Michael Schumacher insists there
are no doubts about his presence on
the Formula 1 grid in 2012, the
German dismissing the latest round
of rumors that he will have to make
way at Mercedes Grand Prix.
The 42-year-old has endured
another disappointing 2011 season,
with his Mercedes car not proving
competitive enough to fight for
podiums or victories and the German
being thwarted by a series of
incidents in the races. That has
kicked off speculation about the
seven-time champion’s future,
despite his still being under contract
for next year. Schumacher answered
such talk unequivocally, however.
“Despite some funny rumors and
stupid, untruthful stories, I keep
repeating myself that you will have to
see me in 2012, whether you like it or
don’t like it,” Schumacher declared.
He added: “I’m still fit enough.
I’m still mentally ready for it. And I
like a challenge.”
SCHUEY IN FOR
THE LONG HAUL
Seven-time champ insists
he’s not going anywhere
“THE FIGURES, FUMES AND
FEELINGS EVOKED WILL
TAKE YOUR BREATH AWAY”
Don’t you hate it when someone
assures you “there’s nothing like
it” in order to sell you a product,
concept or experience and it
turns out to be something that
leaves you with a seen-it-all-before feeling? Well, when we
assure you there’s nothing like
an NHRA Top Fuel or Funny Car
race, we mean it, hand on
fibrillating heart. If you’ve never
been, we urge you to rectify that.
Just to whet your appetite,
check out our Nitro Special
(starts p. 41) which gives a
unique insight into this
crazy-loud world of drama. The
figures, fumes and feelings
evoked will take your breath
away. Yet the paddock at an
NHRA event is one of the most
open and friendly you could
dream of, with drivers easily
accessible to all. In fact, you
could almost believe these men
and women are just like you
and I…until you see them doing
their day job.
Similarly, there can’t be
many (any?) people who watch
Lewis Hamilton in action who
could honestly say, “Yeah, I
could do that.” But in 2011, the
frustrations of trying to beat the
Red Bulls each year with an
underdeveloped McLaren seemed
to get to him. In between bouts
of peerless brilliance, there were
moments of recklessness.
Thankfully, the former trait has
become predominant again.
However, as is revealed this
month, he won’t stay at his
spiritual home forever if McLaren
can’t present him with a genuine
chance of beating Sebastian Vettel.
Hamilton’s counterpart in
IndyCar, at least in terms of
sheer pace, is Will Power. But
whereas Lewis at least has one
championship to his name, Will
is still seeking his first. The
Aussie has had his Team Penske
teammates tucked up nicely for a
couple years now, but Chip
Ganassi Racing’s three-time
champion Dario Franchitti has a
near-genius ability to stay out of
trouble, push when he can and
bank points when he must.
CONNECT WITH US!
2011 frustrations haven’t dimmed his
enthusiasm for ’ 12, Schumacher says.
AUSTIN: THE LATER THE BETTER
2012 USGP endorses proposed shift to November
Bernie Ecclestone circulated a new
version of the 2012 F1 calendar that
would move the inaugural race at the
Circuit of the Americas in Austin, Texas,
from June 17 to Nov. 18. The teams
expressed concern that the suggested
calendar has seven races at the end of
the season in just 10 weekends and
back-to-back events in Japan/Korea,
Abu Dhabi/Bahrain and the U.S./Brazil.
However, FIA approval of the revisions
is considered all but a certainty.
That would be just fine with officials
of both the Austin circuit and the city
council, who had expressed concerns
about the 100-plus degree weather
that a June race would likely face.
“I have been hoping for a late-season race date since this project
began and see this as a very positive
sign from Formula 1 that it wants its
U.S. event to be an over-the-top
success,” said USGP chairman Tavo
Hellmund. “To put our race near the
end of the schedule puts us in a prime
spot to welcome the world next year.”
Austin’s Circuit of the Americas remains a work in progress, but the USGP organizers indicated Bernie Ecclestone’s wishes coincide completely with their own.