#F1 Mercedes: Hurry Up And Wait Schumi
Would you say the reason Michael Schumacher has yet to sign an extension contract with Mercedes is up to him or Mercedes?
I would wager to say that is a good if not fair question. A part of me would like to believe that Ross Brawn is giving Schumacher a chance to decide upon his own future. He has recently stated that the 7 time champ still has what it takes to win. Perhaps there is an element of guilt if the rumours are true about Schumacher being “pushed” out at Ferrari at the end of 2006.
Perhaps its Mercedes sitting on the fence and waiting to see who makes a move in the driver market with some big names available and the uncertainty of what they might get out of Schumi after one more year. His points tally hasn’t impressed, his form has been mediocre though improving and his input hasn’t yielded any improvements to the car.
To be honest, I don’t believe there is much Schumacher can do to improve the car until Mercedes ditches their double DRS system. That is an argument for another time. I believe that it is one of the reasons they have struggled in race trim when the use of DRS is limited.
Schumacher’s return did several things. It brought back to F1 many fans which increased viewership numbers which slumped severely especially in Germany after he retired. It was a brilliant marketing ploy to bring attention and sponsorship to Mercedes as they launched as their own team. Finally, it peaked the interest of many sitting on the sidelines to see what sort of impact the once legendary driver might have on the sport again. Formula One benefited greatly by his signing of the original three-year deal even before he sat in the car for the very first time. Oddly, that’s when it may have benefitted most. Since the first season, it seemed quite evident that the magic may not have returned with him.
I don’t believe that this is how Michael wants to go out. I believe that 2013 will be Schumi’s farewell tour. Everyone who hasn’t seen him live may want to, others won’t care. I can’t see him moving on to another team to start from scratch when he is already at home with Brawn and his German Mercedes team mates. Mercedes may just leave it up to Ross Brawn to make the final call, which for my money, will be a one year extension.
To add a little spice to this, I would never take the possibility of Schumacher returning to Ferrari for a final goodbye season. Anything is possible. However, Alonso has clearly made Ferrari his team, the two are not the best of friends and it would really not serve Ferrari at all other than for marketing purposes. Highly unlikely, but stranger things have happened.
For now, no one seems in a hurry to make a decision…
Author: Ernie Black