Michael Schumacher banner, Spa-Francorchamps, 2019

Wolff: Schumacher will “shine above F1 forever” even if his records fall

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In the round-up: Mercedes boss Toto Wolff says Michael Schumacher will always hold a special place in the sport’s history regardless of whether his records are broken.

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What they say

Lewis Hamilton will equal Schumacher’s record of 91 grand prix victories with his next win. But Wolff does not see this as the coming end of an era:

Michael’s going to shine above all of us and Formula 1 forever. He has put his print over a 10-year spell. The most complete racing driver the sport has ever had. That’s the emotional side. There’s a rational and an emotional side.

But from a pure rational side records are there to be broken. And even if a record seems to be unbreakable, somebody else is going to come one day and break it. It may take a long time.

Quotes: Dieter Rencken

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Comment of the day

Jockey Ewing compares the proposed reverse-grid qualifying race’s attempt at equalising competition to the dreaded Balance of Performance – would F1 teams tolerate “success ballast”?

I would raise my voice against every new artificialities in place of these drivers. They are doing well to bring spotlight on things like that. I would do so if I were them, because basically they are all considerable stars, and they will have influence. I would not say that a driver is always informed with the big picture of all planned changes, but obviously most of the time they know very well if something would not go well with a top open wheeler championship’s DNA.

Actually this reverse grid stuff would give some advantage in the teammate battles to the actually lower ranked one (I mean at points standings at a particular season), that’s another not so desirable effect.

And as the reverse grid race not awards points, but functions only as a qualifying race, it is not really rewarding to fight for every position, as the real fight will take place at the standard race. And as it’s functions as equalling and narrowing the competition a bit it tastes a bit like a Balance of Performance which takes into account even the individual performance, but without a real chance for any of the competitors beating the Mercedes drivers for a drivers’ championship title at this or next season (if nothing else changes). And if someone will manage to beat the better team by a small margin for a title, then that will again taste artificial in the close future.

Imo as it not awards points it’s even worse than having a sprint race with reverse grid for championship points. As many said reverse grid races going much better with touring cars and feeder series, but not with an open wheeler DNA, as at open wheelers any kinds of contacts are unacceptable and dangerous, therefore it will bring less dogfight (neither there is a necessity to give opportunity to young talents to show themselves, despite of doing so is good and acceptable at development series.)
Jockey Ewing

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Author information

Hazel Southwell
Hazel is a motorsport and automotive journalist with a particular interest in hybrid systems, electrification, batteries and new fuel technologies....

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  • 6 comments on “Wolff: Schumacher will “shine above F1 forever” even if his records fall”

    1. Hendrick has been fined $100,000 for exceeding NASCAR’s limit for wind-tunnel testing. The NASCAR Cup series team also has been docked 10 hours of wind-tunnel testing time for 2021 after reporting itself to the stock car racing sanctioning body for exceeding the maximum allowable time for the year by minutes.

      Ouch! Seems a bit steep for exceeding the limit by a few minutes, but I guess everyone knew the rules. Still think it’s a bit harsh.

      1. Pretty aggressive at first glance. Unfortunately it has to set a precedent, otherwise you’d see gaggles of teams “self reporting” on purpose.

    2. It’s funny in a way that were saying the same things we said about the likes of Fangio, Senna or Prost when Michael was breaking all those championships, wins or poles records. That it was just on the statistics side that Michael was the best. Now it’s the same with Hamilton apparently…

      1. Well, I agree with him, it’s true I’m a schumacher fan, but it’s undeniable hamilton had an overall better car than any other great have, not only when it comes to the dominant mercedes cars he drove, but let’s not forget he started with a championship contender, not many drivers had that chance, see prost, senna, schumacher; as an example villeneuve jr. and damon hill had such luck and I wouldn’t consider them all time greats.

        1. And it’s also undeniable the fact that as time went on absolute records became easier: look at fangio’s era, there were 7 races per season and drivers were unlikely to keep racing for over 10 years, that’s 70 wins even if you didn’t lose a single race!

          Look at clark and stewarts’ era: 11 races per season, and again drivers were unlikely to race for over 10 years: 110 race wins if you don’t lose a race, barely more than hamilton will do, and not even for sure.

          Look at lauda, prost and senna’s era: 16 races per season and now some drivers raced more than 10 years, the 3 I mentioned being an example, with 2 of them it really happened and with senna it’d have definitely happened were it not for that accident, here they could’ve potentially won up to 200 races.

          And then in schumacher’s era races reached 18 per season and in the case of schumacher he raced over a 20 years span, even though he took a few years break, even then it’s significantly more, with potential 320 races achievable for the drivers who race the longest, and now with hamilton races went up to 21 and since drivers start out younger (look at verstappen), 20 years and a total of 400 + races aren’t unrealistic for a top driver, this is now around 6x what was possible in fangio’s era.

    3. Thank you for COTD :)

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