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This weekend’s race in Belgium will signal the 20th anniversary of Michael Schumacher’s appearance on the F1 scene. The backdrop couldn’t be more picturesque and perhaps few drivers have been linked so elementally with the Spa Francorchamps circuit than Schumacher. The 7-time world champion made his debut here 20 years ago in a Jordan F1 car.

This weekend’s celebration at Mercedes GP were bolstered by the kind words of Sauber team owner Peter Sauber as he told SID:

“The reasons for his comeback are none of our business. But still today I say Michael is a credit to F1 even if he does not fight for victories,” said Sauber.

“I still find him as a balanced and relaxed individual. My impression is that at the moment he is handling a not easy situation very well.”

The return of Schumacher has not been easy and some are still calling for or arguing that he will step down at the end of this season but Sauber sees it differently:

“Those are speculations that I don’t want to comment on,” he added. “Next year I am sure he will still be driving, I am convinced that naturally he will fulfil his contractual commitments. What happens after cannot be predicted. However, I had never thought back then that he would make a comeback.”

It’s nice to see some recogniztion that is complimentary of his tenure in F1 and his continued presence. Some detractors think he is depriving some young man a seat at Mercedes GP but I, like Sauber, feel he is good for the sport and will continue to be as long as he stays.

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An F1 fan since 1972, NC has spent over 25 years in the technology industry and as a CTO, he focuses on technology integration in commercial workspace design, AV systems integration, digital media strategies, technology planning, consulting, speaking, presenting, sales, content strategy, marketing and brand building.
  • BasCB

    I think Sauber is perfectly right in what he says about Schumacher. I really got to dislike Schumacher for the way he acted controversially during the first career path. There was a lot not to like, even if he was an amazingly good driver. But now I generally find myself hoping for a good result for him, just to see if its still there.

    As you discussed with Peter Windsor (loved the interview, great listen by the way) lately, it would be even better if he could give us more insight into his approach, but he certainly does not diminish what he has achieved by helping Ross get the Mercedes team together.
    If they succeed, that would make it 3 teams they got working in a winning form together, something incredible.

  • Tony

    bravo!
    It’s probably how most of the F1 paddock feel – except of course those outspoken drama seeking ex-racing drivers *cough*coulthard-lauda-stewart*cough* who are just jealous that he still can perform in the top 10 of the world, is still wanted by teams, and still pulls in the press more than most of the other drivers put together.

  • Luigi

    Nico has been kicking his ass. So what? Somebody has to be faster anyway. Doesn´t mean he is useless and he´s not half a second off, either.

  • mark h

    Very, very nice little interview SID bagged themselves here, it makes for interesting reading.

  • Formula1Mad

    His relaxed approach is amazing, particularly when he calmly tries to drive Rubens Barrichello into the pit wall. A calm, relaxed driver doing what he has always done. Well done Michael! :o)