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Schumacher: is he nostalgia yet?


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#201 Vitesse2

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 19:41

Originally posted by Wolf

Tazio's only 'unsportmanly' act, I think was in the sunset of his career, when he may have punted someone off the track, and then proceeded to race ignoring black flags waived at him, until marshalls gave up...

Grand Prix des Nations, 1946. He was involved in a contretemps with Wimille (published accounts vary as to the sequence of events and attribution of blame - if any). Tazio seemingly thought it wasn't his fault and continued - he was the great Nuvolari, after all!

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#202 Haddock

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 19:42

Ah, like all the really long threads, this has become a multi-headed and many splintered thing. And so, I'm afraid, is my response. Y'know, just skip it if you like......

And I read to the end, which perhaps only goes to show that I have too much time on my hands. But anyway, a few thoughts on all this. Some seem to seek a clear distinction between what is rightly placed in the 'history' forum and what should be placed in the 'racing comments' forum. I may not agree with HDonaldCapps all the time, but he's right about 'nostalgia' - its the wrong word - and to me at least implies a lazy, rose-tinted spectacles kind of view of history. The trouble with such distinctions is that the past and the present interact in so many ways. The only way to make sense of the present is in comparison with the past, and the only way to enable a newcomer to make sense of history is to draw the parallels with the present. Context, I think we call it.

Someone earlier recalled a history teacher who refused to teach anything that happened less than 30 years ago on the grounds that its not history, its news. My own history teacher took the opposite view - breaking with his usual English Civil War class to give a couple of lessons on the historical context of the gulf war (well, one of them - this was the 1991 version with the slightly less odious Bush, the peculiarly grey British PM and, oh, the same mass-murdering Saddam) on the grounds that this was *history* - it just so happened to be happening now. Properly handled, a question of where Schumacher belongs in the pantheon of the sport's greats could sit in either forum.

I don't know that I have that much to add to what has been said about Schumacher. An incredible driver in terms of sheer outright pace, but as someone (Schievlak?) said above, an essentially tragic figure. No matter how many brilliant drives he pulled off, there would still always be the memories of Jerez 97, Monaco 2006, etc. Over at racing comments, an awful lot of threads seem to be taken up by those who acknowledge only Schumacher's genius, or only his flaws. I'd hoped that there might be more recognition of both sides of the man over here, and there have been some good posts along the way - but at times it has begun to resemble the worst of racing comments (and unlike many over here, though I first came to this forum 5 years ago, and only subsequently discovered 'racing comments' I do post over there. The debate tends to be of better quality when not discussing F1, though.)]

Actually, I do have one thought. He is often given much credit for doing what Lauda and Prost couldn't do, and turning Ferrari into a solid, stable, consistent winning team. There's often been an awful lot of vagueness about quite how he did it - after all, he's no engineer, and I doubt he's a great manager either. But I think the answer is quite simple. In 1996, against admittedly not the strongest crop of drivers there have ever been, he was clearly the fastest guy in the sport. Which meant that Ferrari simply had to stop blaming the driver. And, perhaps equally importantly, if the driver insisted, as he did, that Todt stay, when things didn't initially go well in 1996, then stay he must - because otherwise Schumacher would have walked too - and Ferrari would have lost their only asset. All Schumacher needed to do to build up Ferrari was to be who he was - and not rock the boat himself too much.

I think there are some on here who don't like the way F1 has gone over the last 20 years, and are blaming that on Schumacher. "The world is as it is is as it is is as it is". Probably Formula 1 would have always followed much the same furrow, regardless of whether Bernie or Schumacher had come along or not. Technology would always have got to the point where ever more restrictive rules were needed to keep the cars' performance in check. The context of the wider world would always have demanded greater safety - and inevitably that would mean the neutering too of some of the great tracks. Sponsorship money was always going to pour in eventually - its happened in every other sport, and F1 was always either going to die or follow the same route. Once sponsor money and, especially, big motor manufacturers came in, it was all but inevitable that the sport would become more 'managed', less 'spontaneous' and yes, perhaps, the poorer for it. It was inevitable too that drivers - no longer racing just for honour, but for huge multinational car firms and millions of pounds - and safe in the knowledge that drivers rarely get seriously hurt these days - would begin to employ tactics that their forebears would never have dreamt of. There's, in some way, little point saying "Fangio would never have done that" of some particular underhand bit of driving. If Fangio had been born 60 years later, he would not have been Fangio, he would have been someone moulded by the very different mores of the 1980s and 1990s. As someone rightly pointed out, you can no more compare sportsmanship across eras than you can compare driving ability.

