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#1 speedman13

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:20

With all the discussion on RC of the possibility of Schumacher filling in at Ferrari what other great comebacks has there been.
For me the greatest was Mike Hailwood at the TT in 1978.

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#2 alansart

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:48

With all the discussion on RC of the possibility of Schumacher filling in at Ferrari what other great comebacks has there been.
For me the greatest was Mike Hailwood at the TT in 1978.


Niki Lauda, Nigel Mansell and less successfully, Alan Jones.

Edited by alansart, 28 July 2009 - 09:49.


#3 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 09:54

Nigel Mansell

Wheh he couldn't fit into the McLaren?? Or when he went into the bridge at Donington in the saloon car??  ;) ;)

Rob :wave:
PS A Mansell fan, actually, despite what a lot of people say. Big mouth, (for sure!) big balls too. :eek:
PPS I guess you mean from pre F1 career, Alan.

Edited by Kingsleyrob, 28 July 2009 - 09:56.


#4 f1steveuk

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 12:45

You'd have to go a long way to get a better comeback than Hailwood's. Done for the right reasons, and very succesful. Not money or ego driven, just the desire to go back to something he loved, then sheer talent took over!

Lauda's was succesful (well a World championship is pretty good!), but the reasons take the shine off it for me. Mansell, should have stayed away, although I agree totally, out of the car I had no time for him, but in one...........

Jones is another that should have stuck to his guns and stayed retired. In a different field, Craig Breedlove, went back to the land speed record years after he stopped, it reminded me of a punch drunk boxer who just simply could think of anything else to do............

#5 MCS

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 12:52

Always remember the comeback of Stirling Moss to competitive racing in 1980 when he appeared in the BTCC at the wheel of an Audi 80 - I still wonder why that was necessary...

With all due respect, he just seemed so out of place.

#6 john winfield

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 13:43

I understand Steve's point about the reasons for Niki Lauda's comeback but it was still mighty impressive, using his racecraft to cope with a grand prix world that had moved on since his retirement at Brabham.
Comebacks must be very difficult and two less successful ones spring to mind: I think Dan Gurney found 1970 GP cars pretty tough when he stepped in to help McLaren after Bruce's death, and Jacky Ickx struggled with the brutal ground effects of the 1979 Ligier after Patrick Depailler was injured. There again, Pete Lovely seemed happy enough returning in 1970, perhaps not quite at the sharp end...
Of course, what about Pete Revson, if he qualifies as someone making a 'comeback'; no Grand Prix between 1964 and Watkins Glen in 1971, and then throughout 1972 and 1973 he just got better and better.

#7 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 14:15

In terms of comebacks after injuries/crashes, what about Fangio's comeback after breaking his neck in 1952?

Referring to Alan's earlier mention of "Our Nige" I now realise the reference was to his coming back into F1 to win, rather than returning after his serious injury earlier in his pre-F1 career. :up:

Rob :wave:

#8 D-Type

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 14:44

Don't forget that Alain Prost made a successful comeback after a year's sabbatical and Rene Arnoux not so successfully.

Then there's all those who had to take an enforced break for World War 2 and came back with differing degrees of success, which I think was largely dependant on their age. Without checking there's Farina, Fagioli, Varzi, Biondetti, Villoresi, Sommer, Wimille, Chiron, Bira, Lang and Caracciola, and technically Ascari and Kling. And there's a similar list for Indianapolis.

Observation of retired drivers getting back into a car for fun and setting competitive times are legion so we can conclude that the skills don't go away and can be fairly easily sharpened to be fully competitive. The main challenge is motivation. Most drivers retire because they are "tired" or "bored" and it all depends whether they can regain that "will to win". And that is primarily a function of the individual's psychological make-up.

#9 kayemod

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 16:15

Always remember the comeback of Stirling Moss to competitive racing in 1980 when he appeared in the BTCC at the wheel of an Audi 80 - I still wonder why that was necessary...


Sharpened matchsticks pushed under my fingernails wouldn't persuade me to criticise The Great Man, who in addition to looking completely out of place in the Audi 80, clearly never really got to grips with either FWD or slicks, but I imagine that the reasons for this unhappy comeback were purely financial.

Rob.


#10 MCS

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 17:03

Sharpened matchsticks pushed under my fingernails wouldn't persuade me to criticise The Great Man, who in addition to looking completely out of place in the Audi 80, clearly never really got to grips with either FWD or slicks, but I imagine that the reasons for this unhappy comeback were purely financial.

Rob.


Didn't he once describe it as possibly the biggest mistake he had ever made?


