August 1, 2010

That Schumacher move...

"You can be a nice guy off the track but if you're a nice guy in Formula 1, you will never win anything"
Ayrton Senna.

After Schumacher pulled that tough, desperate move on poor old Barrichello, I wondered: was this a return to what, week in and week out we hear Formula 1 is not anymore? There was some real hate going on there, some actual bad blood.

Of course, one view is that Schumacher has lost the plot, that a real champion would have know he had no chance in that situation, with the Brazilian on fresh soft tires behind him and moved over gracefully. It's a valid point, but not if you are going to complain that Formula 1 has become too sterile or if you know how a real racer's mind works.

Schumacher was certainly thinking about the final points position but, I'm guessing, he also remembered how Barrichello has spent the past couple of years trying to convince anyone who would listen how he was really faster than the German, if only he had been allowed to win. Barrichello even went as far as calling Schumacher, gay. I'm sure that was all misting inside the Mercedes driver's red helmet and he wasn't going to give up easily.

Barrichello for his part was probably thinking about how in his native Brazil, he's seen as a nice guy but a bit of a whiner, how there have been articles down there saying Brazilian autosport used to be Senna, Fittipaldi, Piquet, but now it's Barrichello, Massa and...Piquet jr
Yet Rubens had balls, he didn't lift and went through, he might want to thank Schumacher for giving him the chance to show he's got what it takes..

But he can't win, the final insult was that both Schumacher and Ross Brawn after the race said "This is Formula 1, what's the problem? There was enough room, otherwise he would not have gotten through..." Score on for the grouchy old man making Rubens once again look like a complainer.

Of course the FIA didn't see it that way, probably the safe way to go.
Videos after the jump


  1. I didn't watch the race and had to catch up by using things people were saying on Twitter

    and by a video of the overtaking. I also read Rubens' interview.

    Poor Vettel everyone had him as an easy pick for the winner. :-)

    What's one point more or less to these former top drivers, Rubens and Schumacher?

    What has changed F1 is what has changed chess: technology.

    Saying that F1 still has a lot of baggage that it cannot really leave behind otherwise it would be something else but F1 is a non-issue. F1 has changed and will continue to change.

    Reason being the photos and images of this overtaking by Rubens. We cannot see a lot of space between the cars and the wall I'm afraid. Saying that it was not that risky does little to really dissipate the scare of it. And it's the technology that's saying it, not someone who told us.

    Drivers are ready to try to explain that sometimes the cars don't really favor their driving style. Schumacher is a case in point.

    Before the season started I wasn't expecting Ferrari to be at the top. Kudos to Ferrari for making a good car and for improving its engine. So far, so good. Next year with the switching of tyres it should be another change that could bring surprises.

    Joao, a fan from Brazil. Cheers.

  2. first time i disagree with you AC

  3. Again a typical "Schumacher" very special style...
    I certainly agree on the fact that he is a great driver, and that's why I say he doesn't need to do such stupid and dangerous things.
    Hope there will be a penalty for this.

  4. AC -- its a difficult balance to show balls out racing and also safe passes. He ran him to the wall. Not as close as some of the Nascar boys go every lap. But in a year where we get penalty after penalty for this and that, it becomes evident that racing rules can't be written in a book.

    It seems like everytime we get to see some blood, they have to throw out a penalty, and eventually, we'll never see a pass ever again. Even though F1 wants it.

    As far as Schumacher the Skunk and Barrichello the complainer go? They are nothing if not reliable. Neither will change, so why do we care?

  5. I'm not really defending Schumacher, I just think sometimes we complain when F1 is sterile and we complain when it's not....

  6. There is a difference between being "tough" to pass and what Schumacher did today, which was too far. Barrichello is lucky the pit wall ended where it did or he would have crashed. I seem to remember Schumacher physically going after a racer for a similar stunt pulled on him. Schumacher said the guy was "trying to kill him." I hope I'm remembering this correctly, I'll have to do my homework and post the date and race.

  7. Ok, I'm wrong, I can't find anything about Schumacher going after Damon HIll. The incident happened in the 1998 Canadian GP. Damon Hill moved over on Schumacher. YouTube has a clip:!v=H1T29WEjMpM&feature=related

    If it doesn't work, then look for "The real Michael Schumacher in '98"

  8. But the "He tried to kill me" quote is about David Coulthard at the Belgium GP of 1998... man, I'm all mixed up. Sorry.

  9. I think it's personal with Michael and Barrichello. Anyway I'm not 100% it's as bad as it looked on TV, MS started drifting to the right and he does have the right to make one move, it's not like he weaved from left to right like Hamilton did earlier this year. Plus had he put Rubens in the wall, for sure he would have been taken out as well.

    Finally, remember in the top gear Senna tribute what Ayrton had said about being passed? that's precisely what Schumi did to Barrichello today.

  10. Ah, typical Axis anti- Rubens sentiment.
    Just put a disclusure up that you don't like the guy.
    Oh, congrats to GP2 champ Nico Hulkenburg outperforming Rubens this weekend. Awesome 6th for the team

  11. The penalty is for what occurs just after the wall incident, when Schumacher causes Rubens to negotiate a new chicane at the of the straight. The wall stuff was legal, but definitely not tasteful. Kudos to Barrichello for having the courage to stick it, though.

    See 0:08 in the following video for what I'm talking about:

    Looks like an illegitimate impediment to me...

  12. Fantastic camera angle, the rear wing camera is perfect.

    Rubens could have switched lines.
    He chose to commit to the line Schumacher was defending.

