Moving back to the main topic, here's my thoughts on Schumi.
My questions are, during the Schumi dominant years, what are the type of car handling characteristics he has from the tire, a tire that allows pointy front end, great grip, and over-steering rear end which he always used throttle to dance around in mid corner? Those type of characteristics suits his strength? Driving style and Car characteristics -
In his comeback, how different are the tire characteristics? Does that mean he can't drive around or setup the car to suit his natural driving style?
Did he has to totally change his setup and driving style to suit the new F1 car? How much he has to adapt?
Could that explain why he was better in 2011 / 2012 vs 2010? Race strategy -
Secondly, his previous strength during dominance years is the sprints in between pitstops, especially going faster and faster nearer to pitstop window, with his infamous in-laps / out-laps, that was definitely his strength. In this new F1 era, all of these are changed, its more of tire preservation, stopping earlier to jump the drivers instead of stopping later?
Well, even though the results are unflattering in his comeback, but I would think that he did a brilliant job, and still proved what a good package he is at 40s -
- he may have to totally change his setup and driving style to suit the new F1 car. Doing so relatively well in his 40s deserves huge respect. Usually the biggest problem with older drivers are the inability to adapt.
It is not so easy to adapt to something that requires the opposite of your driving instincts (I assume that may have been required of Schumi), especially when you have been racing for 15 years. Though not exactly relevant, but just look at Rossi's failure to adapt to Ducati.
- new F1 race strategy that does not play into his strength anymore, that took away most of the advantage he used to have. Yet, if he still does well, or relatively successful in adapting to new race approach speaks alot of volume for that old guy.
- Whether Schumi lose alittle speed or more speed in his 40s, you just can't deny that this guy in his prime would have been faster still.
A 3 years sabbatical is not going to help matters when he is in his 40s, when you are out of competitive racing or practise for 3 years, it is not going to do you any good at all, it may prevent burn out, but it may also "slow" down his senses abit.
As many said, going into 40s, the senses start to deteriorate, reflexes slows abit, is that the possible explanations that explain some dumb crashes by Schumi, such as running into back of (if I can recall) Maldanado in Valencia? A few of these clumsy crashes by Schumi is a result of him losing some senses and reflex? I think it may be possible. The crashes are definitely not down to pressure, Schumi has zero pressure in his comeback years compared to his winning years.
All these taken into consideration, I am the one who believe Schumi did a brilliant job, and proved that when it comes to discipline, systematic approach and motivation, NO ONE to date has ever come close to Schumi. I think it also proved what a competitive package this guy is in his 40s.
In my opinion, instead of what the press would like to paint it, that Schumi is destroying his own reputation in his come back, I think the opposite happens, he did add to his achievements for being able to get respectable result in view of such different conditions compared to his prime, and to do that in his 40s. Just one word, RESPECT.
Edited by gx1, 04 June 2013 - 02:14.