Mendoza: Schumacher just can’t shake off F1 speed

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By Al S. Mendoza

All Write

Friday, January 3, 2014


SPEED that runs in his veins since he was a child has made Michael Schumacher a seven-time winner of the Formula One. No one before him has achieved that feat; no one will in this era.

It is this addiction for speed that sends Schumacher to an almost yearly ritual of skiing in the French Alps, where he crashed this week and is now in critical condition due to head injuries after banging his head against a rock.

Even when he retired the first time from F1 in 2006, Schumacher has not lost, never lost, his love for speed.

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On his way one time to the airport on board a taxi, Schumacher, already out of F1 action, ordered a cabbie to step aside and took the driver’s seat.

He was running late and he might miss his plane.

He flew through traffic, zooming and squeezing through the smallest of openings.

“He missed hitting many vehicles by inches,” the cabbie later said. “He gave me a tip that was almost the equivalent of my week’s pay. But the thrill of being his passenger was what made the experience totally memorable.”

Not long after he left Ferrari in 2006, Schumacher took up motorcycle racing. He quit the sport after he broke his neck in a crash in 2009—only to return to F1.

But, like in virtually all disciplines, age also plays a major factor in Formula One.

Way past the age of F1 racing, Schumacher has lost his sting and couldn’t match up with the younger ones. Many have questioned his decision to come back. But, like many legends like him, he refused to heed the counsel of Father Time. He won’t stop skiing at breakneck speed as well.

How many have suffered cruel fates due to speed addiction?

Mike Hawthorne retired in October 1958 after becoming Britain’s first F1 champion. Months later, he died after crashing his Jaguar into a tree. Speed.

Briton Mike Hailwood died in a 1981 collision after retiring from F1 in the 1970s. Speed.

French ex-Ferrari driver Didier Pironi was killed in 1987 while racing a powerboat. Speed.

Why is Schumacher, who turns 45 today, fighting for his dear life? Speed.

All addictions are harmful, hurtful, and can be fatal even.

(alsol47@yahoo.com)

Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 04, 2014.

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