The fact that racing is now, in comparison to the recent past, really quite safe, has created the phenomenon of the 'racing dad' - just as we have had in tennis for years. Where previous generations of drivers couldn't get started on their career until they were in their late teens, or early 20s, and generally had to wheel and deal to find the money to compete, now we have drivers who have been groomed for the sport since they were what, 7 or 8 years old. They're probably better drivers for it too. Inevitably, though,they lack the charisma and personality that the older generations had, many of whom had to make their own way in life, and were racing explicitly against their family's wishes, and so had lived much more before they ever got to F1. And that's leaving aside the fact that it undoubtedly took a certain sort of person to take up racing in the days when death at the wheel was far from a remote risk. But I honestly don't think we can blame Bernie, or Schumacher, or Senna, or Max Mosley, or whoever. It was all inevitable.

Do I wish I'd been born early enough to see the F1 racing of the 1960s and 1970s? Perhaps, but then perhaps I'll wish I'd been born late enough to see what may come of the 2060s and 2070s.

#203 Mal9444

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 19:52

Gentlemen - not for the first time in this forum (hence my sign-off quote from Samuel Johnson) I stand corrected. I am indeed confusing Tazio and Farina - and the incident in the HWM was indeed against Farina.

That'll teach me to post on this forum without first going to the bookshelf.


Mea culpa.

#204 EcosseF1

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 20:32

"There's, in some way, little point saying "Fangio would never have done that" of some particular underhand bit of driving. If Fangio had been born 60 years later, he would not have been Fangio, he would have been someone moulded by the very different mores of the 1980s and 1990s."

I think sportsmanship is the one attribute we should be able to compare across the "generations" . While I think Schumacher was inspired in some of his worst behaviour by Senna's bad example, that doesn't excuse it as far as I'm concerned. You either act with integrity and decency or you don't.

#205 sterling49

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 20:36

Originally posted by EcosseF1

I think sportsmanship is the one attribute we should be able to compar across the "generations" . While I think Schumacher was inspired in some of his worst behaviour by Senna's bad example, that doesn't excuse it as far as I'm concerned. You either act with integrity and decency or you don't.


Absolutely spot on!!!!

#206 Haddock

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 20:37

Originally posted by EcosseF1


I think sportsmanship is the one attribute we should be able to compar across the "generations" . While I think Schumacher was inspired in some of his worst behaviour by Senna's bad example, that doesn't excuse it as far as I'm concerned. You either act with integrity and decency or you don't.


OK, I retract it up to a point. You can compare it in the sense that "Schumacher did not display great sportsmanship by the standards of the time" whereas "Fangio did display great sportsmanship by the standards of the time" but I don't think you can criticise the current generation of drivers en masse, for having different standards to the drivers of the past. The nature of the game has changed, and what is considered to be behaving with integrity and decency changes. Though not deliberately running drivers off the track would be a good start in any era....

#207 David McKinney

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 21:10

The Lake Garda event was of course a race, not a hillclimb

#208 Wolf

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 21:15

Thanks for the correction, David. :)

Eccosse- there is very relevant quote from Moss on the subject, but I'll have to look it up- it IMHO hits the nail squarely on the head.

#209 Roger Clark

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 22:03

Originally posted by EcosseF1

I think sportsmanship is the one attribute we should be able to compare across the "generations" .

Another attribute that can be compared across generations is determination, the "will to win", the refusal never to give up whatever the circumstances. Fangio and Clark had it, Moss and Nuvolari were over-flowing with it, many otherwise great drivers did not. There is a related attribute which Denis Jenkinson called "tiger", the ability to produce something extra when the odds are against you and to produce a performance which would not be possible in normal circumstances.

I believe that Schumacher was comparable with the very best in this respect, even if it sometimes manifested itself in unacceptable ways.

#210 dretceterini

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 22:29

I see people like Gurney much more as heros than the likes of MS or Senna. Winning wasn't the ONLY thing that mattered.

#211 E.B.

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Posted 23 October 2006 - 23:00

In ascertaining greatness as a driver, I tend not to let Schumacher's questionable driving ethics detract from how I rate his abilities - for that reason I do consider Schumacher one of the greats, even if not quite on a par with a Moss, Nuvolari, Clark, or Fangio (or Senna for that matter). His lack of strong competition (both as a teammate and in general), and countless mistakes are what keeps him from being quite on a par with the true all time cream of the crop in my view.

It seems that many of the younger fans seem to be willing to blindly say he was the best ever and consider him some sort of god, whilst amongst many here at TNF there is a strong denial to rank him anywhere near great due to his occasionable forays into unsportsmanlike behaviour - or, to quote Brian's mother, "he's not the Messiah - he's a very naughty boy".

