Schuey reminded us all of his superb racecraft and also how exciting wheel to wheel F1 racing can be (particularly before DRS and its easy and essentially skilless overtaking was introduced into F1).
Schuey passed a sleeping Hamilton after the safety car restart and maintained his position ahead of the McLaren for a number of laps. Demonstrating his experience, knowledge of the Monza circuit and excellent racecraft, he took lines and placed his car perfectly to prevent an overtake by Hamilton.
FIA regulations state a driver can move once to defend his position – and this is what Schuey did – then retaking the racing line into corners. The legitamteness of his moves is clearly demonstrated as he received no penalty or call to the stewards.
The complaints from Hamilton on his team radio smack of “gaming” to try to induce the (listening) stewards into penalising Schumacher, since Hamilton could not find a way past him on the track. For a racing driver who likes to compare himself to Senna, this is embarassing.
What we saw was close racing between two different generations of driver, something Schuey and Hamilton fans alike have been waiting to see since Schuey’s return. The question – what would have happened if these two had been racing in the same era? Perhaps the tussle at Monza is one of the best indications we will ever see. Although Hamilton likes to see himself as an aggressive driver and tough overtaker in the mould of Senna, he was clearly bettered by Michael. His moaning on the radio only weakens the image he tries to portray.
It will probably come as no surprise to those who watched the BBC TV feed that Martin Brundle and David Coulthard pounced on the opportunity to criticise Michael. Rather than marvel at an exciting wheel to wheel battle (one of the most interesting we have seen for a long time in F1), their focus was on looking for fault in Michael’s driving. Perhaps if they had driven harder (something both Hamilton and Schumacher do) they might have gotten closer to a world championship? Brundle even went and asked Charlie Whiting if the stewards can propose a penalty without waiting for the FIA to suggest an investigation. Coulthard even pulled out the FIA regulations manual mid-race and started reading it aloud (asking co-commentator Brundle to keep his eye on the track while he was reading)! The sour grapes from these two drivers who were throughly bettered by Schuey during their time racing against him never seem to go away. He can only hope neither are never invited to be the fourth steward while he is racing (the outcome would be inevitable, as it was when Damon Hill was in that position at Monaco 2010).