From kai from planet-f1 forum:
"So in this post I am going to try to respond to the posts I have quoted, give my assessment of Melbourne and an assessment of Schumi's performance generally. I was at the race at Melbourne and I have also since watched a huge amount of onboards, and I feel the perception gained from what was seen on TV was vastly different to the actual situation.
First of all, Schumi's apparent happy facade is not a facade at all. He is genuinely happy and enjoying himself and having fun. I have spent 19 years studying his body language and he is relaxed and at ease. In previous years he has raced through the paddock avoiding all contact with people; this year he was waving and laughing and winking at people all over the place. I also spoke to him briefly and his eyes were sparkling in the way Schumi fans have gotten used to when he wins. Not the sign of a man trying to create an image.
The difference between Bahrain and Melbourne was absolutely night and day. Across the various sessions, Schumi regained that spark he is famous for, and he was attacking the corners, pushing on the exit and beautifully balancing his car through the apex with the brake and throttle. He also showed a lot of creativity with different lines. He was controlling the car and manipulating it much more at his will. This was demonstrated very clearly in FP3. At one point he was sideways through a corner having come across a car that had just come back on track due to an off and having to take evasive action and it barely disrupted the lap. I was open mouthed, as I have been many times throughout his career. He was evidently quicker and had more scope than Rosberg who was driving almost identically to what he did in Bahrain. To me, the progress Schumi has made says a lot about his adaptability, his access to his feel and sensitivity now, and also his ability to develop car setup, all of which made a huge difference this weekend.
When he queried Alonso straight after qualy, that was nothing like an "ear bashing". Qualy was nothing short a schemozzle and Schumi really copped the worst of it. On EVERY quick lap he suffered from traffic of either the new teams or drivers on in and out laps. His final lap in Q3 taken on hard tyres was on track to be his best and then had to be aborted because he came across Alonso on an inlap. He was checking to see if Alonso had been informed by the team that he was coming up on a quick lap, before asking the FIA for clarification - and not making a complaint, but clarification - on the situation with cars on track at different stages of qualifying. In this case, it was Schumi who was the one doing the right thing all the time - leaping out of people's way as soon as they got close - and it makes perfect sense that he wanted to know if he had it right or if he had it wrong. Had he not been so reasonable on track, he actually would have gotten himself into a better position to do a clean lap.
As for the race, as I understand it, there was practically nothing of him on screen. Had there been, viewers would have seen what I did, which was Alguesuari weaving in almost every braking zone and several overtaking attempts by Schumi that had to be aborted to avoid a collision with Alguesuari. Also, had there been, viewers would have seen Schumi playing around with different lines, exploring the track for different levels of grip and doing all that very impressively, simply thwarted by a driver who was driving outside the regulations. But for what Alguesuari was doing, I think the commentary in the media and perception would be vastly different: instead IMO people would be talking about Schumi being back. As steoc says in this thread, Schumi was pretty much the only driver to execute serious overtaking moves as a result of superior driving, rather than the driver in front making a mistake. Further, once he cleared Alguesuari, he basically dispensed with de la Rosa in a beautifully executed maneuver immediately that would have had the same impact with Alguesuari had Alguesuari not been driving as he was. Simply put, the result is not representative of what was demonstrated by Schumi.
Had the same happened in Bahrain I would have been worried about him making a mistake and certainly I wouldn't have expected him to get as close to Alguesuari as he did. Watching him this weekend, I got back my confidence that he can and will get back to the glorious Schumi we are used to seeing. He is not there yet, and I believe there is still progress to make, but I think he has gotten back the crucial ingredient - his feel - and will continually build on this. After Bahrain I couldn't have made this assessment because I didn't see that feel evident and I knew until he got that back we couldn't judge how the comeback would go. But now, I believe unquestionably that he will get there - mistakes and struggles in the interim but certainly he will get there.
So actually, I think he's doing remarkably well. He's been out of the sport for three years and in the space of a small amount of testing, with cars markedly different to what he drove previously, with one race under his belt he had the measure of his teammate in terms of pace over the weekend. That says A LOT about his progress. With respect to Australia, I am simply frustrated at the extent to which circumstances thwarted him."
"Everything I know about Schumacher indicates to me that he only "has fun" when he believes he is going to be competitive. So I interpret his "having fun" as "I know I can be competitive"."
Edited by ivand911, 30 March 2010 - 12:37.