I'll say right up front that I was never a big Schumacher fan. I didn't like his sporting ethics, nor his attitude. However, he is far from finished and past it. In fact, I believe he is doing as well as he could be. The reason he is struggling - relatively - is exactly the same reason he did so well in the past: Preparation, preparation, preparation. There is no magic to it, simply a lot of hard work, done the right way. I suspect some parts of the 2010 F1 picture have taken him by surprise. Easily done when you are seven times wdc.
He has had three years away. In that time, testing has been cut dramatically. The aerodynamic, tyre, and mechanical characteristics of the cars are different. The only way to get the understanding of these cars - with this configuration - is to get the hours in. Schumacher's discipline and precision are legendary, and he will know precisely
where he is going wrong. He simply does not have the hours in the car to find the improvement, so he is having to do it in the races.
What Schumacher needs to achieve is a leap of progress in understanding the issues slowing him down. Both Brawn and Schumacher have a history of 'finding tenths'. Look at the 1995 and 1997 seasons. A tremendous effort went into eeking out a little time everywhere, both in car and driver. He will need to do all of this again, but without the advantage of being able to test the hell out of it. There's no doubting his innate speed - it is still there - but you could see in Shanghai that he does not understand the behaviour of the tyres because he has not had time to learn
. He ripped the hell out of his inters because he didn't have the experience of them to know that you can't do that anymore. One part of the story I'd like to know is how much education Schumacher has undertaken. Back in the day he would have been bending the engineer's ear and knowing all of this stuff in advance, and I do wonder if he thought it might be a little easier this time.
I never thought I'd catch myself saying it, but I look forward to him being more competitive.
Edited by Sulman, 04 May 2010 - 13:08.