Yes, I revived my old Friendster blog here in blogger. It's been ages since I wrote in that blog and if I remember correctly, the last entry was in 2006 when Schumi retired from Formula One. It's been a loooong time right? So I thought, wouldn't it be nice to start this blog with something about Michael again. :)
Well, it was Michael's 20th anniversary weekend in Spa last weekend and I believe it has been one of his best races since his comeback in 2010. It was full of highs and lows, and wonderfully, it ended with a high. After a 3 week break, Formula One came back to action at Spa-Francorchamps. Michael actually debuted in F1 last August 25, 1991 in Spa and 20 years later, who would have thought that Michael would be back in Spa and still racing in F1! The race weekend started perfectly with Michael topping the time sheets during Free Practice 1, benefiting from the famous unpredictable Spa weather. It was the first time that Michael topped an official timed session since his comeback. However, during Saturday's qualifying session, Michael's luck seemed to have turned against him. Due to a loose wheel nut, Michael lost his right rear tire after Eau Rouge (luckily), crashed and hit the barriers. This happened during his outlap in Q3 which meant that his qualifying is over and would be starting his 20th anniversary race at the very back of the grid. It was really a disappointing moment, but Michael, being the great team player that he has always been, said that there was no one to blame because he knows that everyone was just human and can mistakes.
And so Sunday raceday arrived, with the sun finally shining down on the circuit. Michael said that he woke up feeling good. He was motivated to have a good race infront of his family, friends and fans. He mentioned that Corinna was also there to wish him luck and told him that this race would turn out to be a good race. And man! She was sooo right! Michael had a blistering start gaining 9 places in the first lap, a further 2 places after the second lap. He started on the prime tires because according to him and Ross "they want that stint to get out of the way." And so after lap 5, with Michael in 13th place, he pitted to take on the softer compound tires. This was probably done so as him not to lose too much time against the other front runners because the softer tires were really about a second faster than the hard compound tires.
Michael also benefited a lot from the SC period after Hamilton crashed with Koba. He was able to close the 10 second gap between him and the front runners, and was also able to pit to change to a fresh set of softs. From then on, Michael continued his uphill charge to finally catch Nico on the last stages of the race. With Nico on the harder compound during the last stint and Michael on fresh soft tires, Michael was able to catch Nico about a second a lap and finally overtook his teammate with 3 laps to go to finally finish 5th. All in all, Michael gained a total of 19 positions from his starting place! Incredible! This really has been one of his best dry races since his comeback and it couldn't have come any better than during his 20th anniversary race in his favorite Spa-Francorchamps circuit.
It was a fantastic weekend for Michael, his family, friends and fans. The old guy proved that he really still has IT. Well, Michael, we never really doubted your ability and dedication to the sport. So Michael, thank you for 20 glorious years in Formula One and we are looking forward to seeing you race for more!