Fri 31 Jul 2009
I’ve not written much about F1 this season, not in comparison to the previous years - probably down to a general downturn in the number of posts I’ve written and also due to David Coulthard’s retirement.
I’ve still watched all the races, but nothing has really motivated me enough to write about it!
This week has been different though.
Firstly we had the horrendous accident which Felipe Massa endured during qualifying last Saturday - and by horrendous, I mean the outcome of the crash as at the time it was quite undramatic.
For someone to be hospitalised and in real danger of not making it through the night you really expect a pretty spectacular shunt, but it was only after several replays that you could even pinpoint exactly why Massa had even crashed in the first place.
Thankfully he seems to be on the mend, and fingers crossed he is back in the paddock soon - if that’s what he decides he wants to do. With a child on the way, he may decide to take this as a bit of a warning and call it quits, and who would blame him.
This was followed by BMW’s announcement that they were withdrawing from F1 and heading for the hills. This is a bit of a shame as they have shown real promise over the last few years. I liked their approach which was to have realistic goals that were within their grasp but a really poor season this year coupled with the financial situation the world finds itself in has lead to their departure.
With new teams entering the sport next season hopefully people will be able to find jobs - who knows, perhaps Peter Sauber will buy his team back!
This bad news for F1 was somewhat overshadowed by an announcement later that same day that Michael Schumacher would be making his comeback for Ferrari during Felipe’s recovery.
This surprised me a bit in that I always thought people retiring from a dangerous sport would feel a slight sense of relief that they had got away in one piece - is coming back tempting fate a little?
Hopefully not, as I feel Schuey has perhaps felt a little pressured into saying yes.
He loves the Ferrari team and would probably do anything they asked of him - couple this with the fact he really likes Felipe and there was never really any doubt about what his answer would be were he to be asked.
From Massa’s point of view this is a brilliant turn of events. People were calling for Alonso to take over, or maybe Kubica but either of these guys would have been a threat to Massa’s long term future with the team - had they come in and started winning races, they would have been hard to get rid of. Schumacher is retired and has made it clear that he is only here for as long as Felipe and the team need him - this isn’t a full-on comeback.
Some people are not exactly overjoyed at the prospect of him being back, but I think it’s good for the sport. I know I certainly can’t wait for the next grand prix to roll round so I can see what he can do with this less than perfect car.
If he can do more than Kimi, given that he hasn’t even driven it yet, then that will be the final nail in the Finn’s F1 coffin and perhaps that’s also part of the motivation from Ferrari to get him back - it would give them a good enough reason to dump Kimi and bring in Alonso at the end of the season.
We’ll have to wait until that weekend in Valencia to see what to expect from Schumacher’s return and while there’s no doubt it’s big news, the main thing is that Massa continues his recovery.