How Germany’s Max Verstappen may be the Michael Schumacher of F1

Written by Staff Writer by Written by Staff Writer by CNN Sport Ever since Michael Schumacher left Formula One at the end of the 2012 season, rumors have run rampant about his health. Given…

How Germany's Max Verstappen may be the Michael Schumacher of F1


Written by Staff Writer by Written by Staff Writer by CNN Sport

Ever since Michael Schumacher left Formula One at the end of the 2012 season, rumors have run rampant about his health.

Given the strength of Schumacher’s fans and the intensity of his careers — he won 91 of his 91 races — it’s difficult to be sure if Schumacher remains alive.

On the evidence of Schumacher’s most recent health scare, however, there is little doubt that he is fighting. While many blame the feckless inattention of his peers for Schumacher’s accident, few have publicly dared to question his life-saving treatment.

A recent feature in German cycling magazine, Rising, by Formula One’s current title holder, champion of the young F1 drivers’ title and possibly the most promising young talent since Schumacher himself, Max Verstappen, once again brought speculation surrounding the legend to the fore.

The 20-year-old Dutchman wrote, in a tale told from his astonishing driver’s seat, that he was not Schumacher but rather a precocious and life-long “trendsetter.”

The professional statusist media: What you don’t see, you don’t understand

In the article, Verstappen wrote of how “after 24 years of my life, I finally have my dream,” referring to his world championship. And it was clear that Verstappen had strong feelings about the sort of racing Schumacher had to offer.

“Michael Schumacher had an unbeatable smile,” Verstappen wrote. “His winning smile, his reserved smile, or even the cheeky smile… I always knew him as a smiling guy.”

He said that “even for a guy his age, Michael was an amazing entertainer in my eyes.”

He added that Schumacher “didn’t have that factored into the racing.”

In 2012, but now 2015, Verstappen says he would have insisted on every detail of the 2009 Hungarian Grand Prix race track during their drive that day.

“Instead I told myself ‘come on, drive it to perfection!'”

*Updated on Nov. 7, 2021

Schumacher retiring

Twenty years after he made his debut, Michael Schumacher officially announced his retirement as a Formula One driver in 2013, penning a personal statement in his widely read German magazine essay “My Life and Times.” The announcement was immediately decried by many fans who believed that he was “retiring” from Formula One to run his race car business.

There was never any truth to the allegations, but no sooner had the revelation been made than the rumors took on a life of their own.

Schumacher admitted that during that initial spell out of the racing game, it took some time to re-adjust to the limits of the car’s capabilities, but soon found his talent returned and he left little doubt about his future in racing.

“I wanted to turn up as fast as I could in every race. When I was sitting in the car with the head down and ears perked up to the wall and heard the engine roar, I had to be absolutely alert or something crazy could happen,” he said.

“That’s why I always said that I had not ‘retired’ from Formula One, but that I ‘died’ from it.”

Schumacher, whose private life has been so often besmirched by fans and press that he has never had a flicker of off-field scandal, would always respond to legitimate criticism with bravado. “I never gave up anything,” he declared.

There is no suggestion that Verstappen has suffered from the distractions of a football, basketball or hockey career, nor is he doing anything he never wanted to do.

Leave a Comment