The truth is almost certainly somewhere between the two extremes. Great, but not the greatest. Certainly I concur that his era is one that it will be difficult to ever become nostalgic for, although his utter dominance of virtually every F1 statistical record mean that a lot of ill informed people in the coming years will tend to overrate him, and overlook his greater predecessors. But hey, that's their problem.

#212 cosworth bdg

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 01:35

Originally posted by Haddock


OK, I retract it up to a point. You can compare it in the sense that "Schumacher did not display great sportsmanship by the standards of the time" whereas "Fangio did display great sportsmanship by the standards of the time" but I don't think you can criticise the current generation of drivers en masse, for having different standards to the drivers of the past. The nature of the game has changed, and what is considered to be behaving with integrity and decency changes. Though not deliberately running drivers off the track would be a good start in any era....

Well then who' s fault was it in the incident between Schuey and Hill at the 94 Adelaide GP . ?

#213 seldo

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 06:21

There's certainly no doubting Schuie's amazing ability. I always think that the wet weather sorts out the men from the the boys, and his wet weather driving is just light-years away from the rest - a whole new level. I suppose this comes down to his amazing car-control and finesse and he certainly makes it all look like a walk in the park. It has also impresed me in his frequent appearances on the podium and the post-even press conferences he has always appeared as fresh as a daisy whereas some of the others look totally knackered. He just does it so easily.
But...... I think his on-track total ruthlessness, poor-sportsmanship and win-at-all-costs attitude is deplorable, and the really sad part is that he dosen't need to stoop to those levels to take a victory.
Is he the best ever..? I think without a doubt.... But his attitude and sportsmanship stinks...

#214 cosworth bdg

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:22

I agree with your comments, but SCHUEY has been the only driver that has been able to pull FERRARI racing into a cohesive working unit...

#215 Doug Nye

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:28

....since Niki Lauda you mean?

DCN

#216 cosworth bdg

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 09:35

YES , come to think of it............. Thanks , Regards, Peter N....

#217 EcosseF1

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 13:29

Originally posted by seldo
I think his on-track total ruthlessness, poor-sportsmanship and win-at-all-costs attitude is deplorable, and the really sad part is that he dosen't need to stoop to those levels to take a victory.

That's what I find so annoying. His record would still be amazing and his legacy so much better without all the nonsense.

#218 Ray Bell

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 19:53

Originally posted by cosworth bdg
.....but SCHUEY has been the only driver that has been able to pull FERRARI racing into a cohesive working unit...


Why is that so important?

Racing could have gone on with Ferrari in a shambles, with Benetton going from strength to strength. What would it have mattered?

#219 seldo

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 22:54

Originally posted by cosworth bdg
I agree with your comments, but SCHUEY has been the only driver that has been able to pull FERRARI racing into a cohesive working unit...

Hmmm...maybe... I think you give Schuie too much credit for that. I'd think that more likely Ferrari had already commenced down that path which was one of the things that attracted the Schu in the first place. I admit I'm only guessing, but maybe they showed him the budget, the business plan, the staff list, the chain of command etc which were needed to achieve success. I'd be very surprised if Schu had any real hand in it, and was more likely just the mascot on the band-waggon.
And let's face it - in pretty much any field of endeavour, success breeds success.

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#220 scheivlak

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Posted 24 October 2006 - 23:34

Originally posted by seldo

Hmmm...maybe... I think you give Schuie too much credit for that. I'd think that more likely Ferrari had already commenced down that path which was one of the things that attracted the Schu in the first place. I admit I'm only guessing, but maybe they showed him the budget, the business plan, the staff list, the chain of command etc which were needed to achieve success. I'd be very surprised if Schu had any real hand in it, and was more likely just the mascot on the band-waggon.
And let's face it - in pretty much any field of endeavour, success breeds success.

C'mon, that's some twist :drunk:
That budget, business plan et cetera would never have materialised without Michael Schumacher being around as we all should know. The crucial factor that made it happen was Shell joining in pre-1996 with millions of bucks. And they were only interested because of Michael Schumacher. As a result Michael choose Ferrari above (McLaren-)Mercedes, where he was expected to join in at a convenient moment from the early 90s onwards (Sauber and Mercedes paid big bucks to help him making his debut in a Jordan in 1991!).
In this case you may say that an everlasting enigmatic failure (Ferrari) combined with an enigmatic name guaranteeing success (and let's make it clear: Michael Schumacher in this case!) breeds success..... The story was just too tempting for sponsors in the mid-90s.

#221 Wolf

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 00:17

Scheivlak- ISTR the difference between McLaren and Ferrari offers to MS wasn't in the paycheck (that was slightly higher than Ferrari's) but in the merchandize rights. That may seem trivial, but the amount he has collected from it is, I think huge... And I believe few first years at Ferrari, MS was actually paid by Marlboro, I think.

