August 26th, 2011
02:20 PM ET

20 years of Schumacher: Is his legacy on the line?

Michael Schmuacher has won a record seven world championships, but his popularity is still questionable.
Michael Schmuacher has won a record seven world championships, but his popularity is still questionable.

It's a little-known fact that Michael Schumacher got his big break in Formula One because another driver had been jailed for 2 months.

In 1991, Jordan driver Bertrand Gachot was locked up for assaulting a London taxi-driver, forcing him to miss four races including his home one at Spa. Schumie stepped in to the cock-pit and the rest, as they say, is history.

With the sponsor 7-Up displayed prominently and prophetically on his nose-cone, Schumacher qualified for his first F1 race in 7th position. Clutch problems meant he retired on his first lap, but he impressed so much that he was immediately snapped up by Flavio Briatore and the Benetton Ford team, who coincidentally were sponsored by Mild Seven, where he won the first of his record seven drivers' championships.

Perhaps the sport's most successful driver was destined to be so, but his legacy isn't so clear.

20 years after it all began, Schumacher will no doubt be reflecting on his career when he returns to Spa this weekend. While no-one can doubt his unparalleled success and his numerous record-breaking feats, it is by no means clear that he is the sport's best-ever driver.

Motor-racing is as much about the machine as the man and Juan Manuel Fangio, who won five titles, is viewed by many as a better pilot. Ask many of today's drivers who they regard as the best and they'll tell you it was the late Ayrton Senna.

Complicating Schumacher's legacy is the fact that there are several question marks against his achievements. His first two titles were controversial, he was disqualified from a whole championship in 1997 for cheating and he bent the rules on numerous occasions to ensure that he got the result he wanted.

And then there's his much-vaunted comeback; returning to a fanfare with Mercedes, two years after his retirement. So far he's done nothing to enhance his reputation and is frequently out-performed by his teammate Nico Rosberg.

F1 fans are passionate about their sport and their favourite drivers aren’t just the ones with the biggest numbers after their name.

While Ferrari followers globally rejoiced in the era of dominance that Schumacher delivered in the first half of the last decade, Niki Lauda, Gilles Villeneuve or Fernando Alonso might even be more popular.

Would it be fair to say that Schumacher won everything bar the hearts of the legion of F1 fans around the world?

It would be a tidy book-end to Schumacher’s career if he was able to win another world championship, but
that seems very unlikely. Given the way his comeback has gone, he’d surely be delighted with a 92nd race win. And to do that for a seventh time around the classic twists and turns of Spa-Francorchamps would warm the hearts of F1 romantics everywhere.

At 42 years of age, Michael Schumacher remains one of his sport's most intriguing characters, but perhaps his biggest victory will come on the day when he wins over his critics.

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Filed under:  Motorsport
soundoff (92 Responses)
  1. Jay

    What are you talking about??? His latest stint is fun, but in no way should it deflect from his stellar career. Unquestionably No 1...ever.

    He has nothing he needs to prove, but obviously loves to compete.

    August 26, 2011 at 3:52 pm | Reply
  2. J. Wilson

    An article about the (arguably) greatest racing drivers, and not one mention of Tazio Nuvolari? Sure, he may never have won a WORLD Championship, but he won plenty of others and his driving style was the same as Schumacher's.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:23 pm | Reply
  3. Michael A

    I'm sure a lot of people will agree with me that Michael Schumacher hasn't got anything to prove to anybody, least of all himself. He's the reason I along with countless others started watching Formula 1 religiously in the first place. He certainly didn't need to come back to the sport for the money. No, I believe he came back purely because it's what he loves to do. For 42, he's as fit as any of the drivers on the track so why shouldn't he do what's in his blood? It's natural for the media and fans to be overly critical when looking back at all his past successes on the track (controversial or otherwise), but put things in perspective. He's still better than half the grid, half his age. The cars themselves have changed radically during his retirement which most of the other drivers have had the luxury of adapting to, and he has genuinely improved this year over his 2010 season. And take nothing away from Rosberg, who in my opinion is a future world champion if put in the right car. Right now, both drivers should be commended for the position Mercedes are in right now. So I for one am thankful to be watching Michael Schumacher behind the wheel again, win or lose, and fully support his decision to come back to the sport that owes him so much.

    August 26, 2011 at 4:37 pm | Reply
  4. littledebbieoatmealcookie

    one of shu's favorite paintings:

    August 26, 2011 at 4:41 pm | Reply
  5. Ralph

    Shumi has been at every stretch point humanly possible in sport. Repeated wins confirm his success and superiority. If the rules allowed bending...who is to blame... if true...

