Posted 01 August 2010 - 19:36
At least the stewards have started to do something about this sort of behaviour. At the risk of sounding like an old fogey, it's only been since Senna and then Schumacher came on the scene that this sort of thing has been "acceptable". Just think of what happened to Webber in Valencia, and then imagine, if you can, that happening near the end of the pitlane... it really doesn't bear thinking about. It is not good sport, any more than nerfing people in the doors in the BTTC is good sport.
Today's incident at Brands Hatch highlights just what can happen when cars touch at speed.
Let's take stock for a couple of minutes about what F1 / Motor Racing is meant to be all about
Forget the arguments about 1cm here or 15cm there - the essence of the 'sport' that I have followed and generally loved since the '60s has been eroded. In the past, if you were a good sportsman (as almost every top line racer was) you accepted the fact that if you made a mistake out of a corner and your rival got near to you, or got alongside, or got a better run at the next corner, he had 'won' the corner. You did not 'make one legal move' (because there was no such a thing written into the rulebook) - you fought the guy into the next corner, on the brakes if you could, but you always gave them room. Before the finger pointing starts about other recent moves by other drivers - forget it - I am saying none of these 'one move only' moves is good - the rule should be revised / reviewed / removed. Quite simply, if another car is alongside you you should not steer in towards it - plain and simple!
Of course, in the 60s, '70s or even the 80s, chances were if you had a shunt at those speeds it would be nasty / fatal, but not only that, it was part of being a sportsman. I can think of many, many top drivers from the 60s and 70s, 80s and 90s and cannot imagine any of them pulling a stunt like that - ever. Just off the top of my head - Hakkinen, Mansell, Lauda, Stewart, Rindt, Jimmy Clark, Jack Brabham, both Hills, Surtees, Moss, Fangio - show me a single incident where any of them ever knowingly squeezed a rival towards a concrete wall, or off the track, at over 180mph.
For this reason, and despite much admiration for their driving skills and sheer talent and speed, I will never ever think of Schumacher (or Senna) as 'the greatest'.