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July 29, 2009

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Duey23

I'll be very interested to see how His Holiness handles not having traction control AND having slicks/different tires (or do you say tyres)

I'll watch practice and qualifying mostly to see how he handles it, I'm sure tv will be all over him anyway.

chunter

My question is, how desperate are Ferrari for points that they couldn't put in a test driver like a normal team would?

The Speedgeek

When your two regular test drivers have a combined 92 career F1 starts and only 5 combined points and you've got some other guy on your payroll who has 91 career wins and 7 championships...you might wanna give the nod to that last guy.

Brilliant (though probably obvious) move by Ferrari. The team needs somebody to rally around and Kimi Raikkonen hasn't really been setting the world on fire this year. Michael ought to do just fine. He didn't have traction control the first couple years of his career (plus, it was "banned" for a couple of years after that), he did drive on slicks from '91 through '97, and in my opinion, there's been no better driver in the history of the sport at precisely analyzing how to set up a car. I'm no MS sycophant, either, since I'd gotten tired of watching him manipulate/win/crank out robotic sound bite after robotic sound bite by about 2004.

Ought to be fascinating, seeing if he can win without Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Jean Todt...

Nick Kuhar

He has raced on slicks plenty of times. Lap times will be respectable. P-Dog, look up him parking in the apex of a turn in Monoco Quali to show you how he approaches a race.

AZZO45

I didn't like seeing Jordan in a WIZARDS jersey playing for .500... It was sad to see Brett Farve become AVERAGE in a Jets uniform...

... Schumi gets to put the same "Superman" cape & boots on (& they will fit due to his good fitness) but don't expect a 40 year old Michael to kick a$$ again. I would welcome racing a GT2 factory Ferrari... or having fun on his motorcycle... but F1 after 3.5 seasons off? No thanks

If this is a Lance Armstrong style come-back... I'll gladly eat my words, but sadly most of these comebacks end up like Joe Namath in a Rams uniform or Muhammad Ali on his behind after thinking he was still the GREATEST.

Pat W

It'll be interesting. I don't like him, but it'll be interesting.

Filip Cleeren

"If this is a Lance Armstrong style come-back... I'll gladly eat my words, but sadly most of these comebacks end up like Joe Namath in a Rams uniform or Muhammad Ali on his behind after thinking he was still the GREATEST."

I reckon it's easier for MS to come back than it is for Lance.

Roy Hobbbson

Insert neither cheering nor booing ... but reckless skepticism.

AZZO45

I reckon it's easier for MS to come back than it is for Lance.


WHY? Both were away about the same time, but MS is 3 YEARS OLDER than Lance.

Filip Cleeren

Michael still did some testing runs until last year, he's always been in a pretty good shape.

And age doesn't affect you as much in racing as it does in cycling, especially in a monster race like the Tour de France. Plenty of examples around: Prost, Mansell, Mario...

Sue

I'm neutral, but this gives me an incentive to watch F1 again - at least qualis! IIRC, MS hasn't done any qualifying in the current format. And I agree with Speedgeek - it'll be interesting to see how he does without Brawn, particularly.

My thoughts, looking back, are that MS, Brawn, and Todt were the perfect convergence in F1 during the Championship years. Each were individually great at what they did, and with all three together almost perfect.

AZZO45

Flip: Mario, Mansell, & Prost didn't step out of a F1 car for almost 3 years!!! D*ckin' around at a test day or two doesn't mean diddly -poo. No one said MS gained a bear gut since retiring

Niki Lauda & Emerson Fittipaldi took F1 sabbaticals... but they "returned" at a much YOUNGER age. Good luck to MS... but don't expect the old Superman driving a F60.

The Speedgeek

AZZO,
Yeah, but for Michael, it's a matter of "getting up" for three days at a time, and only for an hour or two at a stretch, then heading back to the motorhome for a massage, some chamomile, etc. Whereas for Lance, he had to be on for like three straight weeks with an occasional day off. Big difference.

I don't think we'll see Michael winning this year, simply because the F60 isn't up to the task. There's no in-season testing anymore, so Michael won't be able to transform the car in mid-season like he used to do ('96 and '97 cone to mind here). What I do think we'll see, though, is Michael getting close to matching Kimi within a couple of races, thereby forcing Kimi to up his game and, you know, pay attention to his driving and stuff. Marc Gene or Luca Badoer wouldn't have been able to do that, nor would Bourdais, Montagny, Wurz, or whoever else that would be completely new to the team. Really, Michael was one of the top-3 guys in the sport from '94 until the day he retired in '06. Even after 2 1/2 years of being largely out of the car, I'd still expect him to be a top-10 guy. He may not win at all, unless there's a freaky wet/dry race and a fortuitous strategy call, but he'll put up a slew of points and make their supposed #1 earn his $7+ million that he's slated to get for the last 7 races of the year. That's really all that Ferrari (or anybody else) can realistically expect.

pressdog

I'd say an older, coming-out-of-retirement Schumacher is at least equal to some of the younger turks mentioned. Plus look at the MONSTER pub it's generated for Ferrari. I doubt Schu will embarrass himself and/or Ferrari, so it seems like a no-brainer to get him back in. Bonus -- Massa probably won't have heartburn that Schumacher is looking to bogart his ride in 2010 (and Ferrari won't have to worry that Massa has said heartburn), as he probably would have with some other pinch driver.

AZZO45

My point in using Lance Armstrong was that the guy didn't TARNISH his legacy. He came back & got beat by just TWO riders a decade YOUNGER!!! As for it being "hard"... if F1 was such a cake-walk...you would have many more 40, 45 & 50 year old drivers

As for the "good pub"... Ferrari already holds a HUGE chunk of the F1 merchandise sales & fan following... "Good Pub" is already built into the Ferrari vibe. To return to my Jordan/ NBA Wizards analogy... the Wizards got good pub from #23 playing for them. A sub par (... @ best.500ish) team sold out most home cames because of MJ. Most basketball fans will say they wish MJ retired a Bull & stayed retired.

I hope for medical miracles & we see Felipe Massa BACK for the European GP in Valencia.

Filip Cleeren

No one is saying F1 is a cakewalk, it's just that there aren't many Michael Schumachers... He won't embarrass himself.

On another note, his comeback also pretty much saves a venue like Spa-Francorchamps, as ticket sales skyrocketed after the announcement was made. Spa has been making losses for several years and had pretty average spectator numbers after MS's retirement. FYI.

AZZO45

SPA? The next race (& the MS fill-in event) is the European GP in Valencia, Spain. Spa has also been screwed over by Bernie & Co. Fans in that region seem to support that track... drivers rank it as their fav... Bernie can't get Asian or Arab level $$$ for sanctioning fees... so it might explain "slow business"

Filip Cleeren

I know the next race is in Spain...MS is also scheduled to race at Spa. Spa reported one ticket order per minute as soon as the news broke.

The sanctioning fee saga is the same old story for most traditional European tracks, as well as Indy and Montreal for that matter... That Bernie'd rather race in front of empty stands in China and the Middle East is the biggest letdown in F1.

pressdog

I agree with the biggest letdown. Bernie's Cash Grab in F1 has been breathtaking.

AZZO45

If MS helped Spa ticket sales... then its a good thing. I just hope they come out to watch if Felipe is back (he thinks he will be...)

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