilton, or at Renault with Alonso, would be fantastic. But I don’t want a return to the dark days of 2002, Schumacher winning everything in sight while Barrichello plays the lap-dog.

  • When it was announced Schumi was to retire back at Monza in 2006 the first thought I had was that he’d made the correct announcement , but that the retirement was two years too soon.I felt he still had the pace to possibly win this year’s title and compete in 2008 and this goes to show this looks to indeed be the case.

    As much as I was a big fan of his , I wouldn’t really want to see him back unless he really wanted to do it.Mansell was nowhere near his ’92 form when he drove for Williams in 94′ and certainly not in 95′.Michael’s decided to retire when he was still winning races and he made the right decision IMO unlike Nigel.

  • I don’t think Michael Schumacher is particularly interested in returning to a race role in F1. Therefore he shouldn’t. Simple really. It’s good to see that he’s keeping himself busy, though, even if the taxi episode raised my eyebrows a bit.

  • I like Michael Schumacher a great deal, i have been a strong follower and supporter since 1991 and i am still supporting and following him, i have written a book for him, it is published it came on this year in january, i would love somebody to fix it for me to see him again and ask him did he like the book.he is a genius and a clever talented gentleman.he is also lovely and hansome.

  • Yes its great and brave move to bring back Micheal in the team, as he loved racing very much so as his fans around the globe wish him to make a come back. Micheal makes formula 1 wonderfull he’s talented and verstile,lose or win is not the subject but to have Micheal in the grid makes everybody feels the challenge so no worry. go Schumi go..

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