August 29, 2012

How I played Schumacher like a fiddle.

"I would never have made that corner without his push"  Jacques Villeneuve opens up about the infamous incident at the Dry Sack turn at Jerez in 1997.
That year coming into the final race, the European Grand Prix, Villeneuve had to beat championship leader Schumacher at all costs in order to win the title.

Turns out Villeneuve, driving for Williams Renault, played the future multi-champ like a fiddle.

"There was no way for me to pass him there but I tried anyway"  Villeneuve tells AutoBild Motorsport "I thought he might bump me because I had remembered what he did to Hakkinen in the Formula 3 finals in Macau" referring to Schumacher's straight line "brake test" of the Finn.

"In fact I had even discussed it with the team before the race and he actually did it!"  

Schumacher bumped into the Williams but ended up stuck in the gravel trap, Villeneuve ironically ended up making that corner and the rest, as they say, is history.


  1. even i felt the same as what jaques said, but from the video its also clear that, if schumi did not do last turn-in schumi , jaques would have gone straight thru.

  2. It's funny, as a young(ish) F1 fan who only got to watch snippets on ABC when I was younger, I never felt like Schumi was an honest racer based off his attitude and some of the BS he's pulled in modern F1 races.

    Thankfully it doesn't seem like too many 'brake checks' happen in the top tiers of racing (aside from the occasional attempt at throwing a curveball to someone right at the start of the braking zone)...Imagine that kind of move done today; airborne cars and some serious questions would be just the start.

    Personally, I'd do more than just throw my gloves on the ground if someone I was racing pulled that kind of stunt; no amount of pit crew would keep me from wrapping my fingers around the neck of the jackass willing to put my life at risk in such a manner. ESPECIALLY given that smug little smile he puts on when he knows he's gotten away with something (Monaco, quali, parking it on the apex...)

    1. well, he really didn't get away with anything on that one, he had to start dead last...

    2. Yes but the fact that he parked it intentionally, throwing up his justification as if the rest of the world was too stupid to realize what he was trying to do, and that smirk...he got away with it, alright.

      Now, I'm not saying that he isn't a great driver or anything. He's just too smart for his own good, every now and then.

    3. It's funny what some will conclude after reading Villeneuve's comments - basically he admits that he couldn't pass him, but "played him" because he knew that Michael would attempt to (rightfully) defend his position being well in front.

      Consequently, Michael is not an "honest racer" ... Really? Michael showed the world he was the best for a very, very long time. Not only demonstrating incredible driving prowess, but the ability to make a once 2nd tier team very competitive with his feedback, if not guidance.

      Of course, this gets under a lot of people's noses (especially from the anglosphere.) When all is said and done, Michael is still seven times world champion and still regarded as one of the greats of all time - no one can ever take that away from him.

  3. Look at any great champion and it will have the same level of "aggression" as Schummy. (Prost/Senna, etc)

    Also look at ANY actual race and you will see pilots changing braking points, entry lines, etc.

    To my taste too many regulations. In the past you have to know how to go fast but also how to overtake or defend your position. now it looks like they are all racing online (internet) that you can't go too close, or close the line etc... because is a potencial crash.

    1. Clark, Surtees, Phil Hill, Graham Hill, Mears, Donohue, Gurney, Ascari, Fangio, Moss, Caracciola, Rosemeyer, McLaren, Hulme, Stewart et al & etc ...

      Nope, I don't see "the same level of "aggression" as Schummy. (Prost/Senna, etc)"

    2. But you are comparing drivers off different eras where the motorsport is miles away for what is in the last 30 years.

      Is like trying to compare the 5 WC of Fangio with the 3WC of Senna or the 7 of MS.

      Still I disagree with you because even if the agression is not at the same level still it existed and in that era was the same level as today. Looked how they raced in the old Spa or the Nordschleife.

      BTW some you put there are not champions... and you are puting those names I don't how you forgot Gilles or Ronnie

    3. Don't forget that modern drivers can get away with stuff drivers in the past could never hope to survive.

    4. I have no problem comparing drivers from different eras.

      Fangio never hit anyone, let alone ram them to win a championship, and neither did any of the other drivers I mentioned. That action is utterly time independent.

    5. I don't forget that AC ... have you ever noticed that the level of competition as well as speeds have consistently increased in Moto GP racing, yet the number of serious accidents and on track incidents haven't?

      Curious, no?


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