End of an Era
Michael Schumacher. F1 Racer. 7 time World Champion. Love him. Hate him. You can never ignore him.
September 10, 2006 – The fateful day. Every self confessed sport enthusiast would have followed the events at Monza, Italy with fingers crossed. The outcome was not surprising. It was something everyone expected would happen, but hoped it wouldnt.One of the best sportsmen in History, Michael Schumacher announced his retirement from F1 racing at the end of the season. And what an impact it had on the sporting world! Die hard fans cried their hearts out, news channels ran it as their cover story, everyone had heated discussions in internet board rooms. I know im probably the least significant being to write about him, but write i will!! A tribute to our beloved Schumi.
Schumi is a legend. He damn well is. How better can you call a 7 time world champion?? Somone who has performed with the same passion and intensity for 13 long years, in a sport which literally eats drivers alive? Yes, there are other legends like Ayrton Senna, Alain Prost, Juan Manual Fangioand others. But schumi holds a special place among them. He is what i would call “Controversial Great” – Not everyone would have liked his tactics, but no one can deny that he is great. It would be fair to say Ferrari has progressed better and faster with schumi at the wheels. It was a mutual understanding – A great racing company and a great racer. 5 championships with ferrari does indeed prove how close the two are. To me and a lot of fans, there is no Ferrari without schumi. I watch F1 for him, and only him. I seriously doubt if the next season will see me cheering for ferrari, sitting by my idiot box.
The good news is that he is on track to win his 8th and final championship and sign off in style. By winning the Italian Grand Prix, he is just 2 points away from Alonso, who didnt finish the race. With 3 more races to go in this season, there is a very good probability that schumi will win his final moment of glory. Even if he doesnt, he is right up there, waiting for others to catch up. And it will take sometime before anyone manages to overshadow his achievement.
I often wondered how such great sportsmen reach such dizzying heights. I think i know the answer now. Its pure Passion for the game. Love for the game keeps them going, no matter what happens off the field. And no one can doubt schumi’s passion for racing. Its pure, its obvious, and its evident from the way he enjoys the game. Its this passion that gives joy to millions of fans around the world, in mars, pluto and on krypton and else where. How many times have we rushed home from work, to watch the last lap of a race? How many times have we switched on the TV, hoping that schumi would have taken pole? How many times have we rejoiced, watching him on the podium again and again and again?! The Ocassions are innumerable, the experience priceless!
Schumi was obviously very emotional during the press conference, where he announced the fateful decision. There was absolute silence, and no one spoke till he was done. Excerpts from the interview :
Q: (Carole Capitaine – L’Equipe) Michael do you think Ferrari will continue to be so strong without you?
MS: Ferrari existed before and Ferrari will exist after and I think Ferrari has taken a very good decision with their driver line-up to make sure that the success can continue
Q: (Anthony Rowlinson – Autosport) Is there one rival who stands out as your toughest competitor over the last 15 seasons?
MS: I think the nicest battles I had were with Mika in the end — always at a very high level without any animosities, pure racing.
Q: (James Deakin – F1 Racing) Michael, seven times world champion, every conceivable significant statistic you’ve got, any regrets? Anything you wish you could change?
MS: Yes, sure I have them. But I am not in the mood to go through them now.
Q: (Niki Takeda – Formula PA) Michael, what went through your mind when you crossed the finishing line?
MS: Many things, many things. Particular about the team all the great friends there and I was talking the whole lap to them.
Q: (James Roberts – Motorsport News) What is the greatest thing you will miss?
MS: Excuse me…(sighs)
Lets hope schumi wins the remaining 3 gp, lifts the championship, and retires in style! He deserves it! We all deserve to see that moment and cherish it for the rest of our lives.
Michael Schumacher – The greatest entertainer in F1 history. We will miss you.
Dedicated to The Best Schumi fan on earth.