July 30, 2009

How much is Schumacher's return worth to Formula 1?

You could say Michael Schumacher saved Formula 1 this week.
The rather downbeat news of BMW quitting the series has disappeared from headlines and from fan discussion sites.
Ticket sales are expected to rise 20% (according to SportPro Media), ratings for Valencia will be the highest ever.
I suspect the timing was not coincidental. Right after BMW's announcement, Ferrari had issued a press release essentially saying "We've been in F1 for 60 years, we've seen plenty of teams come and go. Good bye, thanks for playing". What better way to protect the F1 brand than to announce the return of the most successful and controversial champion ever? Mission accomplished.

Schumacher, who one would think is certain to have his Ferrari consultancy contract renewed (rumored to the tune of 5M Euros) will become the Lance Armstrong story for a series that has managed only bad news this whole season.

Good thing Schumacher said he relishes the challenge because he will have one day, Friday August 21, to get to terms with a new car, new aero, new tires and a new track. He will have to come up with a reasonable setup with a new crew and then face crushing public expectations he will not embarrass himself. A tall order even for a seven time champion.

And here is the rest of it.


  1. Not to mention saving the race in spain after renaults punting for a race on home soil!

  2. Since another manufacturer is bound to leave within months if not weeks, Ferrari is pulling out all the stops in an attempt to secure their future. Without F1, who is Ferrari?

    As for Michael, I bet he better understands the current Ferrari than you give him credit for... he hasn't been snooping around the garages all year for nothing. I predict he adapts very quickly on Friday practice.


  3. Ferrari is doing ok in ALMS with just one car, If F1 goes down the tubes Ferrari will just make whatever series it chooses to race in relevant globally. That is the power of having the world's most recognizable brand.

    I think MS will do ok also, but I don't think he's been hanging around races with an eye towards a comeback!

  4. Most recognizable brand? Really? Hit page 9 on this PDF for a study on brand identity: http://www.millwardbrown.com/Sites/Optimor/Media/Pdfs/en/BrandZ/BrandZ-2009-Report.pdf
    #14 - Toyota
    #18 - BMW
    #35 - Porsche
    #50 - Honda

    I can't find Ferrari in the Top 100, can you?

  5. I see your report (which has a word ending in a capital Z in the title)
    and raise you another two.

    #21 Toyota
    #22 Ferrari


    Scuderia Ferrari is by far the world's most valuable motorsports team.

  6. "...most valuable motorsports team" is a far cry from "...the power of having the world's most recognizable brand."

    I'm a Ferrari fan, but I'm in touch with reality.



nRelate Posts Only