Why is Senna a Saint and Schumacher Satan?

I bet that if Senna had lived long enough to compete with Schumacher properly, we’d have seen many great battles, many great arguments … and many, many spectacularly controversial accidents.

Michael Schumacher as Dick DasterdlySo Michael Schumacher has apologised for his Dick Dasterdlyness and Derick Warwick has announced that, had there been more time on Sunday, the German would have been black-flagged for his manouevre against Rubens Barrichello in the closing stages of Sunday’s Hungarian Grand Prix.

The Brazilian himself slammed Schumacher’s move as one of the craziest and most dangerous he’s ever faced in all his time driving a Formula One car and Schumacher finds himself on the receiving end of a 10-place grid penalty when he arrives in Spa later this month as punishment for his wreckless driving.

But, as criticism of the German’s tactics mounts, I find myself wondering why we are all so surprised.

Michael Schumacher is, after all, no stranger to despicable tactics.  Just look at how he won the 1994 championship, for example.  Or his move on Jacques Villeneuve in 1997.  Or how about blocking the road in Monaco?

It’s a trait of Schumacher’s to attempt to use whatever tactic he can to his advantage, and he is despised for it.  He is Formula One’s pantomime villain.  We love to hate him, and yet he remains statistically the greatest Formula One driver of all time.

In these politically correct, eco-friendly, safety conscious times, Schumacher’s tactics might seem old fashioned and reprehensible, but we’re talking about a man who retired for three years and has come back to a very different Formula One.  He doesn’t understand and is having to learn new forms of Public Relations.

When, in the old days, did you ever hear Schumacher apologise for being hard on somebody?

Despite all this, I love Schumacher.  His poor performance this year might be indicative of an old man who is struggling to make it in the high octane pinacle of motorsport amongst men much younger, and fitter, than he is these days, and I believe he should have remained in retirement with his image unsullied by the attrocious results achieved so far in 2010, but it gauls me more to hear criticism of him in one breath and then in the other, in hushed tones, praise for Ayrton Senna.

Senna and Schumacher sadly did not get to race together for too long but I suspect the battles between them would have been epic.

Schumacher, like the Brazilian legend before him, has the unnerving ability to know within a hair’s breadth exactly where his car is on the track – and neither were afraid to be ruthless.

Senna’s tactics on track were, quite often, equally as ignominious.  Look at the rivalry between Senna and Prost and the number of incidents that occurred between the two of them, not least Senna taking Prost out at the first corner of Japan in 1990 in a deliberate and callous move to ensure he won the championship – and prove a point to the FIA.

Ayrton Senna was undoubtedly a brilliant driver, one of the best; but so is Schumacher.  Which other driver would

Ayrton Senna ... equally Dick Dasterdly

have said: “I knew I had five centimeters to play with…”?

I bet that if Senna had lived long enough to compete with Schumacher properly, we’d have seen many great battles, many great arguments … and many, many spectacularly controversial accidents.

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3 thoughts on “Why is Senna a Saint and Schumacher Satan?

  1. Respect to both great F1 Drivers. Maybe if Ayrton lived the same would have been said, what Michael is going through. He apologized that’s his greatness. But if you look at it the other way. The car which is not good speeding when you enter a corner not far up a straight,.And Rubens want to squeeze the right side of Schumacher.Instead going round the outside.It was possible an accident. But Michael prevented by moving away which in a fraction of a second. But some are out there to spoil his imagine and look in a negative way. He has the guts to come back not for his selfish reasons but we fans love him for what he is. F1 is about wheel to wheel racing. If you are scared of proper F1 racing then better have the Safety car in front while racing.

  2. […] Why is Senna a Saint and Schumacher Satan? August 2010 1 comment […]

  3. Thank you ever so for you blog post. Great.

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