F1 »

Hill advises Schumacher to 'go for it' and finish 'unfinished' F1 business

Michael Schumacher should return to the grid with Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010 to finish off the 'unfinished business' left behind by his premature departure from F1 three years ago, contends former title rival and British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) President Damon Hill
Michael Schumacher should 'go for it' and take the opportunity to make a sensational F1 comeback with Mercedes Grand Prix in 2010, advises former title rival and sparring partner Damon Hill – as the 1996 world champion suggests the German perhaps has some 'unfinished business' at the highest level after being pushed out of Ferrari three years ago before he was ready to leave.

Though neither side has said anything particularly concrete to substantiate such wild speculation, still the rumours linking Schumacher to Mercedes next season refuse to go away – and, indeed, make sense on a good number of levels.

The Kerpen native was engineered to every one of his seven drivers' crowns by Mercedes Grand Prix team principal Ross Brawn – two at Benetton and five at Ferrari – as the duo struck up the most triumphant partnership in F1 history. What's more, he was frustrated in his efforts to return to action for the Scuderia in-place of injured former team-mate Felipe Massa during the summer by a recurring neck injury from a motorcycling fall – an injury that has now ostensibly all-but healed.

At the time, Schumacher made little secret of his disappointment at being unable to go ahead with his planned comeback, and it was clear that his neck aside, he remained comfortably fit enough to do the job and cope with the physical strains and G-Forces of top flight competition.

With the desire to race still burning bright – and, Hill contends, a chapter to close after being effectively manoeuvred out of Ferrari back in 2006 to make way for the incoming Kimi Raikkonen, the man viewed at the time as the 91-time grand prix-winner's long-term replacement – the President of the British Racing Drivers' Club (BRDC) suggests a return to the grid for the most successful F1 driver of all time is far from fanciful.

“I honestly do not think it would be wrong for Michael Schumacher to come back,” Hill wrote in British newspaper The Times, talking about the adversary with whom he duelled tooth-and-nail for the title in both 1994 and 1995. “If I can win a race when I was 37 in a Jordan, then Michael can definitely win a race in a Ross Brawn car at 41. Ross has already won the championship, so it should be a competitive car to start with next year, and we are talking about Michael Schumacher – and he is a bit of a robber's dog.

“He is exceptionally fit. He has never done anything else in his life – it's the only thing he has devoted himself to – and the fact that he has gone and raced motorbikes shows that he has still got the need for speed. I don't think he retired in the way he wanted to in 2006. I think he was pushed, rather than deciding to stop. It was a political thing and Ferrari were pushing him to make a decision, so it was slightly unsatisfactory and maybe there is unfinished business with him.

“The only problem I see is the neck injury he sustained bike racing this year that stopped him coming back to replace Felipe Massa in the summer – but if that has cleared up, I don't see why he's not fit enough and motivated enough to put in some more star performances.

“There are things that people do and they are risky, but somehow they are driven to do them – for example, Sir Ranulph Fiennes going up Everest in his mid-60s. They are pushing the limits of what people are doing, and I think some people are built for that – and Michael is one of those. If this is what Michael wants, he should go for it. He can do something he enjoys and show everyone that he is a nice guy underneath and that he is a sportsman.”

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Michael Schumacher (Benetton-Renault) and F1 title rival Damon Hill (Williams-Renault) in 1995
23.03.2017 - Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12 and Daniil Kvyat (RUS) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
23.03.2017 - detail  Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail  Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail  Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail  Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - detail Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - detail Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.03.2017 - Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.03.2017 - Daniel Ricciardo (AUS) Red Bull Racing RB13
23.03.2017 - Mattia Binotto (ITA) Chief Technical Officer, Scuderia Ferrari and Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
23.03.2017 - Maurizio Arrivabene (ITA) Ferrari Team Principal
23.03.2017 - Carlos Sainz Jr (ESP) Scuderia Toro Rosso STR12
23.03.2017 -Valtteri Bottas (FIN) Mercedes AMG F1 W08
23.03.2017 - Sebastian Vettel (GER) Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail  Scuderia Ferrari SF70H
23.03.2017 - detail Red Bull Racing RB13

Join the conversation - Add your comment

Please login or register before adding your comments.

Although the administrators and moderators of this website will attempt to keep all objectionable comments off these pages, it is impossible for us to review all messages. All messages express the views of the poster, and neither Crash Media Group nor Crash.Net will be held responsible for the content of any message. We do not vouch for or warrant the accuracy, completeness or usefulness of any message, and are not responsible for the contents of any message. If you find a message objectionable, please contact us and inform us of the problem or use the [report] function next to the offending post. Any message that does not conform with the policy of this service can be edited or removed with immediate effect.

Racing Lover - Unregistered

December 13, 2009 8:33 AM

Hill is clearly a true example of sportsmanship. The persons who know Schummy better than others are Ross Brawn and his closest title rivals in the past. His comment and support to Schummy's comeback is something special.

Oli - Unregistered

December 13, 2009 8:41 PM

I don't think he has anything to lose if it's handled in the right way. If MS comes back and says "I expect to win" and Hamilton kicks his @rse then he might look silly. But MS is no fool, he knows how good Ham, Alonso etc are. Instead I think he will be far more relaxed than the MS of the past, far less "win win win". If he comes back and says "F**k me Hamilton & Alonso are fast, but I am here to have fun and hey, if I can beat them at 41 how cool would that be!" then he will have nothing to lose. Everyone knows how good he was at his peak. And everyone knows his age. If he doesn't win, he can turn around and say "I'm 41, what did you expect? I'm here having fun and it's great"

© 1999 - 2017 Crash Media Group

The total or partial reproduction of text, photographs or illustrations is not permitted in any form.