Friday, June 02, 2006


Michael and Monaco 2006- A Perspective

I have tried to get as much information on the incident involving Schumacher in Qualifying at the Monaco Grand Prix. Many of the experts including greats like Keke Rosberg, Damon
hill have not minced words while talking up that incident. They have been
very critical with comments like "If Schumacher cant control the car at
10mph, then he should not have a Super license" etc. Now, Ferraris defence
was simple, Schumacher was trying to put in a lap time to ensure pole
position (and to his credit was faster in Sector 1 but also to be noted
was slower in Sector 2 by .190 secs) and hence as he was trying to make up
time, he was faster in his approach to the Rascasse and braked harder and
then the incident followed. There have been reviews of the race, which
praise Schumachers stunning pace but they continue to say something like,
"He drove 78 laps without making a mistake at Rascasse"...doing a poor job
at hiding their cynicism. It difficult for me to be objective seeing as how I am
a Schumacher fan and a Ferrari supporter, but I will try.

I remember watching qualifying in one of the races in 2004, when Kimi on
his hot lap completely lost it in the first corner (those were the days of
one lap one driver at a time qualifying). I remember Chris Goodwin (the
commentator on ESPN STAR) mentioning this with a sense of pride on raceday
that Kimi lost it because he was went into the corner 15kmph faster than any
of his laps in the race weekend. And ofcourse, he started last and ended up
in the points, driving a flawless race (no mistakes in Corner 1). I hope
my point is clear. These guys try these things; They sometimes pull ti
off and sometimes fail to do so; its one of the reasons they are there in F1:
the pinnacle of motorsport.

Secondly, I dont know how many people noticed that along with the many
Monaco videos available on Google there was a video of Schumacher geting pole position at
Monaco in 1996. I noticed an interesting thing in that video. After the
second sector he was (approx.) .2 down on Damon Hill and at the end of the lap he
was (approx.) .5 up on Hill. In other words, in the third sector, he pulled out about
.7 on Hill. Simultaneously, the commentator mentioned that the third
sector was getting quicker than the second for everyone due to changing
grip conditions. I dont know why that is the case exactly, and if that
case were to hold true in 2006, but my point is simple, it is foolish to
claim that because Schumacher was down on the second sector, he wasnt going to
get quicker overall, and hence not up the bar for Alonso; and as a result
he did what he did, sabotaged everyones last and potentially fastest hot

Thirdly, many current drivers have said, "Had he broken his front wing,
the incident would have been deemed fair." Essentially, Schumacher couldnt
even crash properly. I can not explain how it would have become a fair
incident if he delibrately went into a wall? Also, would other drivers be
questioned similarily. If Kimi had done this and he was not in chance with
pole position, would he have been similarily dealt with? I doubt it. But
then thats speculation, so lets steer clear of that.

Lastly, assuming there is some foul play and Schumacher did do it
delibrately, what does it tell us about him. He is willing to pull others
down to ensure he is on top. Is that such a bad thing? And Is the rest of
the world including all of us (and those in the F1 paddock who claimed
Schumachers fallacy) kidding itself into thinking that there isnt a
component of that feeling somewhere in us. Heck, I have cheated in exams.
Now thats using unfair means. I have also not shown the answer to fellow
classmates, knowing if he answers accurately, he might score more than me.
Maybe I will be sent to the end of the line when I am at the gates of
Hell. But point still stands, that this is a fairly common trait(assuming
that there are some people out there who have indulged in similar selfish
acts). And not everyone is given a similar punishment. Being fairly common
doesnt justify it, but then, atleast everyone should be similarily dealt with.
You shouldnt be discriminated against, if you are Michael Schumacher.

Put another way, as Sir Jackie Stewart himself recently said in
an interview with ESPN STAR, that this sport (F1) continues to attract a
certain type of personalities. Inherently aggressive, egoisitc, undying
will and hunger which knows no end and a never ending quest for speed.

I would think this would be why you love this sport and these drivers. I
do (and for many reasons whose purity cant be put in words).

In good faith.

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