In a short run he is tarnishing his reputation but on the long run he is not. After 50 years from now the history will only remember his WDC wins and his grand prix wins. How the history will grade his results also depends on how long his records will stay intact.
When Schumacher announced his retirement, many of his fans (and i suspect you are one), were running around various forums telling anyone that would listen that Schumacher was going to put all the young pretenders in their rightful place, etc. Then after a couple of races, that turned into "give him a couple of races to settle down", a couple of races after those couple of races it was "give him until half season to get used to the car, he's been out for three years". Now that's morphed into "wait until 2011 when the car will suit him and you will see the real Schumi".
Schumacher can battle for position, but unlike his first career, he's now battling to save his position, not gain one. I totally disagree that Schumacher isn't tarnishing his reputation. What happened to the man who could drive around a car's weaknesses, put an inferior car in places it should not be, whilst at the same time demolishing his teammate and putting them in their place. I see no signs of that man in 2010.
So if he hasn't lost it, exactly where is his edge ? He needs to find it soon, or questions will always remain about how much of his success was down to the team / car, and not just the man himself. If Schuamcher wants to keep his legacy intact he needs to improve quickly. I think if it were not for his previous glory (and PR), he would be struggling to retain his seat for the remainder of this season, let alone 2011.
Edited by slaveceru, 19 August 2010 - 13:22.