Michael Schumacher announced today his retirement (again) from Formula 1.
I must admit, though, that I do not feel qualified to write the closing chapter on Michael’s career as I simply was not around to see it in all its glory. I know the stories, I know the headlines, but my enduring idea of Schumacher is of him bumbling around in an inadequate car and generally making a fool of himself.
I remember Singapore last year, I remember Turkey a couple years ago. Not only was Michael slow, but his racecraft was seriously lacking.
Make no mistake, I wanted Michael back. I wanted him to become a force to be reckoned with. His pole lap in Monaco was absolutely brilliant. But at the time, I saw it as a signal of his return to form. Now, as I re-watch the lap, I see it for what it now means, a last flash of brilliance in a great expanse of mediocrity.
All that being said, the manner in which Mercedes has made these moves has left me with a very sour taste. I know, I know, he brought this on himself. By refusing to give Mercedes a decision on next year during the summer break, he opened his position and when a driver like Hamilton is on the market, you take Hamilton, every day.
He deserved a chance to go out in style, retiring for no other reason but because he wanted to, not because he was unceremoniously kicked out. Make no mistake, I agree that this is the best move, but I think Mercedes has treated him rather harshly by announcing Hamilton’s arrival before Schumacher’s departure.
Goodbye Mr. Schumacher, thank you.