Will Michael Schumacher be back in 2013?

Will Michael Schumacher be back in 2013?

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Bookies drive nice cars because of people like me
At the fota forum, Ross Brawn fielded a question about drivers next year. He spent a few minutes eulogising Rosberg and how well he is doing in and out of the car. When it came to Michael though he was hesitant and lukewarm about the possibility. They will make a decision later this summer, but it was what he didn't say that was most revealing. No guarantees that Michael wants to come back, or that Ross would have him if he did want to...

So, what do we think? Should he come back? Should Merc have him if he wanted to?
Normally by this stage of the season I would have a good idea about this. Fortunately, it is quite possible Michael will win at Silverstone, and that would change things considerably. I don't feel he's had a fair crack of the whip this year, and it would be a pity if this was his final season.

Life is cruel, I suppose. It looks the most likely outcome at this juncture.
It's hard to say really...

On one hand he's been quite good this year and the only real mistake he has made was going into teh back of Senna. He's reliability record has been shocking this year and he's been robbed of some vital points. He's also looked much closer to Rosberg this year and he's just taken his first podium since his return (a very lucky one I will say).

However on the flip side he's just not the Schumacher of old. To me he isn't damaging his past reputation but to many others I think he is, they will be asking themselves was he ever as good as people thought and was it only ever down to those Rory Bryne designed Ferraris. Perhaps his comeback will devalue his titles.

Overall I think he isn't as good as he used to be, it's only natural then when you get older you become less effective. However that said I still think he has a place in Formula 1 and this season I think (opinion only) he would have put up a real challenge to Rosberg, I also think he would have taken a memorable victory in Monaco. On that basis I think he should continue for one further year, but in that year if he isn't able to match Rosberg (with or without bad reliability) he should retire.
The interesting point I felt he was saying was that it is their, as in Mercedes choice, rather than a discussion to be had, which implied Schumacher is there wanting to race if Mercedes will support him.

On that basis, if they both see a future in it, they get my vote, but as jez101 says, he seemed quite cool on the subject.
I don't know.

If he didn't have the reliability issues this season, then I doubt Schumacher or Brawn would be hesitant to to have another crack. He out-scored Rosberg from China onwards last season, despite several more retirements compared to Rosberg, this year, he's been there when Rosberg hasn't, Australia, Malaysia and Valencia come into mind.

Of course he isn't as good as he was before, he's competing with some guys half his age, yet he's still showing good form, plus Rosberg didn't annihilate him last season compared to 2010.

It all depends on the car really, they've had the car this year, but Schumacher's not had the luck.

He's too far behind anyone to fight for the championship, or claw back the deficit to Rosberg. So maybe we will see him excel now as he has less pressure?
Quite apart from everything else there is also a sort of unknown quantity aspect when it comes to both Rosberg and this current Mercedes car. It might seem strange to call Rosberg an unknown quantity after a what is now a relatively long F1 career but apart from his rookie year he'd never had a truly competitive team-mate until Schumacher, and he'd never had a truly competitive car until he joined Mercedes. And that's how you evaluate drivers, their performance relative to team-mates and the car they drive.
Nico has his critics. I personally rate him highly but he's one of the most difficult drivers to evaluate. Just how good is that Mercedes exactly? How much speed has Schumacher lost due to age and his years away from the sport? Is that Mercedes quicker than we think? Is Schumacher a relevant yardstick for a driver to compare themselves against?
As long as Schumacher remains these questions are more difficult to answer than they would if Nico was paired with say, Webber again.
it is Mercedes choice

It certainly came across that way, GeoffP didn't it! There was not even the slightest hint that Michael is considering not driving next year, but Ross was open to the possibility that the seat may go to someone else.

It is an interesting possibility that perhaps Michael doesn't want to stop - he came back because he missed driving - and yet Mercedes may feel that they would do better with Hamilton or di Resta. If you were then Force India and found Schumacher looking for a drive, why not? Might not even need to pay him very much and he might occasionally find the old magic (and be good commercially).

So what if he is not as good as he used to be? He's still better than the worst driver on the grid (by some way!), so surely he deserves a seat if he wants to drive. Would we think less of him if he let himself fade away like this, or actually start to see this as the real Michael, the man who just loves to drive?

Steve Davis was once unbeatable at snooker, but he kept playing and got overtaken by Stephen Hendry who then also went on past his prime and also faded to the fringes of the sport. Will Steve and Stephen's achievements be seen in a poorer light, like some are suggesting Schumacher's will? Or, does the fact that Michael has his name all over the record books guarantee his reputation whatever he does now? There might even be a Thierry Henry moment if and when he does win again - cementing the legend with a cameo to remind people of how good things used to be.

I can't see him staying on at Mercedes though. I think Brawn would have been much more positive about Michael last night if they were still keen. It was the contrast to the effusive praise for Nico that struck me.
Some will never accept Schumacher as the greatest driver of his generation, which is sad. I agree that Ross Brawn was very careful to circle the question and was far from positive about Schumie's future. If he wins a race then I think he will stay on, and both parties will want it to continue. If Rosberg wins more and Schumie still appears to struggle then I can't imagine either he or Mercedes will want to continue and I can't see him stepping down a division in F1 either, can you?
In 2010 and perhaps 2011 it was more clear cut to say Schumacher was under performing, this season is more complicated, Schumacher only has 17 points with 15 coming in Valencia. He has qualified on the front row twice this season including pole in Monaco which he lost due to a penalty received in Spain, knowing the nature of Monaco, who knows what would have happened if he had started from the front. Even though Rosberg has won a race this season I would say that Schumacher has driven better this season and most of the time the car has let him down in some way shape or form. If the car's reliability improves over the second half and his results improve then he'll be here next season.
I don't know what others think but I'm not sure it's so much a question of people not accepting Schumacher as the greatest driver of his generation as much as arguing that the 1994-2004 period wasn't such a great generation to begin with, compared to the current one or the one immediately before that?
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