Sunday - a big day for Michael?

Michael Schumacher, Turkish GP 2006

Michael Schumacher, Turkish GP 2006 

 © The Cahier Archive

We suggested a month ago that Michael Schumacher was on the verge of retiring and while that suggestion was knocked down by a number of sources at the time, there is now increasing speculation that Schumacher will announce his retirement at the Italian Grand Prix this weekend. In Germany Bild-Zeitung is reporting that Schumacher will break the news on Sunday afternoon in the post-race press conference, if he finishes in the top three. If not there will be a Ferrari announcement that evening.

There is no doubt that Schumacher is not racing with the same concentration that we have grown used to seeing in the course of the last 15 years, despite the fact that the World Championship is up for grabs. Schumacher made a stupid mistake in qualifying in Hungary and paid for it with a penalty that dropped him to 11th on the grid. In the race his driving ability was as brilliant as ever, but his strategic thinking went to pieces in the final laps of the race as he threw away points on a day when rival Fernando Alonso was out of the race by battling to try to hold on to second place, despite the fact that his tyres were shot. As a result he crashed into Nick Heidfeld and failed to finish, only picking up a point by sheer good fortune when Robert Kubica was disqualified.

In Turkey he made another mistake which probably cost him the race when he ran wide while chasing Fernando Alonso for second place. Without that error Michael would have been able to get ahead of Alonso at the pit stops and would almost certainly have won the race as Felipe Massa would have allowed him to overtake because it was in the best interests of the team (and Massa's future career) to do that.

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