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Today was Michael Schumacher's last race in Formula 1, after 16 seasons. I got into F1 about the same time as he started driving - when it was still all about Senna, Prost, Patrese and so on. Suddenly here was this new guy who just seemed to be better than everyone else, and that's the way he stayed for pretty much all of his career. I really started supporting him in earnest when Damon Hill came on the scene, because all my friends supported Hill and I thought he was just such a dull, technical driver compared to Schumacher. And suddenly Schumacher was demonised for, basically, being German and daring to be better than the British guy - so I loved him, of course.

The race today encapsulated what I love about him - he never gives up, he pushes to the limit, and he always does more than you think is possible. He started 10th because of technical trouble in qualifying. Within a few laps he was up to 6th. But he was unlucky again, like he was two weeks ago, when only his engine blowing up stopped him winning the race - that was the first engine failure for Ferrari in 5 years, and today he was the one person who suffered from the debris all over the track from Rosberg's accident. He got a puncture just after the pit lane entry, and had to tour right round the track before going in for a change of tyre. By the time he came out he was in 19th and last place, 70-odd seconds behind the leader, his teammate Massa.

Well and truly out of it? Not Schumi. Over the next 50 or so laps he kept pushing and kept pushing, even though he knew there was pretty much no chance he could win the race or the championship. He rose up through the pack. He put in amazing laps - he got the then-fastest lap of the race on his first lap out of his second pit stop, which is usually thought to be pretty much impossible - you do the fastest laps when you're low on fuel and therefore lighter. He did another fastest lap on the second last lap of the race.

He finished in 4th place, less than 25 seconds behind Massa, less than 6 seconds behind Alonso in second place. During the race he'd made up 23 places overall - more places than there were cars in the race. He might not have won, but it was a worthwhile finish to his career.

Here are the records he's broken in his career.. There are only about two records in F1 he didn't break. Schumi, you were the best, and will be for a long time to come.



( 2 comments — Comment )
Oct. 22nd, 2006 08:21 pm (UTC)
It's a pity, what with you being a Scot and all, that you are too young to remember Jim Clark. You'd have liked him.
Oct. 22nd, 2006 09:45 pm (UTC)
I've seen clips and stuff :o) They had the best cars then...
( 2 comments — Comment )


bad wolf
Notes from extinction

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