Wow. I read the rumors, but the news that Michel Schumacher is retiring from F1 is still difficult to believe. In my years as an F1 fan I have cheered for only two drivers, Senna and Schumacher. Now, with Schumacher’s departure at the end of the season I am left with no favorite and a dark spot in my heart.
When I raced sports cars I chose the number 5 – Schumacher’s number in 1998. He is clearly the best driver of the modern era, and certainly among the greatest of all time. He, like Michael Jordan and Tiger Woods have redefined what is possible in his sport.
More than just a great driver, Schumacher was able to build a team capable of achieving 5 driver’s championships. Bringing Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, and Jean Todt to the languishing Ferrari team provided him the foundation upon which to build a dynasty.
After hearing of his departure yesterday, I was certain he had been forced out in favor of the younger Raikonnen and was sure he would sign with another tem in the off-season. His life is Formula One – that he would willingly leave was too much to accept. Today after reading his comments on his web site I am not so sure. He says he wants to go out on top and not as a mid-fielder. I can certainly understand that but I will miss him none the less.