On the back of qualifying outside the top-ten and finishing outside the points at the Canadian Grand Prix, several F1 pundits – particularly within the BBC commentary team – have ganged up on Michael Schumacher after a weekend at a venue where he has won on seven previous occasions.
After an incident-filled race that featured separate clashes with Robert Kubica, Felipe Massa and Vitantonio Liuzzi, on top of being breezed past by Sébastien Buemi during the race, Schumacher “has driven appallingly,” according to commentator Martin Brundle, who was the German’s team-mate in 1992 at Benetton.
“You have to treat the back of Schumacher’s car like the back of a donkey,” Brundle added, referring to his on-track incidents when quicker drivers were trying to find their way past the seven-time World Champion.
“This is Schumacher’s worst weekend since he came back,” he added.
BBC pundits Eddie Jordan and David Coulthard also weighed into the criticism being heaped upon Schumacher, with Schumacher’s former sparring partner adding: “In all honesty he looked a shadow of his former self on Sunday,” in his regular column for the Telegraph.
“I’m not beating up on Michael. But what is wrong with him? If I had to guess I would say it is F1 that has changed,” Coulthard added, referring to the considerable change in regulations since Schumacher’s retirement, including the switch to narrower, slick tyres and rev-limited V8 engines.
Playing devil’s advocate here, is the criticism of Schumacher warranted? Granted, he missed the qualifying cut by a few tenths – which has happened to the majority of the front-runners at least once this season – and perhaps shot himself in the foot with a little bit of forceful defence of his position against Kubica after the first round of pit stops. A pit stop almost immediately thereafter scuppered his strategy, and left him having to face the last half of the race running the softer-compound tyre, which was bound to do nothing but make him look ordinary and vulnerable to attack from behind.
Do you think the criticism of Schumacher is warranted? Post your comments below…
[Original image via GP Update]