Michael Schumacher says he is fine and wasn’t hit by anything in his crash at Abu Dhabi.
And he’s sending his congratulations out to new world champion Sebastian Vettel.
It’s all courtesy his official website:
Congratulation to Sebastian
Michael finishes the last race of the season with a crash but remains unhurt
“First of all, a big congratulation to Sebastian for his great victory and the title. That was extremely well done; after his season being so mixed he came back so strongly in the last few races. As for me, I am totally fine and have not been hit by anything. I had to go to the Medical Canter just for precaution reasons. I spun because I had gone off the line and hit the dirt, and so my back just came around. A shame obviously, as I would have wanted to finish the season with a more positive ending, but I am already looking forward to fighting again next year. I would like to say thank you to everybody in our team.”
You’ll note, of course, that Schumacher also says he’s ready to do battle in 2011. I’ll take off the table any discussion of whether he will, in fact, come back. Instead, I’m wondering if he has any reasonable shot at winning another drivers’ title. Heck, even a race?
I want to toss three things into the mix before you answer. You’re free to add your own:
1. Jenson Button’s 2009 season. It is being held up as the classic example of how much more important the car is than the driver. (I rate Jenson higher than those who really stick to this line of thinking.) But it is worth keeping in mind. Can Mercedes give Michael a winning car, especially when Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren seem to be the clear class of the field — and Renault is maybe right there, too?
2. Peter Windsor’s comments during our #F1Chat on Twitter this week:
I have never seen MS “ragged” until this year. Before he was just brilliantly manipulative with some errors
The problem is that he shouldn’t have been retired by Ferrari. He still had 2 good years in him. He then got bored.
His driving was amazingly ragged (for Michael) in both Brazil and AD. Yes, he out-qualified NR but not the real MS
Amazing, worrying error by MS in AD – and in qual he had never looked more ragged. I’m a fan but confused by his lack of progress
I especially was struck by the first of those Tweets about Michael being “ragged.” We all recall the times when he could be told what he had to do (the extra 3/10ths for 10 laps, as I think the guys on our podcast this week discussed) and he’d do it. We didn’t see that this year. Was it the car? Or was it just the natural devolution of someone’s physical talent?
3. Nico Rosberg. This one relates, a bit, to No. 1, only Nico is Jenson and Michael is … wait for it … Rubens Barrichello! Even if Mercedes gives Michael a winning car, why wouldn’t that mean that Nico has a wining car too — and as the younger driver, do you not think he might have the better chance? Is it in some ways why Jenson is a world champ and Rubens isn’t? I know Mercedes might produce a car that favors Michael, so that could nullify this idea. But still…
Any other reasons for or against thinking Michael can make it No. 8 — and make Vettel’s effort to best him that much harder?