*Listening to Cheese* (Constantly)
Some people said he was mad to re-enter the unforgiving and pressurised world of Formula One, but then again when you’ve won the championship seven times it’s perhaps just a natural reaction.
Those who don’t like Michael Schumacher are either massive nationalists or just jealous of his unprecedented success that saw him win 91 Grand Prix. To put that into perspective it’s just one short of what Alain Prost and Ayrton Senna managed….combined.
Perhaps they were just irritated when he continuously won races when no one could touch him. Motorsport failed to produce drivers which were capable of defeating him. Was that his fault? No, he was simply too good.
His return is in one word ‘spectacular.’ We can now see him go wheel to wheel with the new generation of young talent such as Lewis Hamilton, Sebastian Vettel and Nico Rosberg. As sporting comebacks go it has to be up there among the very best.
Schumacher is my sporting hero-not because he was a winner. Far from it. It was the way in which he achieved what he did that gained my utmost respect.
Thankfully his presence hasn’t hogged the limelight, and I say that because Formula One is more than capable of making stories without his involvement.
*Listening to Rhett Miller – Question *
Aren’t you glad this season’s over with? Barring the lottery though of course, consisting of Steve’s Cardiff (probably) going up and any one of four from the top please, Rachel – of League One. The general concesus is that this season has been exciting. And it has. Sort of. The same way that Total Wipeout is. Low on quality but some cheap thrills due to the ineptitude of others.
Norwich 1 – 7 Colchester for example.
But it has been a season where Darren Fletcher makes the Team of the Year. Many appreciate him, I am not one I have to add, but few could argue- convincingly- that he is a star. Or anything that resembles a star. I can’t imagine any kids on the playground appreciate being given the name Fletch when playing as Utd.
Wigan have done their bit though, providing us with scores that, in rugby terms if not football, were pretty close. Only an unconverted try and penalty behind Chelsea, fellas. Not many teams can have had their opponents goals scored written out in letters more times than Martinez’s somehow-still-merry men.
They have to be team of the season, and Martinez manager for somehow retaining his job despite these hammerings. This a close run award with Rafa, nearly achieving that impossible Football Manager task of finishing in the bottom half with a top-four club and not getting sacked.
*Listening To Death Of Death of Dicotheque – Forcefield*
I feel to describe a race report as the addendum for the weekend seems bizarre, but reminded that it is Barcelona that we are observing- or an extended test session- it’s apt.
And after the first quarter that provided a few thrills in the first lap but little else of note led to the initial round of pit-stops. This resulted in a few jolts of interest – Schumacher overtaking Button, which would shape the rest of his afternoon; and a minor scrap- as in one corner scrap- between Vettel and Hamilton where a Virgin made it’s only meaningful contribution to the season by hampering Hamilton’s exit into turn one, almost allowing Vettel through.
Unfortunately, with the slower teams not apparently gaining any pace, excepting Lotus- with the excellent Mike Gascoyne directing their technical team- and with the rain-laden first few races a mere memory, it is becoming all too clear how their presence is becoming a hindrance to the faster cars.
The rest of the race was uneventful, aside from Vettel taking some off-track excursions thanks to brake trouble; and Hamilton’s abrupt exit via a tyre puncture.
The cynical among us might attribute that to his tyre-management abilities.
*Listening to Joy Division – Unknown Pleasures*
So we reach the first European leg of the F1 season, at the perennial testing haunt, well, until testing got practically banned of course, of the Circuit De Catalunya. With practically every team bringing updates (with the exception of HRT), this two-part overview shall no doubt discuss whether the additions to the cars have helped the teams in anyway, shape or form.
Starting with Schumacher. Who appears to have had the car tailored to his desires. Finally. Outperforming Rosberg in both the Friday practice sessions, it would have been naive to think this wouldn’t have happened, it was merely a question of when. Red Bull were also quick in practice (topping P2&3), along with Hamilton who topped the first session.
I decided to preface watching today’s qualifying by watching the 1994 highlights. The US GP of 2005 could have consulted this archive footage for ideas with its tyre chicane imposed upon the back straight. It was rather bizarre to see young David Coulthard, Michael Schumacher and Eddie Jordan on the screen, as well as seeing old Mark Blundell when tuning into the actual F1 coverage.
*Listening to Breaks Co-Op – The Otherside*
John Higgins-gate isn’t the only thing bring sport into disrepute this weekend, the disagreement in the ‘camp’ of the ECB Unicorns is right up there.
For those who don’t know, which will be most if not all, The Unicorns are a making-up-the-numbers side of out-of-contract cricketers taking Ireland’s declined place in the Clydesdale Bank 40 this season. And they’re unpaid but for expenses. The footballing equivalent would be say, Bury saying they’re declining to play in the Carling Cup and the FA selecting 20 or so released youngsters and seasoned pros to take their place.
They’re giving people who supposedly love the game a chance to play first-class cricket when they wouldn’t normally have, such as it goes when you’re without a county. A good thing for cricketers, experience for the young’uns and shop-windowing yourself at the same time.
Well apparently not. Two of the Unicorns, Carl Greenidge and Dave Burton are insisting on being paid. Because they’re missing out on the money they would have earned playing for nobody of note?