    A sportsman who knows how to win and repeat this as many times as Schumi, comands and deserves respect. The sport owes this to Schumi!

    As for the others, pull up your socks lads, there is a lot to do to match not to mention beat Schumi... good luck!

    August 26, 2011 at 4:57 pm | Reply
  6. Mik

    I personally find this very disturbing... my father was a race car driver, therefore, races were constantly on our television. Schumacher, in my opinion is a cheater. His whole career is a sham as he likes to win by RAMMING OTHERS OFF THE ROAD. Which is NOT COOL and he certainly shouldn't be "patted on the back" for his cheating ways!

    August 26, 2011 at 5:30 pm | Reply
  7. Jiro Shibata

    Schumacher's return to F1 is the equivalent of Jordan's return to basketball... did it tarnish his reputation? Nope!

    Jordan and Schumacher were the best at their prime, nothing can change that.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:09 pm | Reply
  8. John Paul Prado Montoya

    Michael Schumacher is the greates of all the time! no debout abou it and can pas 100 years to come and no one can pass him or be better than him.... Like or not to every body. 7 times in a row with the titles....! is not easy.... or your mother can do?

    August 26, 2011 at 6:42 pm | Reply
  9. MrSarcasm

    If Senna had lived past May 1st.... Schumi would be a footnote.

    Ayrton is very much still missed.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:43 pm | Reply
  10. Cary

    Lets be clear, today as has been the case throughout F1 racing, everyone has tried to find ways of bending the rules.

    Congratulations to Mr. Schumacher!

    August 26, 2011 at 6:44 pm | Reply
  11. Alehandro

    Schumacher's comeback has not been disappointing because only the most naive fans believed he'd match his past achievements. As an older man in an inferior car how could he? And to be fair to him he even said he was back for the love of racing not the trophies, although the will to win, if not the capacity, was still in him. So I don't believe his comeback tarnished his legacy as his expectation and motivation was different the second time around. Only those who failed to recognise that see his return as a blemish. As for being the greatest of all time? The stats put him on top, end of story. As for being unloved? He's from a more businesslike time in F1 than those you mentioned. Being popular was never a consideration, which suited his personality down to the ground.

    August 26, 2011 at 6:49 pm | Reply
  12. Tony Clifton

    Not as popular as Villeneuve, Lauda and Alonso ?? The Tifosi love Schumacher. He with the help of Byrne, Todt and Brawn brought Ferrari back from the wilderness and in 2000 gave the team their first WDC title since 1979 and four other WDC titles straight afterwards. Not popular ?, what utter rubbish man !

    August 26, 2011 at 6:50 pm | Reply
  13. John Paul Prado Montoya

    Michael Schumacher is the greates of all the times and no debout abaut it. He is the best Driver in the world and can be 100 years to come and no one can pass him. 7 tears in a row with the titles is not easy. So, liked or not he will be with the honor for centurys!

    August 26, 2011 at 7:01 pm | Reply
  14. Me

    We should all be talking about Senna… not this guy… If only he would have lived past May1st… stupid wall.

    August 26, 2011 at 7:04 pm | Reply
  15. Peter M

    Michael who?

    August 26, 2011 at 7:07 pm | Reply
  16. QD

    The thrust of this article came as no surprise to me, given that the author - like all of his English/British colleagues - will find ways to slag Michael Schumacher for 'offenses', real or trumped up. It was always Michael Schumacher won because he cheated, he forced the team management to prevent his team-mate from competing, etc. Much was made of Barrichello's moving over to allow Schumacher to win one race, and nothing mentioned at all that Schumacher allowed Barrichello to take the lead and win in 2 other races. Naturally, nothing was mentioned of Maclaren's team order to get Hakkinen win at Coulthard's expense, or William's arrangement for Hill to win over Villeneuve. Please give a rest to this habit of drumming up destructive nationalistic fervour in the sporting arenas! Really disgusting.

    August 26, 2011 at 7:47 pm | Reply
  17. Dulcimer172

    J. Wilson August 26th, 2011 4:23 pm ET

    An article about the (arguably) greatest racing drivers, and not one mention of Tazio Nuvolari? Sure, he may never have won a WORLD Championship, but he won plenty of others and his driving style was the same as Schumacher's.
    ------------------–
    I'm with you on this. Would have loved to see him stuff the Mercedes cars in 1935, winning the German GP in an old car.

