Schumi fans have been frustrated this season due to the absurd amount of bad luck Michael has so far for the 2012 season. He has got more DNFs in the first 5 races than race finishes. And what makes it more frustrating is that we can see that the potential to finish strong is always there, but sadly, the gremlins were always there as well.
But last Saturday in Monaco, I got reminded once again why I am and still a Schumi fan. With everything that has happened this season for Schumi, it was no doubt that all odds are against him to do well during the weekend. In fact, he has been handed a 5 place grid penalty before the weekend has even started. The bad luck can't wait for the weekend to start, it actually went ahead of Michael and got there before him. And so as Michael said, he has nothing left to do but to attack and get pole during the qualifying. I knew deep inside that Michael will really fight till the end and do his best to get the best grid position he can. Monaco always leveled the playing field in modern F1 cars today due to the nature of the track and because of this, I always believe that the driver's skills are a bigger factor in this track among any other race tracks in the F1calendar.
Michael was one of the last ones to go out in Q3 and that meant that it was a pole or nothing lap for him. The moment that he crossed the finish line and the red number 1 appeared beside his time and name gave absolute joy to me and I believe, to millions of Schumi fans out there. I can't describe the feeling. It was mixed joy and relief and then more jubilation again. I was just so glad to see Michael get a very good result and to see him so happy was a great feeling as well. His critics were silenced and his co-drivers acknowledged his great drive to get the pole. It was an awesome feeling to see him sit in the middle of the press conference table. After all the criticisms and the let downs since his comeback, his Monaco pole just erased all that and made all the hard work worth it. It was a great result to boost his confidence. I know he is motivated than ever, but if the great results just never come despite all the hard work, no doubt frustration will set in eventually. The pole made me so happy I actually got teary-eyed seeing Schumi wave to the crowd after the lap. It was as if we were back to the good ol' days. It was a happy feeling and it is the reason I watch F1 more intently whenever Schumi is racing. It is the reason I stay a Schumi fan because I relish every Schumi moment like this.
The race turned out to be what Michael's season has been for 2012. Another DNF. But it wasn't as bad as before as I believe the highlight of the weekend for Michael was the pole. Sure, it would have been so much better to finish the race in the podium, but it seems that it is not yet his time. Slowly but surely, Michael's luck in the race will turn and his podium and win will come. But right now, his pole in Monaco is the best part of the season for him so far.
Michael's comeback has not been what we have envisioned it to be. We thought he would have a win or at least a podium around this time when he is in his last year of his contract. With the bad races, the DNFs, the racing incidents that have happened since his return, it is so much easy to put the guy down and root for another driver or team. But that is just not the case for the true Schumi fans. These bad times separates the true fan from the bandwagoner.
Canada is just 7 days away and this time last year, Michael almost had his best finish in his comeback career. No doubt we, Schumi loyalists, will once again put the last bad race away and look forward to the start of the Grand Prix weekend with anticipation that Michael will finally get a break from his spell of bad luck. You may ask why we never tire of supporting when he never gets a good result. I say, it is in these times that we should stand by him whatever happens because if we are not there for him, who else will be?