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Saturday, March 13, 2010

Does the Schu still fit?

Yes, I've used the headline before, but this time he's back for certain. With a German team and a German team-mate to boot, not to mention Ross Brawn. Still has his red helmet though. With F1 season starting, my blog's Formula 1 score widget will once again have enough work on its hands.

I'm talking about seven-time Formula One Championship winner Michael Schumacher. Members of the Royal family of Bahrain, Sheikhs, photographers, fans all queued up at a Mercedes Benz dealrship in Bahrain to get a glimpse of the supremely confident driver who, this time around, wasn't packing just a better record than his fellow competitors, but also a number of years over the others. Having been away from the track for quite a while, Schumacher's return was least expected after his neck injury ruled out his plans to make a comeback for Ferrari. But the said injury was no match for the man and his drive to succeed, though he angered the Tifosi no end with his return with Mercedes. An irate Montezemolo even felt the need to take a not-so-subtle jab at Schumacher for this decision.

The Bahrain GP is merely a day away, and excitement is mounting with fans expecting a lot from him. The German daily Bild had "Schumiverse" splashed on the front page. They even went so far as to change the German flag to a Mercedes version :P . The man himself believes that the first race won't end in a win for them:

Mark Webber seems to concur with those views too. Webber thinks he won't be able to dominate the track with 60-70 second victories like in the past. But that's a given considering the drastic change in rules over the years. It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure that out.

In Friday's practice session, Schumi was third fastest, half a second behind his fellow German racer Nico Rosberg. Whether he can better that come Sunday or whether he'll make a fool of himself remains to be seen. As far as records go, he has no equal among the current lineup of F1 drivers. However, this lineup is stronger than most that he has faced. Cars from other teams are more or less equal to the task. All said and done, he hasn't come back to the sport for something as simple as money. He's back for the love of competition, and no one can doubt what Schumacher can achieve with his tireless will to win.

Alain Prost, Niki Lauda and Nigel Mansell have made successful comebacks before. There's no reason Schumi can't. I'm praying it rains soon on some F1 circuit this season just so we can see if Schumi is still the Rain-meister.

Today's qualifying will be more or less an indicator as to whether the "Schu still fits" ;)


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