Michael Schumacher: “You have to do it in a way that’s not too obvious…”

Michael Schumacher has defended Ferrari’s use of team orders in Hockenheim – while admitting that the team might sometimes have got it wrong in his era.

Schumacher said he totally understands Ferrari’s quest to win the title with Alonso, but in effect conceded that Austria 2002 – the pass that led to the ban – was over the top, because the team was so dominant at the time.

“Watching TV occasionally [on the big screens] I saw Felipe be in first position,” said Schumacher. “I felt obviously happy because he’s a friend of mine. Then hearing Alonso has won the race I was wondering what kind of strategy was that?

“I have been criticised in the past, for exactly that. I have to say I understand 100% and I would do exactly the same if I would be in their situation. Because at the end of the day what are we here for? It’s fighting for a championship. There’s only one that can win the championship. By the end of the year if you think you have lost the championship for exactly that point you will ask yourself, not only yourself but all the fans, all the TV, all the journalists and so on, why didn’t you do so?

“And I think if you go back to other years in other teams in other situations, in the last race for example, there were clear team orders. And everybody accepts those. That’s normal, that’s the last race, and so on. So whether it’s the last race or second last race or even earlier, what’s the point [of criticising]?

“I can see like in the years where in the years when we did it, we were leading so much and people thought it was unnecessary. I can agree on that one in a way. But in principle I fully accept and agree [with] what’s going on.

“You have to do it in a way that’s maybe nice and not too obvious, make it a nice fight, but there’s only one target. And that’s winning the championship.”

Co-incidentally his former team mate Eddie Irvine echoed that last statement exactly tonight…

6 Comments

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6 responses to “Michael Schumacher: “You have to do it in a way that’s not too obvious…”

  1. Rob E

    All this said after a race where his team-mate beat him. Again. He must be missing the old days…

  2. tom baker

    The Mercedes is a complete disaster. Where do you think Schumacher would be if he were sitting the the Red Bull, or even the McLaren?

    This season, more than ever (and as I predicted a year ago), has been a procession.

  3. tom baker

    (GOT CUT OFF)

    Qualifying position is more important then ever because it is impossible to overtake and everyone is on the same fuel strategy. Add to that the need to conserve tires, fuel, engines, and gearboxes, and the inability to test new parts.

    Rosberg has been slightly better in qualifying than Schumacher which has translated into more points. Also, Michael has been knocked out of several races through no fault of his own.

    There have also been some very questionable strategy calls made that backfired badly.

    I don’t see anything wrong with the way Michael is driving the car. I haven’t seen him take his teammate out, or anyone else for that matter. He’s extracting everything available from that canal barge. Give him a competitive car and he will be competitive.

  4. I really don’t know what planet you’ve been on, Tom, but the cars have been much too close together for it to be a “procession”. There have been many overtakes. Perhaps you stopped watching after Bahrain? 🙂 Also, don’t listen to Schumacher and Irvine, both complete nutters who don’t understand the meaning of sportsmanship. In case they’re reading this, it means, at the bottom of your heart, wanting to do your best rather than wanting “to win”. To identify “winning” as what you do rather than “doing your best” is to mistake an outside measurement for an inner quality, one which is not only more valuable than mere winning, but is also the actual foundation for it. Cheating and getting away with it is just nowhere, nothingness. Except money, power and fame of course. Let’s spell it out, why not? Anyway, that’s why I like the new Michael so much more. He’s relaxed and successful enough that he seems to have decided to come back and find out what it’s like not to cheat, even though he still doesn’t have an ethical bone. Good on him, may many more of us cheer up enough to actually play the game straight!

  5. Uppili

    Spoken like a man with a lot of experience in such situations…..

  6. tom baker

    I’m from Earth, Steve. You know, third rock from the Sun? Pay it a visit some time.

    I’ve seen mainly two categories of overtakes for position, after the first lap. The McLaren’s with their enormous straight line speed advantage and a fair amount of position swapping in the midfield and back of the pack.

    Not much happens at the sharp end of the grid once things get sorted out and now that the speed advantage has become somewhat neutralized. There are obviously three top teams and whichever brand has the edge on a given weekend is basically untouchable provided (a) the drivers manage not to take each other out and (b) their cars don’t fall apart and (c) things don’t get scrambled by an accident and safety car period.

    You are correct, the rules have brought the cars closer together which is one reason they can’t overtake. In addition to this is the need to conserve tires, fuel, etc., which results in a holding pattern.

    There’s a polite and an impolite way to disagree with someone, Steve. We’re all motorsport fans here, let’s keep it cordial.

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