#11 Doug Nye

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 18:31

Indeed he did - and it was - and in effect he was pretty thoroughly stitched up. For me it was like putting Arkle between the shafts of a milk float, when he should have been out in the green fields, or at - ahem - stud. Stirl found that professional racing had become a different game - largely due to the invulnerability drivers expected thanks to roll-over bars, seat-belts, intrusion barriers, sterile circuits, and which permitted them to indulge in a contact game. In effect the golf hole had been made larger, to make the game easier - and also in effect, therefore, the activity had been demeaned...none of which made life any easier for a brain-damaged former ace of aces in his middle years...

Oh - and a pretty darned impressive comeback was certainly made postwar by Moss's hero - Nuvolari, despite age and increasing infirmity...

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 28 July 2009 - 18:34.


#12 alansart

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 18:42

Sharpened matchsticks pushed under my fingernails wouldn't persuade me to criticise The Great Man, who in addition to looking completely out of place in the Audi 80, clearly never really got to grips with either FWD or slicks, but I imagine that the reasons for this unhappy comeback were purely financial.

Rob.


Well I have a happy memory of his Audi season. When I brought my first race car (a F750) I did a wet test session at Mallory Park. The Audi's were testing as well that day and as my car had a horrible misfire, I was being overtaken quite a lot by them. I made sure I kept out of the way and on the odd occasion Stirling came passed he lifted a hand to say thank you. My boss was a big 50's and 60's race fan, so when I told him what went on he almost fainted when he realised I hadn't got the autograph of his hero :rolleyes:

Edited by alansart, 29 July 2009 - 07:00.


#13 Giraffe

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 18:54

I have 2 rather vague & random memories of Stirling in come-back mode; one is of him racing a Chevron B8, and the other concerned an interview I had with the M.D. of Wharfdale Speakers who had shared a car in the ( Wilhire?) 24hr saloon car race with him, but I can't recall his name. (Old age creeping in!) Can anyone expand on these 2 events for me? :cat:

Edited by Giraffe, 29 July 2009 - 18:43.


#14 D-Type

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Posted 28 July 2009 - 22:38

There was also his discreet comeback co-driving Eric Carlsson's SAAB in the 1965 Safari where a broken Halda cable started a catalogue of disasters.

#15 alansart

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 17:04

Looks as though the latest come back is Michael Schumacher!

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/77418

Edited by alansart, 29 July 2009 - 17:04.


#16 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 17:08

Looks as though the latest come back is Michael Schumacher!

http://www.autosport...rt.php/id/77418

Yes, I've just heard it confirmed on Radio 2 too...

Now this will be very interesting. :up:

I used to turn off when he raced, (no reflection on his sublime skill, I just got bored) now I'll definitely be tuning in!

Lewis v Michael :eek:

Rob :wave:

Edited by Kingsleyrob, 29 July 2009 - 17:09.


#17 Doug Nye

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 17:38

I always enjoy good lines. Over on 'FerrariChat' the fanboys are all wetting themselves presently about Schumacher Sr's decision to drive at Valencia. The posts are all "WOW!", "Fantastic news!", "Great!", "So wonderful I can't see straight!" until this great line appears...

"Kimi's just cr****d himself..."

10 out of 10. And he might not be the only one.

Well, we will see if the out of practice MS - shuffling into middle age - shapes up. I wonder if Mr E has put him on a share of the late-sales gate money?

DCN

Edited by Doug Nye, 29 July 2009 - 17:40.


#18 kayemod

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 17:54

I wonder how Mr S will come to terms with the current disciplinary regime, where anything other than an "After you Claude" passing manoeuvre seems to end in a Stewards' enquiry after the race, usually with dire consequences for the overtaker, not what he's been used to at all. But maybe he'll be racing to a different set of rules, just as he often seemed to in the old days.

#19 David Force

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 17:54

I have 2 rather vague & random memories of Stirling in come-back mode; one is of him racing a Chevron B8, and the other concerned an interview I had with the M.D. of Wharfdale Speakers who had shared a car in a 24hr saloon car race with him, but I can't recall his name. (Old age creeping in!) Can anyone expand on these 2 events for me? :cat:


I think I am correct in saying that the B8 Stirling first raced was when he shared with Tony Gordon back when Supersports was run by David Piper and Mike Knight. And an unknown but awesomely brave David Force took part in his Lotus 30 (at Phoenix Park no less ! ).

I also vaguely recall Stirling driving another Chevron later on with a Hart engine ?

My comeback is still awaited !!!

:cool:





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#20 Gary C

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 18:01

I think the biggest comeback in recent times has just been announced........................

