Anybody who has ever known me inside the realm of F1 has known two things. First, Ferrari is my life blood hands down. Secondly, Michael Schumacher is not only a hero to me but is an idol who has nearly reached godly status. So here we sit in the middle of the Formula 1 silly season and I have reached an impasse of sorts as things unfold.
Speculation is always something that exists inside the paddock for the F1 circus, but when you bring arguably the greatest racing driver of all time into the speculation, it tends to turn a few heads and stop the planet from revolving. With news that Michael Schumacher may come back to run with Mercedes Grand Prix and leave my beloved Scuderia, I find myself torn on my allegiance for the first time in a long time. One could easily say that I have already stated Ferrari is my life blood, and you cannot disagree that point. However, Michael Schumacher had a huge part in my becoming a Ferrari fan. I am not a fan because he won 7 championships. I am a fan because Michael demonstrated one of the strongest work ethics I have seen in professional sports. I was originally a McLaren Mercedes fan until David Coulthard jumped the start in the USGP. I watched week in and week out as Michael, Ross, and the whole gang squeezed every ounce of performance from the once struggling Ferrari and take victories. The first ones into the garage and the last ones out made for a very special run for the Italian marquee. I cried the day that Michael was forced from the car in favor of Kimi Raikkonen, and then watched in horror as the “Flying Finn” dismantled all the remained of the team I loved. Yet still I would cheer for Ferrari, Kimi, and Felipe. Now Fernando Alonso and Felipe look to restore glory to the team who was downright embarrassed during the 2009 campaign.
The serious problem is the fact that the more speculation that surfaces and the refusal of both Mercedes and Schumi to put it to rest, the more I find myself hoping that it happens. I also see that I am questioning my prior allegiance to the team I bleed for. The way they treated Schumacher in the dying days of his first career and the way they continue to treat him as of last year’s season start. Do I jump ship for Michael and his ethics and commitment to be the best every lap, or do I stick with my team who has the talent and equipment to rebound and return to glory. Do I want to take the chance of being labeled a fair weather fan? All questions that I will have to answer if the legend returns. I am willing to take feedback from anybody who has been put in this position before or is going through the same situation.