Despite rumors to the contrary, Michael Schumacher has made it clear that he won’t retire (again) before his 43rd birthday. He’s 41 now, so that effectively guarantees he’ll race through at least the 2011, if not the 2012 F1 seasons. His goal, as stated upon his return to racing, is an eighth world championship.
His 2010 return to Formula One has disappointed the driver, his fans and Bernie Eccelstone alike. Currently ninth in the driver’s standings, Schumi has no chance at winning this year’s title. In fact, it’s unlikely he will finish the season ahead of his young teammate, Nico Rosberg, who’s currently in sixth place in the standings. His performance year to date hasn’t brought fans back to the sport, even in his Germany. This weekend’s race in Hockenheim, Germany, is Schumacher’s first F1 race in his home country since returning to the sport. Maybe it’s the economy and not a disillusioned fan base, but there are still plenty of tickets available.
In a recent interview for Autosport, as quoted on Autoevolution, Schumacher took yet another shot at his Mecedes MGP W01, saying:
“Am I perfectly happy with my own performance? That is probably the wrong thing to say. There is an expectation out there, but you have to be realistic that it is probably impossible to meet. To be out three years and start where I finished in a car that doesn’t allow me do it, is unrealistic.”
I’d have an easier time accepting that the car is the problem if he was out-performing Rosberg, which he’s not. There are few things in life quite as sad as a former champion who doesn’t realize that his best days are behind him.