#21 wolf sun

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 18:03

I always enjoy good lines. Over on 'FerrariChat' the fanboys are all wetting themselves presently about Schumacher Sr's decision to drive at Valencia. The posts are all "WOW!", "Fantastic news!", "Great!", "So wonderful I can't see straight!" until this great line appears...

"Kimi's just cr****d himself..."

10 out of 10. And he might not be the only one.

Well, we will see if the out of practice MS - shuffling into middle age - shapes up. I wonder if Mr E has put him on a share of the late-sales gate money?

DCN


:up: :up: :up:


Never been a fan of the Chinned One, quite the opposite in fact.
But imagine indeed, how the rest of the field would look if he turned up, showed them a clean pair of heels, and disappeared into retirement again...

On the subject of Lauda, I think his first comeback was probably even more impressive, wasn't it...?


#22 Formula Once

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 18:05

No matter what you think of Michael Schumacher, this is just what F1 needed right now and the buzz his come back is already creating underlines once more that the majority of the sport's fan base does not care about BMW's plans, Max Mosley's interests or Jean Todt's ambitions.

This is great news for the sport and I for one hope it will be great for Schumacher too.

As for best come backs ever, Lauda is in a league of his own as far as I am concerned. And not just because of the one in 1982. His come back in 1976 at Monza ranks among the best in sporting history. And those here questioning his reasons for coming back in 1982, should maybe ask themselves this question: if he was only doing it for the money, how the hell did he win his third (!) race after coming back plus the world title 18 months later and led the very last race he did at the end of 1985? Only a very determined man could achieve that, not a gold digger.

A good second in my opion: Andretti, Monza 1982, sticking a 126C2 on pole just like that. Magic.

#23 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 18:11

On the subject of Lauda, I think his first comeback was probably even more impressive, wasn't it...?

YES,Rat Ruled!

A good second in my opion: Andretti, Monza 1982, sticking a 126C2 on pole just like that. Magic.

And lap record at Fiorano the week before. What jetlag?

One of the few Dutch records in F1*) is the comeback with the longest absence of Jan Lammers. 1982-1992

*) F1 WDC

Edited by Arjan de Roos, 29 July 2009 - 18:17.


#24 OfficeLinebacker

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 19:27

And those here questioning his reasons for coming back in 1982, should maybe ask themselves this question: if he was only doing it for the money, how the hell did he win his third (!) race after coming back plus the world title 18 months later and led the very last race he did at the end of 1985? Only a very determined man could achieve that, not a gold digger.


Performance based pay clauses in his contract?

#25 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 20:14

With all the discussion on RC of the possibility of Schumacher filling in at Ferrari


Apparently more than a possibility now....

Jack


#26 Kingsleyrob

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 20:22

Apparently more than a possibility now....

Jack

See posts 15, 16, 17, 19 and 20 Jack.  ;)

Rob :wave:

#27 Richard Jenkins

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 20:34

If all is confirmed & Schumacher does slot in, then his career will be the longest in Formula 1 - 18 years in total between debut & last/current race, beating the great Graham Hill.

Personally, I'm all for Schumacher, de la Rosa (Campos new number one) & the likes filling the seats this & next year...we need more 40 yr olds on the grid....  ;)

Not a huge Schumacher fan per se, but I must admit this event does excite me - though I did have the wish that Luca Badoer would race just once, score at least one point & finally get rid of his rather unwarranted no points record..

#28 kiwi a110

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 20:48

Now we could see a Lewis v Michael stock car F1 race!

:drunk:

#29 Gregor Marshall

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Posted 29 July 2009 - 22:58

I am not a Schumi fan at all but I think this is brilliant - he was clearly the best driver of his generation (for whatever reasons) and I think he will show he is the best driver of the next generation - I can't wait!! :clap: :clap:
P.S. I wish such a stats and records nerd!!

#30 Rob G

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 00:15

I'm just thrilled there's somebody older than me on the grid once again.

#31 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 07:23

If all is confirmed & Schumacher does slot in, then his career will be the longest in Formula 1 - 18 years in total between debut & last/current race, beating the great Graham Hill.

He will also have the longest span between first and last GP for Ferrari (13 years) in F1 WDC. Andretti raced first 1971 and last in 1982 for the Scuderia in F1.

#32 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 08:39

I would think that Emerson Fittipaldi belong on the list of VERY successful comebacks.

Was out of racing for 4 seasons, last 4 seasons in F1 had been basically as a tail ender.

Won the CART championship as well as the Indy 500, at a time when the Indy 500 was in it's heyday.