    August 26, 2011 at 7:58 pm | Reply
  18. Fady Sokhon

    He is the best formula one driver in history and we like watching formula one more when he is there, we must not remember how was the ferrari when he came back and he helped in developing the car. He is Michael Jordan of formula one.

    August 26, 2011 at 8:14 pm | Reply
  19. Diego

    Pretty retarded... people only remember the few misstakes Schumacher had but none remembers that Ferrari basically exists nowaday thanks to him.

    Also, Fernando Alonso to don't go that far is as controversial as he has been and is not even as good pilot. Most of his victories has come due to mechanic failures of his oponents... Includes his 2 WC, which would have been taken by Schumacher if the last one wouldn't have an engine issue 2 races to go... something that hadn't happen in 8 freaking years lol...

    August 26, 2011 at 8:43 pm | Reply
  20. nwinburn

    For several years, Schumacher had no competition. Simply put, there were not enough good drivers in the circuit. Had Senna survived his accident, Schumacher would be a nobody!

    August 26, 2011 at 8:47 pm | Reply
  21. Peter Zedlitz

    Waaa? Who are you again?

    Sure we know all of that guffaw. And Michael has a gazillion critics. No he is not as suave looking as Alonso. He did not die in a a legendary crash like Senna. Nor is he Italian. His persona is more like that of Ice Man in Top Gun, which is not a very sympathetic role to play.

    So WHAT.

    But what you are missing is that Schumacher was and is great because he is a true champion. He did whatever it takes to be the best ever. That meant avoiding all the girls, champaign parties, glamour, and on and on. When those other pilots were soaking up the limelight, Michael was out running laps and tuning his car. While a dozen others divorced their wives, Michael stood by his wife year after year. In order to improve his relations with the Italians, the man learned Italian... fluently and perfectly.

    Fault him for all that? Then you are simply jealous. Again, who did you say you were?

    August 26, 2011 at 9:04 pm | Reply
  22. Neil

    No doubt the best of his era!

    August 26, 2011 at 10:00 pm | Reply
  23. George

    I think Tony Clifton and Michael A above have it right. Michael Schumacher has absolutely nothing to prove to anybody; let his record speak for itself. I have loved watching him race since I first started with F1 during the early Benneton days and will continue to enjoy watching him even if he never wins another race.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:02 pm | Reply
  24. PeriSoft

    Schu's career has plenty of aspects open to debate, but this article reads like a slightly-cleaned-up forum comment.

    It also wobbles between incoherent ("Perhaps the sport's most successful driver was destined to be so, but his legacy isn't so clear.") and mean-spirited ("And then there's his much-vaunted comeback; returning to a fanfare with Mercedes, two years after his retirement") – Schumacher wasn't doing the vaunting, so why lay out this implied arrogance?

    All of this is dramatic, to be sure, but it's not very good journalism. Writing an article about a man's 20th anniversary in a sport, and then spending most of it saying that he's not so good after all, cheats, is past his sell-by date, and that other drivers would be more popular if he weren't around? Jeez. That's kinda harsh, man.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:12 pm | Reply
  25. Tony

    He should just quit. His legacy was a flawed genius who cheated, and its just getting to be a genius cheat. He is now almost as embarrassing as my spelling.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:30 pm | Reply
  26. Afshin Rafati

    He is one of the greatest in this great sport without a doubt! Even now after 42 years of age you give him a competetive car and sit back and enjoy the man's ability to compete!! Ferrari wouldn't be where it is if schumacher wasn't around.

    August 26, 2011 at 10:59 pm | Reply
  27. Ruben

    It is clear who wrote this stupid article has no idea what driving a race car is. I was a pro driver, I used to drive Formula 2, Formula 3000 and SportprototypesClass C1, I drive against Michael, he ans Senna are the best even will be. Who ever wrote this article needs to drive and see if it is as easy. Think before you type another stupid article like this one.

    August 26, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Reply
  28. ELTON GOVENDER

    Schumi is the greatest F1 driver of all time. I have been watching him race from 1991.He was the rain master. His record of 91 wins and 68 pole position will never be repeated. Thank you schumi for giving me 20 years to watch you racing. I am from South Africa

    August 26, 2011 at 11:13 pm | Reply
  29. ken

    This is a very unfair and rather insulting article about Schumaker. Schumaker was the perfect 'man and the machine' in his hay days. He achived 5 of 7 champinoships while driving an inferior car comparing to his opponents. That is some achievement which will never be emulated. Senna was a great driver but schumaker was the ultimate driver the world has ever seen.

