Analysis: Schumacher Hands F1 Crown

For the first time in five years, the phrase 'World Champion Michael Schumacher' required another word on Sunday. Former

Analysis: Schumacher Hands F1 Crown

The reign of the most successful driver in Formula One history, with 84 wins and a long list of records, came to an end in front of a muted crowd of just 60,000 spectators at Ferrari's spiritual home of Monza.

"This Championship is over, at least for me," the German said. "I have been champion for a long time and I am more surprised by how long it has been. I always knew it would end one day."

Now 48 points behind Renault's Fernando Alonso with just four races and a maximum of 40 points remaining, the seven times champion cannot retain the crown he has worn since 2000.

Spain's Alonso has a lead of 27 points over McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen and can secure the title in Belgium next weekend at Schumacher's favourite Spa circuit.

Schumacher, 10th on another dark day for a team who were dominant last year with 15 wins in 18 races, accepted the situation with realism and hailed Alonso as his successor.

"I think after today's race, you do not need to be very prophetic to say that the Championship is over," declared the 36-year-old.

"The Championship is only a very small theoretical possibility for Kimi.

"A lot of things need to happen for Alonso not to win the Championship and I don't see those things happening. So for me, this topic is over - just as my Championship was over quite a while ago."

No Light

The German ran in the points for a while at Monza but was ninth after the final fuel stops and then went off the track at the second Lesmo corner as he chased BAR's Jenson Button.

For the second race in a row, Ferrari scored no points - a rare failure for a team who have won for the last three years at Monza and been World Champions for six years in a row.

It was also the first time in Schumacher's career that he had finished the Italian Grand Prix without scoring.

"Giving up would not help anything," said the 36-year-old of Ferrari's plight.

"In the past we have been so successful and the others have been the sad ones," he added. "If the situation we are in now made us give up, we would be bad losers and we would have underestimated our rivals.

"And that is also why our rivals should not underestimate us now, because we want to come back."

Schumacher saw little reason to suspect there was any light at the end of the tunnel and he is not expecting miracles at Spa.

"I would really like to look forward to going to Spa but with our performance at the moment, it's not that good a feeling," he said.

"Clearly we have been much too slow. It's very obvious why we have been so slow but I don't know if that is all the reason."

Asked to clarify his comment, Schumacher made a clear reference to Ferrari's Bridgestone tyres: "I think it's quite clear that we speak about the 'black gold'."

 

shares
comments
Stoddart Unhappy with Minardi Showing
Previous article

Stoddart Unhappy with Minardi Showing

Next article

Post-Race Press Conference - Italy

Post-Race Press Conference - Italy
Load comments
How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings Plus

Qatar Grand Prix Driver Ratings

Qatar was a virtual unknown for most as Formula 1 made its inaugural visit to the Gulf state, and tyre management quickly emerged as an even more critical factor than normal. Perhaps then it should come as no surprise that two of the championship's elder statesmen produced standout drives

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2021