Michael Schumacher Returns

It was too good to be true, wasn’t it?

He’s back. HE’S back. Him. That man. The one we thought we’d got rid of.

We’ve had a great year and a half without him and it has been brilliant to see new drivers come to the fore and make F1 their own, and also watching Ferrari evolve in the post-Schumacher, post-Todt era. I’d even begun to not dislike them.

I do wonder how MS will fit in as a race driver in that changed environment, rather than a ‘consultant’ on the pit wall. Let’s hope none of the old nonsense returns.

I must admit to being curious about how he’ll perform after so long away, in a new-style car with no testing whatsoever – and in Valencia on a circuit he hasn’t driven before vs most of the rest of the field who have.

As much as I dislike the guy and his tactics, you can’t deny that in terms of ability and application he is the best of his generation if not all of them. If he didn’t pull such ridiculous stunts I might even have become a fan of his, and yet… too many, too often, too deceitful. So it’ll be interesting to see it for a race or two, though I don’t think I want to see him for any more than that.

Realistically Massa won’t be in the car before winter testing resumes in January, but still… get well soon Felipe.

Felipe Massa

I am glad to hear news that Felipe Massa is recovering well after his terrible accident on Saturday. I’m sure I need not go into the details of the accident, I think all reading this are aware of the nature of it by now. The good news is that he is being brought out of his induced coma and is communicating, albeit ‘sleepily’ with doctors and his family and friends. He faces a long recovery, but a full recovery.

There is some doubt over whether or not he will be able to race again, though this may be doctors being cautious. At first there were reports of long-term damage, then reports of a full recovery. Either way, we must remember the example of Lord Paul Drayson who was advised by some doctors that he was unable to race due to sight problems in one eye – yet he competed in a full ALMS season in 2008 and went on to race in this year’s Le Mans 24 Hours, having overturned an FIA ban on people with such conditions. Felipe’s eye may not heal enough for the demands of F1 or other single-seater open-wheelers but a career may yet beckon in sportscars should he wish it.

He’s a very lucky guy and his survival is a testament to the heavily revised FIA helmet regulations of recent years, the cockpit protection measures for surviving the impact with the tyre barrier, and the skill of the doctors both at the scene and at the hospital. I must say I feared the worst when he was not moving in the cockpit, I am very glad that he is on the mend.

I cannot say I have ever been Felipe’s biggest fan, certainly not in the early days at Sauber when he seemed to be constantly spinning off track. His time at Ferrari has been a revelation, he is a completely different driver. 2008 saw a marked improvement and he would have been a worthy champion. Let’s hope he returns in 2010 to fight for it again… not win it of course, he’s in a Ferrari, we can’t have that!

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Fellow F1 driver Nelson Piquet forwarded details of a Twitter account which will be passed to Felipe when he recovers enough to pick it up:

Online now @Forza_Felipe Created by @ferrarijr. Leave your message and we will deliver everything, including to account, to Felipe!

No matter your opinions of Felipe as a driver, feel free to send your wishes to the @Forza_Felipe! account and let’s help spur on his recovery.

All this assumes Nelson and Rubens finally convince him to use Twitter – he was refusing last week!