Schumacher placed his legacy on line when he announced his comeback
When Schumacher quit Formula 1 in 2006, it was the moment when even the ardent F1 fans questioned their reasons to follow the sport. With the loss of Schumi , the fans lost a driver that made the difference, the reason people watched the sport or attended the races.
When he announced his comeback in December with Mercedes for the 2010 season, he presented a perfect Christmas gift to his legions of fans all across the world. It was termed as arguably the greatest comeback in the history of sports.Little did he knew then, that this would be the worst season of his racing career.There was immediate question among the fans on whether he will win his eighth world title or will he be able to counter the younger drivers almost half his age or whether Schumacher’s wits will be sufficient to compete in a new racing environment since the Formula 1 went for a major overhaul in 2008.
Amid all the hooplas and the excitements surrounding Schumacher the season did start in 2010 and the fans immediately knew after the first race that the man is not as dominant as he used to be. Schumacher has not been able to get the measure of Nico Rosberg and has finished better than him in only two of the twelve races. The sight of Schumacher battling with Sutil and the likes of Alguersuari presents a sight which the fans have never been used to. Schumacher finished 15th at the European Grand Prix and that was his worst finish in F1 career. When the season started fans expected Michael to come charging through the field, sweeping all before him and giving the young drivers a run for their money. Unfortunately he is yet to make a podium finish and his best performance of the season was a distant 4th. Schumacher himself believes, his performance in the qualifying and races had been really unsatisfactory and he is yet to extract the peak performance from his machine. Whatever be the case Schumacher is not at home with Mercedes as he was with Ferrari.
Since his comeback Schumacher has also been subjected to disciplinary issues. He was penalized for 20 seconds in Monaco after overtaking Alonso when the Safety car was deployed .Again, he has been penalized 10 places for the next race for impeding Rubens Barichello in Hungary on sunday.
Many pandits feel that Schumacher made a huge error in believing that at 41 years of age, he could return to F1 and still battle out with rivals 20 years younger than him. The comeback as of now has been very inauspicious and much more difficult than it might have seemed. With seven races left to finish in the season it remains to be seen whether the old master was justified in coming out of retirement or has he done much harm than good to his legacy.
The bottom line remains that Schumacher has to prove himself all over again and justify his claim of being the greatest of all times.