Danke Michael

originally posted by TheFazz on my-kart.org:

The F1 career of the most successful formula one driver of all time is about to come to a close this sunday. Much as i hate the guy’s guts, i must say that Michael Schumacher has been the closest you will ever get to a perfect formula one driver. Fast, fit, aggressive, technical, analytical, smart, strong teamplayer, good pr – everything a modern day f1 driver should be. And this shows in the monumental statistics accumulated by the man. He has just about broken every f1 numbers record apart from the most race starts (IIRC, just 6 shy of Ricardo Patrese’s 256 starts).

The numbers (wins, wdcs, poles) starts to become meaningless now, but what is important is that Schumi dominated his era more than anybody has ever done before. He has worked to build a strong team that supports him since day one. It is also noteworthy that Schumi’s team of Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and other technical people have been with him almost throughout his f1 career. This kind of stability is also unprecedented in many sports.

Schumi’s debut race at Spa in 1991 – more than 15 years ago – marked the coming of a legend. Shame that f1 was deprived of the spectacle of battles between Senna and Schumi in the mid 90s. That would have been legendary as well.

Still after 15 years at the top, Schumi is still there at the top. But this time round, it is Fernando Alonso who is his challenger. Alonso has proven to be a worthy successor. A worthy holder of the F1 crown. Like Schumi, Alonso’s ability to pull something out of the bag when on paper he shouldn’t – gives him a certain aura of success that Schumi had long held before.

F1 today has grown tremendously partly due to Schumi’s exploits – he polarises opinions of f1 followers who either want to see how many more records he will break, or who will finally humble the great man.

For me, all i can say is Danke Michael for the privilege of witnessing something very special in f1.

As a parting surprise, Shell released a couple of videos of Schumacher….

Schumi conducts a quick pitstop:

Schumi in a petrol station queue:

Schumi – is he real?

Jacques’ F1 season so far

I must say that after 6 rounds of the F1 season, it is looking like another championship for Fernando Alonso. The scoreboard is 3 wins for Alonso, 2 for Schumi and 1 for Fisico. Alonso also leads the championship and Schumi can only hope that the realible Renaults would fail once or twice for him to catch up.

Unlike last year, Schumi’s position (compared to Kimi’s last year) is a little more predictable. Kimi’s 2005 run during the first half was beset by reliability woes. Schumi’s challenge to Alonso so far is looking reliable if not strong.

So, another Alonso year? Will it be a snorefest? I hope not. Unfortunately the last 3 races (Imola, Nurburgring and Barcelona) have been somewhat boring with very little wheel to wheel battles.

To entertain myself, I keep my eyes on the BMW Sauber F1 team and Jacques Villeneuve. So far BMW is looking a little unreliable. The speed is not there yet. But I guess this is their first year as a total package. So I should give them some time. But what is interesting though is Jacques Villeneueve.

IMHO, Jacques is having quite a season so far. To think that Heidfeld in the opinion of many got the better of the highly touted future world champion Mark Webber in 2005…

So by comparison JVil is enjoying a strong renaissance. This time last year, many were writing him off as a has been as he struggled with the Sauber. It is not until Jacques practically have to demand changes to the cars’ setup that things start to get better.

This year, it seems he started on a stronger footing. And he seems to be a much stronger team player this year. There is less of the hard talk of old. Jvil of 2006 seems to be keen on seeing the new BMW team improve further. In the recent Paul Ricard F1 testing session, JVil topped the times ahead of the two Renaults of Kovalainen and Alonso. Now I know these are just testing… but when have you seen JVil go for hot times in testing?

Stories of JVil insisting on softer tyres are circulating on Atlas F1 forums. At Nurburgring, BMW confirmed that they were using the softer compund tyres which helped JVil to points scoring positions. Again, at Barcelona JVil took advantage of his ability to make tyres last a long time even though on soft compounds to run an extra long (fnar fnar) first stint up to more than 50% of the race distance (the last driver to pit for fresh tyres)!

So the recent Paul Ricard tests, rumours have it that JVil was testing even softer tyres. Let’s hope that these can be put to good use at Monaco. Let’s hope that JVil continues his strong season and get a new F1 drive contract for 2007. I do hope that BMW will retain his services.

F1, 2006 – not long to go now!

The wait is almost over!

In slightly over a week, the 2006 F1 season will come.

So far in testing, it looks like Renault will once again be very strong. World Champ Alonso looks like a strong bet for his second title. However, teammate Fisico will have to dig deep to perform at the same level as his younger colleague. They have been both quick and reliable so far.

Next up is Honda. All their drivers have been spectacular at one time or another during testing, even test driver Ant Davidson. They have also run the most test mileage. Honda may surprise by even beating Renault this year. But let’s see if they hold up for the whole season.

What about McLaren? Once again, reliability has been their achilles heel. On occassion, however they have been quick. Let’s see.

Ferrari look like they are having a bit of a renaissance… however, the key to their success are their bridgestone tyres. It is interesting though that Massa is looking as quick as Schumi.

I will add more in the next few days.