    August 26, 2011 at 11:23 pm | Reply
  30. xtian

    Schumi is to F1 what Goalie Rogerio Ceni of São Paulo Football Club (Brasil) is to football. Not likely to find one beat his record in the near future.

    August 27, 2011 at 12:17 am | Reply
  31. Victor

    This is one of the stupidest articles i have ever read about Formula 1.

    I was not a fan of Schumi, actually i stopped watching F1 for a while because it got boring seeing him win each and every time.

    The pit strategies, the arrogance, pushing the rules a bit, that's how you win.

    The day Americans will have the right to comment on Michael Schumacher career is the day you will stop eating hamburgers.

    Again i am not his fan, but he did win 7 titles. Wonderful titles!

    Really now, don't smear a name it's not your to smear.

    This time, stay in your borders not beyond them and stop pursuing ratings.

    August 27, 2011 at 12:39 am | Reply
  32. mallamoozoo

    DAMN STRAIGHT! – article is on the right track but doesn't go nearly far enough in exposing the fraud that is the Schumacher myth – the guy's statistical record is utterly meaningless since no one else had $5 BILLION spent on building the best team around them and them alone – as Schui did from 1996 to 2006. To answer a previous comment; YES – your mother COULD have won those 7 titles and 91 races also – in the privileged circumstances Shui fell into.

    2010,2011 has shown the true standard of Schumacher with unique privileges removes and forced to compete on the same level as everyone else – ie – MEDIOCRE AT BEST! – beaten almost every race by a guy who has never won a race!

    Not merely not as good as the mighty and unparalleled Ayrton Senna – not even in the same Universe! Not a pale shadow – a mere pea next to the Senna mountain! (whose stats [combined strikerates for quallifying and race wins] are actually BETTER anyway – despite vastly inferior cars and vastly stronger competition)

    August 27, 2011 at 2:24 am | Reply
  33. Andrew N

    He's not got a fearri now which he had for most of his career, when they were the best car by far. And of course he wants to win, he's not there to play. In addition to what was mentioned above,lLet's not forget he took Hill out on purpose to win the championship.

    August 27, 2011 at 2:38 am | Reply
  34. Dan

    Senna was and will always be # 1

    Villeneuve a close # 2

    Schumacher?
    Not even # 3. He should have quit when he was ahead. Instead, he's only proven that he can only be the best driver when he has the best car. Now, even rookies with lesser cars are passing him right and left.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:07 am | Reply
  35. Faster

    I'll never forget him ramming into Jacques Villenueve, trying to prevent him from winning the World Championship. I lost respect for him after that.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:26 am | Reply
  36. noypi

    Michael Schumacher will always in the the record books. FIA set the rules and he got them. Only Manny Pacquiao can beat his title 8 of them. BUT.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:56 am | Reply
  37. A. Nazario

    what crap are you talking about? he just gave us the most dominant era in F1 history. he rescued a floundering ferrari team from the dark ages. schumi maybe controversial but definitely up there as an all time great. senna was quick starter, prost was a strong finisher, schumi is both.

    August 27, 2011 at 4:52 am | Reply
  38. Oliver Olaybal

    Winning is simply a matter of statistics. To ignore one's number of winnings is to get emotional about the issue. The discussion ceases to be intelligent. In car race, no driver would win unless he has the best car. That was how Jenson Button won with his Brawn GP because Red Bull was yet at its infancy. It's the car, not the engine. This explains why Mercedes-and-Renault-engined cars dominate the races, but the very cars of the engine manufacturers are simply backmarkers. The best examples are Renault and Mercedes.

    August 27, 2011 at 5:36 am | Reply
  39. Ahmed

    How was his '95 title controversial? Please get your facts right.

    August 27, 2011 at 5:39 am | Reply
  40. Aswini Kumar

    By no stretch of imagination can Michael Schumacher be compared with Juan Manuel Fangio or Ayrton Senna. During Schumacher's heydays, F1 had become more of a technological show-off platform, which it still is, while it was not so during the days of Juan Manuel Fangio or even to some extent during the days of Ayrton Senna. Of course, Senna's death led to the sport becoming more 'technological'.

    August 27, 2011 at 5:55 am | Reply
  41. A. Nazario

    what are you talking about? he just gave us the most dominant era in F1 history. he rescued a floundering ferrari team from the dark ages. schumi maybe controversial but he is definitely up there as an all time great. senna was a quick starter, prost was a strong finisher, schumi is a balance of both.

