Martin Brundle on Schumacher's retirement
Michael Schumacher will call time on his F1 comeback at the end of the season, but has he picked the right moment to retire again? Sky Sports F1 Online's Mike Wise put that question, along with several important others, to Martin Brundle...
Last Updated: 04/10/12 12:12pm
Do you think it's the right decision?
Martin Brundle: "Yes, I do, because I think it would be sad and wrong to see him now to move to a Sauber or Williams-type situation. What next then - does he move further down the grid next time around?
"He's had his chances and he made the most of them the first time around. His statistics are engraved in the record books of Formula 1. They can't change; you can't take away from Michael his amazing achievements.
"I feel a bit sorry for him because he kind of got reversed out of the team - he's been fired really - in favour of Lewis. It would have been much more elegant had he been able to make this announcement (sooner) but I get the impression it's him prevaricating rather than the team being a bit aggressive with him.
"But it would have been so much more elegant mid-year to have gone 'I'm stopping at the end of the season'. At which point Mercedes would have gone and found a replacement - and it would have looked right.
Do you think if he'd said 'I'd like to stay' earlier then they might have kept him on?
MB: "I get the impression that much earlier in the year, if he'd signed up - long before Lewis came on the scene - after China when the team were going well, he possibly could have stayed on. But he was hesitating through the summer and missed his moment.
"I don't blame him for coming back at all. It hasn't been a success because he hasn't had the results that he clearly wanted. I think he's gone better this year than in the first two years in terms of raw pace and delivery on track. Obviously he's had some clumsy moments as well.
Has the comeback diluted his greatness?
MB: "I don't think it has because he achieved what he achieved. I feel warmer towards him as a person than I did first time around because he's mellowed a bit and he's more approachable - despite a few mistakes he's made and that move he pulled on Barrichello in Hungary, which was classic old-style Michael.
"He looks in incredible condition so he's done the work and he's out-qualified Rosberg quite a lot. But the results haven't been there, so you can't help but look at his second career and say it was a disappointment, a failure, in terms of coming back."
What do you think he'll do now?
MB: "What he did the first time, I guess, which was to disappear off. But if he still needs to spend some adrenalin in some way - what he nearly did was break his neck on a motorbike - I know he's got some other personal pursuits he does that are fairly risky as well.
"He obviously needs that daily dose of adrenalin. Whether he'll turn up in a managerial role...he was doing that at Ferrari intervening between career one and two and he didn't look especially comfortable doing it I would have to say."