He is back. Michael Schumacher has announced his return to Formula 1. Following the injury to team mate Felipe Massa, Schumacher has accepted Ferrari's invitation to fill in for him till Massa fully recovers from the accident. Schumacher's return has created a frenzy both in the racing world and outside. Current champion Hamilton dubbed it as an honour to race against the legend. Championship leader Jenson Button welcomed the move while bitter rival Fernando Alonso said it would be good for the sport. This is definitely the boost Formula 1 needed. With viewership dropping, sponsors backing out and teams in financial disarray, Schumacher's move could set a lot of things right, considering the popularity that he enjoys. But what interests me is the motive behind this decision of his. There will huge expectation from him for a podium finish at least, if not a race win. Nobody doubts his genius, but with the car Ferrari currently have, it will need more than Schumacher's superhuman skills to get him on the podium. And currently being the 'expert consultant' at Ferrari, Schumacher would be the first to know that. So then why would he do something which seems so foolish to an outsider like me? Why would someone as ruthless as Schumacher want give the likes of Button and Webber (for those of you who don't follow F1, these guys were never any where near Michael) the chance to brag to their grandkids that they beat the legend at this own game? Why? I think the answer lies in the fact that the champion has listened to his heart. It must be paining him to see Formula 1 die a slow death. Even if reviving the sport means putting his reputation on the line, he is game. He is selflessly giving back to the sport, which has made him what he is today. And that is precisely why Schumacher is by far the most loved racer in the world. Not as much for his genius as for the person he is.
Footnote: I am not a Schumacher fan. I think Fernando Alonso is the best racer F1 has seen. But that for some other time.
Post Script: Enjoying myself in Canada. So much to do that I hardly have time to blog.
10 months ago