:cool:

#33 David Force

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 09:54

If all is confirmed & Schumacher does slot in, then his career will be the longest in Formula 1 - 18 years in total between debut & last/current race, beating the great Graham Hill.

Personally, I'm all for Schumacher, de la Rosa (Campos new number one) & the likes filling the seats this & next year...we need more 40 yr olds on the grid.... ;)

Not a huge Schumacher fan per se, but I must admit this event does excite me - though I did have the wish that Luca Badoer would race just once, score at least one point & finally get rid of his rather unwarranted no points record..


Well done Richie, my thoughts exactly on Badoer who has done such great work behind the scenes and deserves a shot.

Now here's a thought chaps, lets wish Massa well but assume he is out for the rest of this season so at Abu Dhabi we may have the F1 equivalent of Ali v Frazier:-

Michael Schumacher with 91 wins and 7 World Championships v Sebastien Loeb with 52 wins and 5 (6 by then ? ) World Championships

Not to mention the other bit part players like Kimi, Fernando and Lewis.

Race of Champions or what ???

:cool:



#34 Mallory Dan

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 10:03

Patrick Viera???

#35 Odseybod

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 10:18

Should probably also mention Alex Zanardi - back racing a specially adapted Touring Car after his horrific 2001 Indycar crash. True grit.

#36 David Force

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 13:37

Should probably also mention Alex Zanardi - back racing a specially adapted Touring Car after his horrific 2001 Indycar crash. True grit.


Robert Cowell who came back as a girl !

:kiss:

#37 Odseybod

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 13:45

Robert Cowell who came back as a girl !

:kiss:


So no one could grumble about the size of cojones?

#38 RTH

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 14:02

Of course you know this bloke still has not announced his retirement yet and is always by the 'phone

Posted Image
from the late lamented and best motor racing periodical that never existed !

Edited by RTH, 30 July 2009 - 14:10.


#39 RTH

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 14:08

Does all this mean that the FIA will have to start a post-race urine sample test for 'Philosan' ?

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#40 Gary C

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 19:49

Here's what I'm wondering. We all know Michael can't practice and drive this years' car because of the testing ban. But..............what is to stop him getting some mileage under his belt at Fiorana driving last years' car, or the year before that?? Anyone?

#41 Jack-the-Lad

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 20:17

Over on 'FerrariChat' the fanboys are all wetting themselves presently about Schumacher Sr's decision to drive at Valencia.

DCN


Some are not only predicting an MS win in Valencia, but also have taken to contemplating the scenarios which would result in his next WDC......

Jack


#42 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:00

Michael Schumacher with 91 wins and 7 World Championships v Sebastien Loeb with 52 wins and 5 (6 by then ? ) World Championships


I can't believe the safety concious FIA would let this happen. Sure Loeb can drive no question, he's been fairly quick at other times testing F1 cars and occasionally racing closed wheel sportscars. But in reality his first ever open wheel standing start in the Toro Rosso with 19 other cars around in his first ever single seater race? He's got to do some F3 or GP2 race starts first surely...or am I wrong, has he already done some? OK he might start at the back, it's a Toro Rosso afterall, but that's not the point, anything can happen.

Back to Stirling and his BTCC Audi comeback, I remember the massive queues to get into Mallory that day, BBC news headlines, it was a big story and the gate receipts proved it. He did look out of place, but at the same time he came back to racing historics that season, at last I had the chance to see him racing a 250F, on the Silverstone club circuit against Willie Green in another 250F. Willie was all arms and elbows, oversteering out of Woodcote, Stirling smooth as you like. The photographs fom my schoolboy books had come to life, a magical day for me.

#43 sterling49

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:09

Back to Stirling and his BTCC Audi comeback, I remember the massive queues to get into Mallory that day, BBC news headlines, it was a big story and the gate receipts proved it. He did look out of place, but at the same time he came back to racing historics that season, at last I had the chance to see him racing a 250F, on the Silverstone club circuit against Willie Green in another 250F. Willie was all arms and elbows, oversteering out of Woodcote, Stirling smooth as you like. The photographs fom my schoolboy books had come to life, a magical day for me.



I saw him at drive the Audi at Brands, I stood at Clearways and marvelled at the smoothness of his driving, I had seen him before at Brands, a looong time ago, and the memories are not sharp :smoking:

#44 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 21:56

Really how is Michael going to be on the pace, several years out of an F1 and the cars have changed immensley. He may make himself look silly.
Everybody else in the field has had hundreds [thousnands] of test Kms and he has had none!!

