An overtake, controversy and a punishment – Schumacher’s back!

People have been complaining for the past few weeks that Michael Schumacher’s return to Formula 1 has been disappointing and that the seven-times world champion has lost his way.

Now although he hasn’t been up to his championship winning standard lately, I’ve completely disagreed with these views. I think he’s put in solid performances, with a car that’s not fully up to scratch and a body that’s not a physically fit as it was.

But today I think we can all agree that Michael Schumacher has indeed returned. I’ve never known a driver to be as wiley as Schumi, nor cause as much controversy with the rules. Today he did both those things.

The last three laps of the 2010 Monaco Grand Prix were held under the safety car. All except the last corner. That’s right, for reason’s known only to Charlie Whiteing, the safety car peeled off at this point and the track was supposedly clear. Schumacher took advantage and sneakily got his car in front of Fernando Alonso, taking the Spaniard’s position.

Now I saw this as a very smart move and saw nothing wrong with it. Michael waited until after the safety car line, from which you SHOULD be able to overtake.

However, it seems in a little known rule, this isn’t allowed of it’s the end of the race, don’t ask me why because I don’t really understand. I also don’t understand why the marshalls were waving green flags at this point if it wasn’t supposed to be clear racing. But apparently it wasn’t and Schumacher was docked 20 seconds, knocking him (in my opinion unfairly) out of the points.

As far as I can tell the fans were the only people robbed today. We see an extremely clever opportunistic move by a driver and as a reward they get docked positions. The rules are poorly written, poorly interpreted and it seems even the on-track marshalls weren’t sure of the situation. And it’s not the first time the FIA have penalised for an overtaking move, I remember a few years ago JP Montoya and later Lewis Hamilton often got penalised for their creative moves. It’s as if they don’t want overtaking in their sport.

It’s a complete disgrace and something I thought the FIA had moved past.

OK, so some people will think I’m over-reacting, but for me this incident sums up everything wrong with F1. There’s too many vague rules, too many poor controversial situations and (I say this as a Ferrari fan) too much Ferrari bias… maybe they should’ve formed that break-away series…

But as I said at the start of this article, we saw a creative move, some stupid controversy and a penalty (that’ll probably be appealed against) at the end of it… yep, Schumi’s back!

… oh and by the way, congrats to mark Webber on an impeccable drive!

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