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Schumey says 'arrivederci'

Amidst the sea of red, the prancing horses were flying high. The clarion sounded loud and clear while the Ferrari streaked past checker flag. Michael Schumacher had won - for the 90th time! There were the jubiliant crowd scenes as always, popping champagne corks, Jean Todt, cheering mechanics - but something was amiss.

Within couple of minutes though, it became clear as the great man announced that he would retire from motor sports at the end of the year. Though there were rumours going round that Michael was going to announce his retirement soon but things came to a head on Saturday, when he told a packed audience of reporters that he would make a proper announcement after Sunday's race.

It was Eddie Jordon who spotted the raw talent in Michael and signed up the 21-year old unknown at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix. Soon enough, he moved to the Benetton team and won the 1994 and 1995 world championship and moved to Ferrari the next year.

Ferrari were an uncompetitive team in 1996; their last driver's championship was in 1979, with Jody Scheckter. But Michael turned the team around and won his third world championship on a Ferrari in 2000. From then on, he was virtually unbeatable - his best year was 2004, when he won 13 of the 18 races. In fact, he had won the championship in July, after Silverstone!

Schumacher was never far away from controversies. F1 fans will remember the Damon Hill years, when Schumey and Damon went almost head to head more than once. And who can forget the 'team orders', when, during the 2002 Austrian Grand Prix, race leader Barrichello was forced to step aside and let Mikey win? There was none more embarassed than Michael on the podium, as he tried to make a stoic Reubens take the podium.

Michael has been called many things and one of my favourite Mikey nick names is 'rain master'. He is an absolute wizard at driving under wet conditions; though Ayrton Senna had an uncanny ability in this aspect, Mikey's own is nothing to sneeze at.

His flamboyant style, the trademark jumps in the air post-win, the national anthem conducting styles... all of these will be missed sorely. Though his detractors have called him a poor sportsman for his ruthless attitude on the track, his affection for his mechanics is visible for all to see. Every single time, including the last, after he has won a race, he makes a beeline towards his team of mechanics and hugs every single one of them.

There has never been such a charismatic ambassador for Motor sport and there never will be another Schumacher. And I, for one, would be sad to see him go.

But I hope he goes with a bang, as he deserves to. Here's to your 8th championship crown, Mikey!

Posted by DesiGirl 7:18 pm  

1 Comment:

  1. 30in2005 said...
    A whole world of schumi fans is crying out "Noooooooo...." and my cousin who is a big F1/ Schumi fan reckons that he will stop watching once Schumi is gone.

    The end of an era.

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