#45 kayemod

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Posted 30 July 2009 - 22:52

Really how is Michael going to be on the pace, several years out of an F1 and the cars have changed immensley. He may make himself look silly.
Everybody else in the field has had hundreds [thousnands] of test Kms and he has had none!!


Not too sure about that. MS has driven every single road and race car that Ferrari have produced in the years since he retired, he's probably spent as much time driving around Fiorano as he did when he was racing, and I'd bet he's done a similar number of testing kms to Massa and Raikonnen. He certainly won't be as well prepared as he'd like to be, but I'm sure he's far from unprepared. He's got one hell of a task in front of him, but I can't see him falling flat on his face.

#46 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:10

Not too sure about that. MS has driven every single road and race car that Ferrari have produced in the years since he retired, he's probably spent as much time driving around Fiorano as he did when he was racing, and I'd bet he's done a similar number of testing kms to Massa and Raikonnen. He certainly won't be as well prepared as he'd like to be, but I'm sure he's far from unprepared. He's got one hell of a task in front of him, but I can't see him falling flat on his face.


Last time he was in a F1 car was early 2008.

:cool:

#47 Andrew Kitson

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 06:41

Last time he was in a F1 car was early 2008.

:cool:

Michael will not make himself look silly, pretty sure of that. His competitive streak is as strong as ever.
Just a couple of weeks ago he won another karting challenge, beating Massa, Glock, Trulli, Luizzi etc.

He will also be doing a lot of hours in the simulator. Modern day F1 simulators are very accurate, they have to be after
the testing ban, like aircraft simulators.
Lewis pops into McLaren regularly to practice for the next event. A good driver can learn any circuit within 3 laps of Friday
practice, Michael is in that catagory as Valencia will be new to him. Not saying he could win, that would be a big ask,
but I bet he'd be very close to Kimi or perhaps slightly ahead.

In one of those tests early 2008 pretty sure he was top of the timesheets. A great thing for F1 this, it will be fascinating.
He's definitely a better choice than the regular Ferrari test drivers if they want the chance to get a couple more points on the
board.


#48 Arjan de Roos

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 07:24

Really how is Michael going to be on the pace, ..


How can you say that? *) He was 'The Stig' all these years. ;)

On a nostalgic note: MS is propably the first come-back in racing without any dedicated testing beforehand. I mean he will step in the F60 for the first practice at Valencia, right?

*) We apologize that this comment could have been posted elsewhere...

Edited by Arjan de Roos, 31 July 2009 - 07:25.


#49 KWSN - DSM

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:33

Michael will not make himself look silly, pretty sure of that. His competitive streak is as strong as ever.
Just a couple of weeks ago he won another karting challenge, beating Massa, Glock, Trulli, Luizzi etc.

He will also be doing a lot of hours in the simulator. Modern day F1 simulators are very accurate, they have to be after
the testing ban, like aircraft simulators.
Lewis pops into McLaren regularly to practice for the next event. A good driver can learn any circuit within 3 laps of Friday
practice, Michael is in that catagory as Valencia will be new to him. Not saying he could win, that would be a big ask,
but I bet he'd be very close to Kimi or perhaps slightly ahead.

In one of those tests early 2008 pretty sure he was top of the timesheets. A great thing for F1 this, it will be fascinating.
He's definitely a better choice than the regular Ferrari test drivers if they want the chance to get a couple more points on the
board.


I think that Michael Schumacher is the best driver I have ever seen, and I saw both Prost and Senna live as well. So I am not in the corner suggesting Schumacher will not perform.

Simply replied to the poster, insisting that Schumacher had pounded round Fiorano, when he has not.

Valencia I expect top 10 qualifying, race pace about same as Kimi overall either of them can end with the faster lap. Both should end in the points, bearing technical issues.

I have not yet made my mind up, if Valencia will cater to the strengths or weaknesses of the Ferrari (and McLaren), if it is a 'Hungary' or 'Monaco' track then Schumacher could possibly fight for a podium (and during wet nights the win as well).

The more races Schumacher will be present at this season, the more 'back in form' he will come, and with 7 races to go I would not expect a win, but I would not be surprised if he got one.

:cool:


#50 kayemod

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Posted 31 July 2009 - 10:56

Simply replied to the poster, insisting that Schumacher had pounded round Fiorano, when he has not.


Several press reports including The Times say that MS has driven the 2009 car around Fiorano, but you know better than them apparently. They also have a 2009 simulator, how many hours do you think he's spent 'driving' that? It was a huge number of hours spent on the McLaren simulator that enabled Lewis Hamilton to hit the ground running on his F1 debut.