    August 27, 2011 at 6:55 am | Reply
  42. Nasdaq7

    Each successive generation has better opportunities and technology and produce better sports people.Ability is nothing without opportunity.

    August 27, 2011 at 7:42 am | Reply
  43. dgf1

    Schumi,brilliant driver but old rules,Ferrari could and did throw money at it, the were able to destroy engine/trans etc to get pole then new ones for the race.How many races did we see Irvine,Rubens riding rearguard plus hep from F I A(ferrari international assistance) plus the occasional iffy shunt, but hey it was certainly more entertaining,can"t change history but had Senna not had the crash who knows.Remember the old adage Quit when your winning?

    August 27, 2011 at 9:12 am | Reply
  44. reinhard

    Michael Schumacher needs only a competetive
    F-1 car to win at least 1 race. But Mercedes is
    still having serious problems... So – we have
    to wait...

    August 27, 2011 at 9:49 am | Reply
  45. Phugg

    I always thought schumi was a jerk until he visited my niece who has leukemia at the children's hospital in Zurich.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:03 am | Reply
  46. Racer_1974

    Riddel is obviously confused. Alonso more popular with tiffosis than Schu? Get real man. Alonso isn't more popular with them thatn Kimmi was. Schumi is a god to all Ferrari fans. What slenderous piece of cheap journalism. Don is obviously desperate to break back through the ranks at CNN, coming up with some half-cooked, quasi sensationalist pieces. Michael is one of the greatest drivers ever. His legacy is clear. That's much more than Don Riddel's legacy in journalism.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:24 am | Reply
  47. Miguel

    As a sportsman, Schummel reprsents a new low in a sport not known for its high moral standards.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:30 am | Reply
  48. kaleuclint

    This article is very valid because Michael Schumacher is a clear example of a champion (by the points) who is not regarded as being sportsmanlike by the knowledgeable fans - which includes the tifosi. They idolise the likes of Nigel Mansell for his sheer courage, even if lacking personality. Senna is revered for being the most capable driver since Fangio or Nuvolari. Prost and Lauda are admired for being technically and tactically brilliant. Damon Hill is admired for achieving beyond his talent. Michael Schumacher for all his driving skill and determination will always be a flawed character for the unsporting manner in which he pursued victory at all costs. The true greats such as Fangio, Jack Brabham, Clark, Stewart, Mario Andretti, Emerson Fittipaldi and Lauda never had their character questioned in the way Michael has.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:38 am | Reply
  49. Urmo Murro

    He won so many times that it was said: Another such a win and F1 is dead.

    It really did get boring.

    August 27, 2011 at 11:11 am | Reply
  50. Clive

    Michael Schumacher is most famous for cheating. He ran Damon Hill off the track in Australia for one of his titles and he tried to do the same to Jacques Villeneuve in another race Schumacher always made sure he had the best car to drive in after that. A monkey could have won his world titles with that equipment and the team's orders for the other driver in the team to stay behind him. He was a blight on F1 which caused me to stop watching it. That and the fact that it's sensationally boring.

    August 27, 2011 at 12:27 pm | Reply
  51. serge

    schumi's days on the top are past... the time has come for fresh faces to take his place. but his legacy as a legend in f1 history is in place. to many he may not be the greatest ever to drive the machine, but his records speak for themselves.

    August 27, 2011 at 12:37 pm | Reply
  52. Sam I Am

    Schumacher is a winner of races but without class or good form.
    Senna was a winner but was a real jerk to fans, was without class or good form.
    Fangio, the great winner, a gentleman, good form, and is loved.

    To achieve the reputation of Fangio would be a goal for cry babies of today to aspire to achieve.

    August 27, 2011 at 1:59 pm | Reply
  53. Marc De Cuyper

    Tazio Nuvolari, the Italian pre-ww2 driver, was the greatest all times. If there had been a world championship in his time, he would have won at least TEN titles, so overwhelming was his dominance.

    August 27, 2011 at 2:03 pm | Reply
  54. Jon Hart-Murison

    Schumi is masterful and the reason I am drawn to F1. Alehandro is right, our time is a more professional time and it isn't a popularity contest. Though he may not phrase it this way to his team, I believe he is doing it now for fun.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:09 pm | Reply
  55. joe smith

    Schumacher was a great driver because he had an amazing team behind him. Would Schumacher have achieved the success with a weaker team? Fangio is the true legend whereas Senna was a shooting star that streaked through our lives before we were ready to let go.

    August 27, 2011 at 3:58 pm | Reply
  56. Brazil

    Ayrton Senna is the best F1 pilot.

