Belfast Telegraph

Friday 1 August 2014

Michael Schumacher casts shadow over Formula One circus

Telegraph Sport: where the debate gets started

Michael Schumacher suffered a severe head injury while skiing in the French Alps
Michael Schumacher suffered a severe head injury while skiing in the French Alps

The soap opera returns. It is hard to remember a Formula One season starting in quite the same circumstances as this one.

The sport's greatest champion, Michael Schumacher, lies comatose in a hospital bed, its chief executive, Bernie Ecclestone, is fighting for his professional life in a German court, the champion of the past four years, Sebastian Vettel, is strapped to a Red Bull emasculated by radical changes; oh, and Ron Dennis is back.

The convergence of Vettel and Red Bull by increments squeezed the life out of the sport. Last season's procession to a fourth consecutive world championship left even the diehards screaming for mercy.

Suddenly great drivers rendered impotent by the steely brilliance of Vettel and the automotive genius of Adrian Newey have an opportunity to resurrect careers.

Lewis Hamilton's move to an uncertain Mercedes a year ago looks inspired now. Perhaps the team's biggest challenge will be keeping Hamilton and Nico Rosberg from each other's throats.

So the pieces that have been up in the air all winter are about to fall on Melbourne. The big teams will adjust fastest to the new environment and order shall eventually emerge from the chaos.

Will it be Hamilton or Rosberg, Alonso or Raikkonen, Jenson Button or Kevin Magnussen – or will fate hand Massa the trophy it stole from him at Interlagos in 2008?

In a sense none of it matters. One word from Schumacher that tells the world there is a way out of that tragic and unfathomable silence trumps any outcome on the track.

COMMENT RULES: Comments that are judged to be defamatory, abusive or in bad taste are not acceptable and contributors who consistently fall below certain criteria will be permanently blacklisted. The moderator will not enter into debate with individual contributors and the moderator’s decision is final. It is Belfast Telegraph policy to close comments on court cases, tribunals and active legal investigations. We may also close comments on articles which are being targeted for abuse. Problems with commenting? customercare@belfasttelegraph.co.uk

Nightlife galleries

More

Latest Sport News

Stats Centre