Friday 15 December 2017

F1: Schumacher fails to shine

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER cut a disconsolate figure as he left Albert Park last night, discovering that his reputation counts for little among the new generation.

The seven-times world champion was caught up in the first-corner chaos as Fernando Alonso's Ferrari was spun round and he broke the front wing of his Mercedes and was forced to pit.

His race was compromised immediately, but surely the scene was set for a rerun from Schum-acher's past? Sent to the back of the field, and the rain falling, the veteran was ready to cut and thrust his way through the pack.

Not as it turned out. There was no cutting and very little thrusting from Schumacher and he became almost a sad postscript to the event, spending what seemed like an entire race trying to pass the Toro Rosso of Jamie Alguersuari.

Schumacher, once the greatest exponent of overtaking, simply had to accept a lowly 10th place, almost 70 seconds behind winner Jenson Button. In years past, the sight of Schumacher's blazing red Ferrari in the wing mirrors was enough to give drivers an attack of collywobbles, but Alguersuari seemed utterly unfazed when Schumacher's silver Mercedes came into view and he kept him back for lap after lap.

It was a key part of the old master's game that seemed to be missing, although there was a more familiar sight on Saturday when Schumacher (41) went to the Spaniard's cockpit and accused him of compromising his qualifying.

But Alonso was not the only one in trouble. Mark Webber smacked into the back of Lewis Hamilton with only two laps to go, an error that cost them both dearly. "I am sure he has apologised," Hamilton said. "We have got to make sensible decisions and that wasn't sensible." (© The Times, London)

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