    August 27, 2011 at 4:00 pm | Reply
  57. Nathan Zammit

    @mik running others off the road?? remember what schumacher got from coulthard and montoya?? I'd call that ramming off the road sir. I've been following schumacher since 1997 and have no recollection of him ramming someone off the road.. (maybe the once to montoya, but he was the one who rammed schumacher about 3 times before. I'd call that just returning the favour).

    I believe that schumacher could have won at least another 3 championships. being the one in which he had broken his leg, and the 2 which hakkinen had won when mclaren were illegally using the assistance of traction control. (dont get me wrong i have no intention to tarnish hakkinen in any way because he is an excellent driver and sportsman, and no matter what mclaren were doing, he surely had the capability to be champion).

    Today he is older than the rest, the car isn't really one of the top... i believe that somewhere inside schumacher, there still lies a champion.. (we can see that in the rain, where the driver's control wins over the car's capability, schumacher is still well and truly competitive).. obviously if his wheels keep falling off there is no way he can ever win! xD

    August 27, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Reply
  58. Cesar

    Fangio was the greatest. He won despite of the car.
    Shumi had not had Ferrari at the time would have never won so many titles. Just look now without one what can he achieve. As you said, Rosber has prooved that.

    August 27, 2011 at 4:42 pm | Reply
  59. Minnie

    Schumacher has had a stellar career and is the owner of the most Formula One titles.
    He is one of the greatest of all times, a list which includes Carracciola, Nuvolari, Rosemeyer, Fangio, Moss, Clark and Senna.
    Is he the greatest? Well not in the 40 years or older category. Because of the war all Fangio's five Championships were won when he was in his forties.
    My list would be:
    Fangio
    Clark
    Nuvolari
    Schumacher
    Senna
    Carracciola
    Stuck
    Moss
    Stewart
    Rosemeyer

    August 27, 2011 at 4:47 pm | Reply
  60. emerson

    BRUNO SENNA, IT´S THE NEW NAME

    August 27, 2011 at 5:07 pm | Reply
  61. emerson

    bruno senna its the new name

    August 27, 2011 at 5:09 pm | Reply
  62. desert voice (troubledgoodangel or Nathanael or Bohdan or Voiceinthedesert)

    I may be in minority here, but I have always regarded the Formul-1 as largely fixed among the car companies' team members. The fixing in Italy is rampant. Schumacher almost always ended starting first, which almost guaranteed him a victory. It was as if his team companions were told to let Schumacher go ahead. And they did. Else he wouldn't have won 7 times, starting from behind! Thais is merely an opinion, for I have little knowledge of these races. Schumacher can prove that I am wrong, by starting last, and ending first.

    August 27, 2011 at 5:41 pm | Reply
  63. Marino Bernardon

    Is Don Riddel an F1 connaiseur ?

    August 27, 2011 at 6:04 pm | Reply
  64. Fernando

    This Don Ridell doesnt know anything about F1, probably cnn ask him to write something about shumacher and this is the only thing he can said......................................

    August 27, 2011 at 6:20 pm | Reply
  65. Jimmy Yam

    Schumacher is a crook and an abnoxios idiot.
    He only win because he cheats and he is a bad loser.
    Formula 1 is better off without him. What is he trying to acheive?
    He should quit and let other younger driver have a chance.
    Unlike Schumacher, Vettel is a much nicer guy and he is a better driver than Schumacher.
    To sum it up, Schumacher is a has-been and he should except that.

    August 27, 2011 at 7:14 pm | Reply
  66. Jimmy Mendoza

    One thing is what you achieve, and another thing is the way you achieve things. Schumacher has all the records, but he achieved that in a ruthless and unsporting way. He is an incredibly talented driver, but is not an example to follow. Shame on him.
    He is a very ambitious man, so he returned because he believed that he could win again (Mercedes, Ross Brawn, etc.), he didn't return for fun. He miscalculated, and he is being outperformed by his teammate, the only high calibre teammate that he has had in his career. Of course that this is against his legacy. Again, shame on him.

    August 27, 2011 at 7:24 pm | Reply
  67. Peter Kirchem

    Michael Schumacher's return to racing is a disappointment, for sure. It is part car, part age, and part his team-mate Nico Rosberg, whom whilst taking no prisoners, has easily out performed Michael.

    but Michael is a changed man. The relaxed, amusing and friendly individual he is off-track, on track. He seems to know his record will stand the test of time and for now is enjoying his driving, apparently not remotely consumed by his lack of success. And as Fernando Alonso (not the greatest fan of Schumacher after a certain stunt in Monaco!) said said recently, if Michael gets everything working as it should, he is the one everyone should fear!

