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Will Michael Schumacher Retire?
By David Nguyen

Ok, I know the rumor mill is already on overdrive about whether or not Michael Schumacher is going to retire or not at the end of the year. You know what I think? I think he will retire after the 2006 season - or at least take a sabbatical.

Here's why. First, while he's still super competitive he's 37. Most great drivers stopped after that age. Or at least stopped being great drivers after that age. Second, his team at Ferrari have been with him over 10 years. Sooner or later great teams have personnel changes. The time is sooner rather than later, and he won't want to risk continuing with a team that may not be as good. Finally, and this is pure speculation, with a young family I think that his wife would prefer that he call it a day. And while he could go on, his wife's view is certainly weighing on his mind.

Now, here are the signs of why he's decided to retire. When you look at his performance at the last few races he's been super competitive but made a bunch of mistakes. At Hungaroring he threw away a bunch of points by insisting on racing on the ragged edge til the very end with de la Rosa and Heidfeld when his title rival was already out. Of course that's why champions are champions, but there comes a time to look at the bigger picture. Instead, he was lucky to leave with one point.

At the next race in Turkey he gave back a few points to Fernando Alonso largely by going wide at a very fast lefthander. He lost 4 seconds that he almost made up, but finished a split second behind Alonso.

The reason he is driving like that, natural competitiveness aside, is because he wants to go out on top. He knows he's going to retire and he desperately wants that 8th World Championship and to show that he can still beat Alonso AND everyone else. That's why I think Schumacher will retire after this season. Time will tell if I'm right.

Posted September 5, 2006

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