“Just When I Thought I Was Out, They Pull Me Back In” this is a line of a famous american film (The Godfather III) that suits perfectly to Michael’s situation.
Why he came back? The answer is simple, this is by far one of the best era to be a racing driver and I will mention just a few points to demonstrate it.
- Salaries: Although we all know Schumacher didn’t came back just for money it does help a bit to make the decision when something extra is offered due to all the benefits that a 7 time world champion will bring to a new team, just to mention a couple, experience and our next point, commercial endorsements.
- Commercial endorsement: now more than ever drivers are getting more and more attention from worldwide brands and organizations who are willing to pay them big amount of money to use the driver popularity as a trampoline to get publicity, launch a new campaign etc. In the past years there have been some debate regarding this point, because many fans of the sport and press are saying that some drivers buy their way to an f1 team not because of their talent but to their or agent ability to get big endorsements from some companies out there.
- Safety Improvements Driving an F1 car has always been a risky thing, this is why the majority of the drivers are always very young. However the security measures taken by the FIA along with the F1 Drivers Association and the F1 itself, have prove to improve drivers and fans’ safety. Since 1994 the F1 hasn’t experienced an accident with fatalities. A driver like Schumacher who have nothing to prove will think twice before coming back due to the risk you put yourself into when driving an F1 car, however, I really think that this last statistic came into his mind when taking the decision. Although this is a good number I still maintain that the F1 should take a quick action to make sure flying objects in the track do not represent a threat to driver and in consequence to any of the spectators.
- Drivers who have reached certain level have more power to decide: When you talk about a driver like Schumcher you know you will have many people who will like to endorse him and the team, also you will have employees who will do whatever it takes to work with such a legendary driver. Therefore if you are Schumcher you will probably have a list of company to choose from and also conditionate your participation to work with the engineer or mechanics of your preference.
- That is what he does best and he is still fitted for the job: most of the people (mainly the ones who really hate what they do for living :P) are always looking forward to the day of their retirement. When Michael Schumacher took the decision to retire from F1 he may have felt like this, and considered to hang the towel and go to his farm and spend quality time with his family. For a person who have had such an agitated life for the past 16 years it is more difficult than a normal person to accept his new reality and go with it. On top of that we all know Michael Schumacher love his profession and most important was very good at it.
- Driving for what we can call a national team: Not always the best team to drive for is the most competitive one, sometimes when you have the option (like Michael) you could choose who to drive for. In this case I think Michael felt very comfortable with the idea of driving for a “national team”. Is like when Fernando Alonso opted to go back to Renault where he already knew the team and its way of work instead of staying at Mclaren that has always been a top team but, where he felt very uncomfortable.