    August 27, 2011 at 7:36 pm | Reply
  68. ReIntegration

    Let's GO STIG!!!!!!!!!

    August 27, 2011 at 8:49 pm | Reply
  69. Hande

    August 26th, 2011 6:09 pm ET
    "Schumacher's return to F1 is the equivalent of Jordan's return to basketball... did it tarnish his reputation? Nope!
    Jordan and Schumacher were the best at their prime, nothing can change that."

    Schumacher is a great driver, but I would never compare the two. Jordan is the perhaps the greatest sportsman/athlete of all time, whereas Schumacher is one of the best drivers of all time, if not the best, but it's only a very marginal number of people who happen to be in the right place at the right time to get the best car(s) to drive. OK, Schumi has been developing the cars and is exceptional, but I would never seriously talk about him in the same sentence with Jordan. Jordan was phenomenal in a sport where equipment does not give you advantage and where millions and millions have an equal chance to compete at the top. That's never the case in car racing.

    August 27, 2011 at 9:32 pm | Reply
  70. leroy

    completely STALE

    August 27, 2011 at 9:35 pm | Reply
  71. Steve Kingah

    Schummy has given all he could to this sport. One good sign of a great sports person is to recognize when the time is up. He should retire as he did a while back and leave the younger drivers like Vettel and Hamilton the limelight.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:11 pm | Reply
  72. Joey Conrad

    F1 sucks and nascar is better. Shumacker hasn't done a thing in a few years. He's washed up.

    August 27, 2011 at 10:47 pm | Reply
  73. John

    Ayrton Senna, simlpy the best...(of all time)

    August 28, 2011 at 1:00 am | Reply
  74. Albert

    What kind of a biased article is this? Schumacher's legacy on the line? Did the last fights of Ali ruined his status as the greatest boxer?

    Schumacher took being a F1 champion to the next level. Being fast wasn't good enough: you had to be in top physical condition and being able to be a leader in the car AND paddock.

    And why do people have to keep on focusing on those few errors that he made during his amazing career? With hundreds of races, there are a few where he made a stupid mistake. Being a champion is searching for the limits. It's not that hard to cross it every now and then. Het got punished for it.

    And why do we have to hold Schumacher accountable for what happend in Austria and the US? Do we have proof that it was Michael deciding what happened during those races? Or the team? And why does nobody talk about Rubens who made a fool out of his teammate by only letting him by right before the finish line. Talking about ratting out on your team, team employees and team member.

    Anyway, there's no excuse for those bad things Michael did during his 20 year F1 career. But those incidents can be count on two hands. And Michael's actions have always received more attention than any other errors/mistakes/stupidities of F1 drivers.

    Schumacher's return is a joy for the fans. And a bit of a disappointment. But mostly in the car he's driving, not the driver. Even if he's not as fast as he used to be, the start and his actions in the rain still proof that he's still something else.

    Schumacher defined the new era of Formula1... Doubs about him as a true icon, is doubting Ali, Merx, Jordan, Woods or Borg....

    August 28, 2011 at 2:54 am | Reply
  75. Sam

    Dear Tony and friends....

    I will always think of Schumacher as an excellent driver. That's it!
    it was not Byrne, Todt or Brawn....it was Barichello, Massa and others who agreed to be #2 that really made Schumi won so many races.
    I don't think he needed that....but the last two years do fuel a lot of questions. he came back with the " FULL " support of Brawn and Mercedes in the car that was champion the year before!!!! A Driver of his caliber does not need so much to adapt to a car.....two years later he can't even qualify in the top ten let alone get on the podium!!!
    If Senna, unquestionably the best driver of the F1 modern era, were still alive Scumi would be what he is today.

    August 28, 2011 at 2:59 am | Reply
  76. Dave

    Senna... No one will ever be as great as he...

    August 28, 2011 at 3:56 am | Reply
  77. Peter Kirchem

    I think yesterday's faultless drive at Spa only serves to underline Michael Schumacher's talent hasn't deserted him. From last place to 5th at the end, and from last place to 15th on the first lap is no mean achievement. Interesting to read all the pro Senna comments...whilst the pro (and anti) Schumacher camps articulate their reasons, the pro/anti Senna camps broke no argument....a little puerile...like their hero!