#222 oldtimer

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 01:34

Two weeks before the 1992 Belgian GP, I went to my travel agent in Fort McMurray (Northern Alberta, 1000 Km north of the US/Canadian border), MotorSport in hand. I turned to a page showing a Page & Moy trip to Spa, and asked the agent if he could get me on the trip. With a confident "Yes", I left him to it, and so it came to be. After 40 years or so of DSJ's advocacy of Spa, I was making the pilgrimage at last.

The race started on a damp track, with Michael Schumacher in 4th place behind the big stars Mansell and Senna. As the track dried, Schumacher had a minor 'off' and was passed by his closely following teammate, Martin Brundle. Recovering, Schumacher noticed that Brundle's tyres were the worse for wear, so he made the immediate decision to stop for dry tyres. In doing that, he out diddled the big names and won his first GP. At his 2nd Belgian GP, and in his first full season.

At the track, I didn't know the whole story about the worn tyres, but I could see how fast he was going up the hill out of Eau Rouge with his Ford-engined Benetton, clearly carrying speed through the famous bend, though lacking some horsepower compared to the Williams and McLarens. At the track, I was more than impressed. When I learnt of his response to the 'off', I felt that, "Yes indeed, I had been witnessing a remarkable talent."

Well, that became validated many times over, and in case we had forgotten, his efforts in Brazil showed he was a racer to the last, even if now prone to make mistakes.

Bearing in mind that the whole trip to Spa was memorable, I still can't help escape the fact that Michael Schumacher has left me with a piece of nostalgia.

Back to post no. 1

#223 cosworth bdg

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Posted 25 October 2006 - 02:39

The current world F1 champion [RENAULT] gave Schuey a hard time at Imola 2005..........................

#224 Racer.Demon

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 17:09

Oh, you all will love this one.

I just noticed this ad in the Motor Sport classifieds section trying to sell Michael Schumacher's B194/8 as famously raced to two victories and two bumps against an Adelaide wall and a Williams trying to overtake.

It is offered 'as was', in truly original state, including paddle gears, etc., etc., and... traction control!

Busted!! :rotfl:

#225 Twin Window

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Posted 24 January 2007 - 18:20

Originally posted by Racer.Demon

It is offered 'as was', in truly original state, including paddle gears, etc., etc., and... traction control!

Busted!! :rotfl:

I love it!

:lol:


#226 high-on-octane

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Posted 26 January 2007 - 11:01

I would have like to see Schuey mix it up with Senna and prost for a few more seasons after he became settled in...
I never really had must respect for Schuey, mainly due to stunts like the one he pulled in 06 Monte Carlo qualifiying.
However, his pass on Kimmi in his final race was amazing. :clap:

#227 scheivlak

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Posted 23 January 2013 - 20:53

Just seen a very interesting 55 minute VRT (Flemish television) documentary about how it all started with Michael, Jordan and F1. You'll be hearing not only Eddie's but also Willy Weber's side of the contract negotiations. And Betrand Gachot's view of what happened to him!

It will be televised again Friday January 25, 15.25 on Canvas (VRT 2).

Nice preview: http://www.canvas.be.....e8811da:-6295

#228 Lee Nicolle

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 04:44

This is a very old thread. Shuey has been nostalgia the past couple of years. In current racing!

#229 arttidesco

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 19:07

My nostalgic Schumacher moments were at Le Mans in 1991 when I was timing his car out at Indianapolis in the middle of the night, he just went quicker and quicker for a dozen or more laps in the fabulous Mercedes Benz C11.

Pure Magic.

Unfortunately everything Schumacher post Adelaide '94 left me stone cold.


#230 arttidesco

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Posted 24 January 2013 - 19:16

Actually, I do have one thought. He is often given much credit for doing what Lauda and Prost couldn't do, and turning Ferrari into a solid, stable, consistent winning team.


With all due respect Lauda's championships in '75 and '77 with a second place in '76 due to a near fatal accident rather suggest the opposite.

It is said that Lauda even suggested to Enzo that he concentrate on Formula One by dropping his sports car program, this undoubtedly helped Ferrari to it's high level of competitiveness right the way through to 1985 IMHO.

#231 uechtel

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Posted 28 January 2013 - 10:15

My nostalgic Schumacher moments were at Le Mans in 1991 when I was timing his car out at Indianapolis in the middle of the night, he just went quicker and quicker for a dozen or more laps in the fabulous Mercedes Benz C11.

Pure Magic.

Unfortunately everything Schumacher post Adelaide '94 left me stone cold.


In my case it was Hockenheim 1990 when I lost interest in Schumacher AND in DTM...