I may be alone, but Schumacher’s squeeze on Barrichello at the weekend was ruthless, aggressive, gritty and beautiful all at the same time. I kinda liked it… a lot.

It was Senna-esque; a replica of Prost running out of road on the Portuguese pit straight in 1988 with Ayrton pressing him up against the wall. Both Alain and Rubens made the moves stick, and though they’d never admit it, probably made them ultimately more satisfying.

After the race Barrichello spoke of Michael trying to bring the past to the present – presumably alluding to the late Eighties – and I’m glad he did. It was easily the most interesting part of the weekend yet Schumi has been universally vilified by the press, who’ve been trying to sully his record since the start of the season.

The accident could’ve been big, no doubt, but a serious injury in F1 is a freak event like Massa’s last year.

The cars have now reached a safety level where a racing incident is no more serious then the hefty price of a new chassis and still the FIA and drivers press on with regulations that would make the sport virtually risk-averse.

Come on guys, there has to be an element of danger. If Fernando’s being paid £100k a day, you’d expect him to put his manhood on the line every once in a while.

F1’s culture has changed so much that every on-track battle is scrutinised (and usually penalised) by the stewards, whose bs rulings mean grid relegation, arbitrary time penalties and meaningless fines. Is it any wonder why the scrapping has become so tame?

Schumacher bridges the two grand prix eras and polarises contemporary fans, commentators and peers. What can’t be denied is that his will to win and his stay-in-front-by-any-means attitude has not faded.

He may have lost speed, but without him all we’d talk about for the next 4 weeks is a well-timed safety car for Mark Webber and Jenson Bunsen losing grip. Every soap opera needs its villain… don’t you think?

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