  13. Rubens said in his interview that Michael was in the middle of the track and Rubens could have gone inside or outside. It was only when Rubens chose the inside the Michael made his move, but Rubens was already by his side at that moment and hence he would have had to break to allow Michael in which was likely what Michael wanted anyways.

    Why did Rubens choose the inside? He said it is easier to overtake from the inside and as it was clear up to that point.

    Now what is even more unbelievable about all of it is that it all happens in a split of a second and it's not like there's time to think things over.


  14. @Joao

    Schumacher had every right to defend the line once.
    If Rubens had switched it would have been a clean move given he's speed advantage.

    Rubinho did leave it till the last moment.

  15. Rubens and Schumacher have had some fun driving go-karts in Brazil and watching those F1 guys fighting each other in go-karts was fun. Every once in a while one ran into the other one. :-)

    But F1 cars are different beasts. At max speed they are even more impressive. Those two grandpas used a lot of their experience not to crash into each other, if it was a beginner being put to the wall the beginner would have peed on his pants.

    I do not recall Schumacher doing such things to Kobayashi when Kobayashi overtakes him, I could be wrong.


  16. I'm not a Barrichello fan at all, but I really think Schumacher was too aggressive with that move. Sure, you don't have to be a nice guy, but theres a fine line between being an aggressive competitor and being a dickhead.

  17. And with that move, Schumi adds to the embarrassment that has been his return to F1.

  18. F1 fans need to make up there minds do you want a sport full of whingy bitches?

    Motorsport is dangerous what happened was dangerous and at the time I cheered Barrichello for nutting up and doing it, then he just whinges about it.

    Ye know this was dangerous too, both drivers but each other off the circuit in cars that were far more flimsy than they are today
    yet its regarded as one of, if not the best duels in the history of the sport.

    So why don't the lot of you take this guys advice...

  19. So, Schumi just did move a bit too much IMHO, but then again, Rubens got passed. He's also faster then the Stig, which was also schumi at one point. I just think he shouldn't complain all that much...

    I think, what Schumi did is what Senna would have also done, you need balls to pass him. Schumi might have gone a bit over the limit, but i think that's part of him and the racing..

    What i'm wondering: Did Vettel get an order to stay behind so far? I really wonder how that all happend...

  20. I am not sure if schumacher was wrong about its move. see something close to that between prost and senna at estoril 88

  21. Dear Andrea,
    MS was wise enough and knew he went far beyond the envelope walling RB or whoever. That maneuver, or manure in a more sensible way, disgraces competition and insults the kings of the sports: Us spectators, who reign with no sovereignty but bucks in our pockets and a remote control in hand.
    Safely enough there's no need to make F1 a boxing match based on who's going to profit from an accident or a death.
    Have driving skills? Will travel.

  22. "I'm not really defending Schumacher"
    Actually yes AC, yes you are. You are an unabashed Ferrari fanboy and apologist. The amount of, admittedly entertaining, posts go into supporting Ferrari's every move, car model and controversy and bashing McLaren and especially Hamiltons every move is a little overwhelming at times.
    It's what separates you from the boring, "neutral" F1 blogs and makes you unique. But don't claim it's not an obvious trait of yours.

    Still a massive Axis fan.

  23. Well' then Schumacher is the enemy isn't he? :)

  24. I'll say as I've said many times before -- if you want a gentleman's sport go find a time machine. F1 has too much money, and because of that, too huge of egos and pride to have any tips of the hat or graceful passes.

    That move was awesome, I wish it happened 6 more times that race. Rubin's got to blah-blah-blah his way around Michael in a wonderfully dangerous, entertaining pass. He got to get in some complaining, and Michael gets to stay an asshole.

    Seriously how old are some of you guys, or how many of you are ladies? Do you want to just go watch Time Attack? They don't pass in that sport, it's pretty gentlemanly.

    Nobody aspires to be a safe racing driver. There are no safe driving champions. You don't throw up 500 million a car per season to hire safe drivers. Sponsors don't throw up hundreds of millions of dollars to get their name in a safe, boring, processional sport full of cheese eating surrender monkeys.

    All of you complaining, stop watching F1. Really, stop. You idiots complaining to the FIA and F1 are the reason people get penalties for farting too loudly, and why if 1 pass for 16th happens it's an exciting race. You're ruining my sport, go watch Tennis, get the hell out of my F1.

    Go watch NHRA, safest passing you can find, you bunch of women.

  25. Tekniq's comment makes me think volvo should start a F1 team :-)

    Anyways, good rant, i sort of agree, don't like it, don't watch it...

    It ended all well, Schumi said sorry (omg, he really did). Now move on to the next race.. o darn... long wait...

  26. AC I generally enjoy your posts but the fact is it's not 1990 anymore. Even though Senna was famous for his aggressive driving the times have changed - and F1 has become a much safer sport because of it.

    If you watch the replay closely you will see it was Schumi's intention to try and push barrichello into the wall. Look how he checks his mirror methodically than baits barrichello into trying the move. He basically put him into a do or die scenario. There were other ways schumi could have defended that line.

    Nobody is asking for a granny state of safety in F1. But there has to be a line drawn for trying to push another driver into a concrete wall reaching high triple digit speeds. Especially the pit lane wall. What if another car was coming out of there? This isn't Destruction Derby.

  27. Meh... He tried to pass. Shuey kept drifting to the wall. Racing - it is up to the car making the pass to do so safely.
    The end. Stop whining.

  28. It was stupid on ruben's part to expect that anyone for that matter would give him space on the inside.
    He is still a miserable whiner at the end of the day..
    @Tekniq : Comment of the month, if not the year?


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