That notion is made up by those who've not watched the sport before the 90s.
BTW, good assessment there. I think you speak for much of the F1 watching public who are not Schumacher fans. I too believe the same about him, an extraordinarily talented driver, who, sometimes, when in critical situations, pushed the lines of sportsmanship due to his uncontrollable desire to win. But thats not what Schumacher is : Its only part of what he is. An ugly part nevertheless, but I remember him for his heroics behind the steering wheel more than his imperfections.
Most people who sit behind the comfort of their computer screens, and spit venom on sportsmen like Senna, Schumacher, Alonso and Hamilton, dont know a thing about the kind of effort these guys put into their careers. There is decades of blood, sweat and tears that goes into guys like these that make it to the top of a professional sport. When push comes to shove, in a title decider, Schumacher wasnt nearly as composed or "gentlemanly" as Hill was or Button is. Does that take away any of his records ? No it doesnt
Some people are better at handling a tight situation in the sport than others. Its clear Schumacher isnt one of them. So what ? How does that "diminish his achievements" in any way whatsoever ?
To be so judgemental about a drivers' behaviour is completely insane.
Well, I don't wanna go into lenghts about this issue, but, IMO, all the racing guys you've mentioned have very debatable psyco behaviour.
The "uncontrollable desire to win" transported to the business world could mean a financial executive to committ a fraud and make up the numbers to keep his/her job or even get promoter at the expense of a more capable professional.
Is it a behaviour to be praised or condemned in your judgement ?
I've read Senna's bios, but couldn't ID why such a strong desire to win and I don't agree with some of his behaviourism either.
Schumacher was the son of a go kart janitor that was despised by the rich competitors. Didn't help being managed by Flav and Weber.
Alonso ask other people to crash so he can raise his chances of winning. Didn't help being managed by Flav.
Lewis does some minor cheats behind the SC, like in Australia and Valencia.
In fact there used to be a highet level of sportmanship, specially at the times of Sir Jack, Emerson and Lauda.
However, from time to time, someone comes to break the code of honor to gain some advantage. Then the crowd copy the behaviour - to defend themselves - lowering the overall standard.
It happened to Alan Jones, Senna, Schumy and Alonso.
Stewart wasn't an hypocrite when he complain about nowhadays drivers behaviour bcs he lived the Code of Honor, that existed partly bcs cars were fragile and death was present to races. So rogue behaviour on track was really threatening their lives.
Emerson was the Driver Steward that imposed the biggest number of penalties to drivers/teams in 2010.
So, yes... there was a higuer level of chivalry in F1.
Edited by DarthRonzo, 01 December 2010 - 04:08.