What 2012 holds for Mercedes AMG Petronas driver Michael Schumacher?
Michael Schumacher the seven-time World Champion is in the final stages of his career, but the talented veteran still has the same hunger to win championships as he did in his younger days.
Schumacher retired from Formula 1 in late 2006 after having a very successful stint at Ferrari. Former champions like Niki Lauda and David Coulthard paid their tributes and hailed him as one of the greatest drivers in the history of the sport.
Ferrari hired Schumacher as their advisor and Jean Todt’s super-assistant. The retired champion remained with Ferrari until the end of 2009. By the end of 2009, Mercedes GP had shown interest in a comeback for Schumacher with the team and announced that
he will return to Formula 1 racing in the 2010 season alongside Nico Rosberg a fellow German.
Therefore, 2010 was the year Schumacher began working with Mercedes GP and started to build the team and the car just like he did at Ferrari. He had hopes of converting it into a much more competitive and more importantly a winning unit.
The 2010 season was not as fruitful as the former champion would have liked it to be, but it was a comeback year and Schumacher was driving a car that was not so competitive as other cars on the grid.
He secured 72 points during the 2010 season and finished 9th on the drivers’ championship standings. The 2011 season did not come with much improvement even though he made the most passes of the season (116) but was only able to secure 76 points and bettered
his last year’s standing from 9th to 8th.
Schumacher though the kind of ambitious driver he is at the end of the 2011 season expressed to the media that he may not race beyond 2012 if he feels that Mercedes GP is not on the track he would like to be. He felt that they were not nearly as competitive
in 2011 as he wanted his team and car to be. He also added that he will be closely working with the Mercedes engineers to develop a competitive car for the 2012 season.
“I need a little bit more time to see about myself and how we are heading, and some input to see if that is what I want or not,” Schumacher is quoted by Autosport.com.
“It is more about how we maximise the potential of what we have made. It took some while to do, talking about our general performance. You have to assess where you are and what needs to be done, and then to transform it. You would rather do this early than
late, but we have to understand that we were later than we hoped to be,” he further added.
It has been speculated that Mercedes are conjuring up a very competitive car for the 2012 season, but are a little behind in the development as they are the only team not to test their car in the first pre-season testing.
At age 42 nearing 43 it will be a remarkable feat if he can conjure up a Grand Prix win, the last time a driver of this age category won a Grand Prix was back in 1970 when the Australian Jack Brabham won the South African Grand Prix.
Although one can say that there was no Schumacher in those days and so knowing his determination, dedication, motivation and sheer talent it would not be naive to rule out that the German can definitely achieve that feat.
If he can do it, he will be the first German driver to do so. As the 2012 season approaches and teams are doing their drive tests, it would become clearer which teams would be in contention for the accolades of the year.
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