There were numerous, legitimate reasons why Michael Schumacher scored just a single point in his second race back from retirement, not the least being his bump into Fernando Alonso during the later part of the Australian GP.
But the legitimate reasons haven’t stopped at least one British paper (it has to be noted), the Mirror, from raising the question: “There are now doubts about whether Schumacher can, at 41, even last the season.”
It has to be said, Schumacher was stuck being Jaime Alguersari, who last I checked drove for Toro Rosso, for more than 20 laps. And your eyes were not deceiving you, that was Lucas di Grassi in a Virgin blowing past the seven-time champion.
To refresh your memory, Schumacher’s teammate, Nico Rosberg, finished fifth, about 53 seconds ahead of Schumacher.
Australia, undoubtably, was a crazy race during a crazy race weekend. But would the “Schumacher of old” not have found a way to get his car to the front of the grid? Lewis Hamilton and Jenson Button both did, with Button’s performance perhaps more a matter of smart (lucky?) strategy, but he got his car where it needed to be and then smoothly kept his tires in shape so he could get to the checkered flag first.
And let’s not even start with Robert Kubica, Negative Camber’s driver of the race.
Much like the debate about whether Formula 1 needs to make drastic changes, the talk about Schumacher’s future probably is coming a tad early. But, we can’t help note, it’s come. And that says something about expectations and his performance.
Is anyone surprised by Schumacher’s slow start? By how handily Rosberg seems to be out-pacing him?
Has anyone had the thought cross that Schumacher is… tarnishing his reputation? Even a little?