Joe-Pinions: Sports

1 Aug 2010 – Grand Prix of Hungary Reaction (early)

Posted in Formula 1 by txtmstrjoe on 01/08/2010

I’m still quite incensed over the move that that piece of garbage Michael Schumacher pulled on ex-teammate Rubens Barrichello.

If you don’t know what happened, here it is:  

In my opinion, that is nothing short of criminal.  That is nowhere close to a legitimate defensive maneuver, especially in ultra high-speed open-wheeled racing cars.  You must have a serious lack of imagination if you, for any reason, believe that squeezing a competitor into the pit wall like that is above board.

What continues to baffle me, though, is how there are still people who admire this piece of shit Schumacher.  I don’t know how anyone can defend and justify behavior like that.  And it’s not like it’s a one-off for him.  It’s just the latest example of a pattern of behavior, one of his defining signatures as a racing driver.

Some people say nobody criticized Ayrton Senna because he was guilty of doing the same thing.  Well, guess what.  People like Jackie Stewart and Alain Prost criticized him; people like Nigel Roebuck criticized Senna.  Ask all my friends:  I criticized Senna for pulling that same kind of shit, called him a hypocrite for proclaiming how devout his religious beliefs were while he performed maneuvers like Estoril 1988 and Japan 1990.  I’ve been a fan of Formula One for at least a decade before Schumacher started his career in 1991, and I’ve never changed my tune all these years insofar as just how bad the standard of ethics and sporting values have become ever since Senna’s time as the leader of the pack.  People have criticized Senna, and people have criticized Schumacher.  The trouble is, nobody listened when they did, or they got shouted down for defending common sense and an appreciation for sporting values.

The governing body in charge of Formula One also bears some responsibility, since they partially legitimized Senna’s old tactics as well as Schumacher’s copying of them.  If they had sanctioned Senna all those years ago, who knows, maybe drivers would never have believed that such dangerous tactics were legitimate.  By not sanctioning Senna for his tactics (prior to Japan 1989, when he actually was sanctioned, even if I think Prost had at least some responsibility for what happened at the chicane at Suzuka), an entire generation of drivers grew up thinking that squeezing a competitor into the pit wall at racing speed is a legitimate tactic.  In effect, the FISA/FIA acted in the role of enablers to Senna and his successors.

I apologize if I offended anybody for using such harsh language in describing Michael Schumacher.  If anything, language, even foul, seems inadequate to express my loathing for the man and his behavior on a racetrack.  If you are an admirer of his, I have nothing more to say to you.

I cannot reach the intentionally blind and deaf, I think.

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