    August 29, 2011 at 11:17 am | Reply
  78. Bobby

    Vettel has won 7 out 12 this season so far, whoever qstn Schumi's talent I want that person to Imagine Vettel driving Merc and Schumi the Red Bull u will see the results . Schumi is one the best drivers the Formula1 has seen .

    August 29, 2011 at 3:15 pm | Reply
  79. Xaffax

    Did anybody see that first lap of MS at spa? From teh back of the grid he passed I think 11 cars in the first lap. No mistakes. And a wonderful thing to watch. The Mercedes isn't fast enough but this guy still has it.

    August 29, 2011 at 5:12 pm | Reply
  80. ozzyoz

    He is the one who made F1 racing more popular than ever.
    He ıs the 'Michael Jordan' or 'Tıger Woods' of F1

    August 29, 2011 at 10:13 pm | Reply
  81. dgf1

    it would be great to take all the electtricary and radio off the cars and let the drivers control it just through their capabilities, races should never be won through pit stops

    August 31, 2011 at 10:44 am | Reply
  82. dgf1

    but just as a p.s. did very well last time out,just like his pre ferrari days

    August 31, 2011 at 10:52 am | Reply
  83. Ferrari

    Schumi could be father to some of the drivers (he is 18 years olders than Vettel,21 years older than Jaime Alguersuari....),but he still wont give up.He is still in the top 10 driver in F1!! For us,Ferrari fans,Schumi will always be the greatest,no matter what anyone say....Find me one 42 year man who has came back (after a few year) to race and he was still close to the top. He is living legend!!!

    September 4, 2011 at 11:24 am | Reply
  84. ddangelo

    ***SENNA, ALESI, & SCHUMACHER ARE MY FAVOURITES***

    September 8, 2011 at 2:08 am | Reply
  85. ddangelo

    SCHUMACHER WAS THE FIRST DRIVER TO WIN A RACE IN THE PITLANE.

    September 8, 2011 at 2:10 am | Reply
  86. Susan Marano

    There have been some great drivers Senna,Fangio
    Clark, Moss and Stewart. Schumacher is the best hands down. Michael is an agressive driver, but that's what makes him great. He took chances sometimes it worked and some times it didn't. Hey that's racing. I wouldn't want him any different. I think his comeback is a great idea because he is doing this because he has a passion for driving. For all of you people who say he is a cheater, get over it and give him the respect he deserves.

    September 13, 2011 at 4:28 pm | Reply
  87. dennis delrosario

    To those who say that schumacher's legacy is at stake! you are all jerk! even at his rookie season its to obvoius how great schumacher was. nobody can match schumacher's skill and talent when it comes to driving and greatness. not even ayrton senna who happend lost many times against shumi. NO body can stop schumi. racing is his passion. and schumacher is the epitomy of racing! HE IS THE GREATEST DRIVER OF ALL TIME!!!!

    September 21, 2011 at 5:16 am | Reply
  88. Tony Collins

    Schuey the greatest? Of course he is,in a red bull, would be at the front,sure of it get astop watch start and stop it as fast as you can,and that's the kind of time difference the critics talk about on a weekly basis, if the cars not up to the job??? Let's see what Lewis can do with this piece of junk!!

    October 29, 2012 at 11:02 pm | Reply
  89. satkinson

    Not sure how anyone can anything too negative about Michael. He is still in the game and starts in the top 10 nearly every. Remember the years are generally not kind to reflexes but the enjoyment of watching his driving is enough for me to watch the Asian races in the middle of the night. Does he push the limit? Of course and once in a while his frustration shows. As in the case of Jordan their is no graceful end to a career like this when you are driven by the desire to be on the track fighting is what you do and walking away cannot be easy. I am not sure Michael cares what any of us think as long as he is enjoying what he does.

    November 18, 2012 at 12:04 am | Reply
  90. Diaz

    how many of you critics have eva been in a F1 car, knows the physicality involved to get that car around in a lap, let alone a race. Please, Schumi is unlike any good sportsman out there, he is a risk taker and set the bar. If you critics can do better showcase it on the track.

    February 8, 2013 at 8:33 pm | Reply
  91. D

    Oh please, get a life.. Schumi is the best ever, through sports or through humanity! no one can beat that............ please take off all your jealousy and give this man the respect he deserves .......... F1 owe him that!

    September 8, 2013 at 4:53 pm | Reply
  92. gina consolini

    Best of everything to Michael Schumacher. May God continue to bless you & your family always. Your mom is looking out for you now!

    February 5, 2014 at 6:22 pm | Reply

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