This is what he writes about Michael Schumacher in an article about Renault Clio Sport, for which Fernando Alonso campaigned. I haven't modified anything in the article, its produced 'as is', using the one tool that I know how best to use - Ctrl - C, Ctrl - V.
"Even though Fernando Alonso, the mono-browed young fish-nicker, did not acquit himself well this year(2006), endlessly complaining about how the team wasn’t treating him properly and how the stewards were fixing races in Michael Schumacher’s favour, I did feel rather sorry for him as the grand prix circus reached its ear-splitting climax in Brazil.
First of all, he was beaten in the race by Felipe Massa, who behaved as though he’d been wired up to the national grid. And because he was a Brazilian, in Brazil, the Brazilian television director decided that the fish-nicker should be largely ignored.
To make matters worse, this had been Michael Schumacher’s final race before he headed off to Switzerland with nothing but his dogs and his chin for company. And that’s all anyone was talking about. Not Fernando’s second world championship, but what life might be like in F1 without the Hun.
Boring, I reckon, though not everyone agrees.
Martin Brundle, the F1 commentator, said recently that he struggles to think of any great Schumacher overtaking moves. Really? Well what about that last race, when he went from last place to fourth? What about the way he drove so aggressively he frightened Giancarlo Fisichella not just out of his way but clean off the track?
And what about the time at Silverstone when he was stuck behind Damon Hill? For lap after lap, on the approach to one particular corner he drove on the wrong side of the track, cleaning away all the dust and the marbles, so that when he finally made his move he had all the grip in the world. (This was his level of technical brilliance!)
That was the great thing about Schumacher’s racing — he used intelligence. Ross Brawn, his technical director at Ferrari, said that even when he was on a hot lap, he could converse about clouds on the back side of the circuit and whether they might bring rain, whereas other drivers could only ever grunt.
Then you had the time when he finished second despite being stuck for half the race in fifth gear, and the Spanish Grand Prix in 1996 when, in torrential rain, he lapped almost the entire field. Sometimes he must have thought that he was the only human in a field made up entirely of incompetent playboy blind people.
Ah yes, say the detractors, but what about the times when Schumacher has been most unsportsmanlike? Stirling Moss says the German’s career will always be blighted by the way he parked his car on the circuit at this year's(2006) Monaco Grand Prix.
I’m sorry. Am I hearing this straight? Because I fail to see the difference between this and the sledging that goes on in cricket, or the punching in a rugby scrum.
The mere fact that Michael actually thought to park his car, and therefore bring out the yellow flags and thus prevent anyone from qualifying faster than him, shows yet again that he’s more intelligent than anyone else out there.
When I first met him, way back in the days when he had a mullet and he was racing for Benetton, he was a shocker. Ford, his employer at the time, had asked him to road test a
Mustang for Top Gear, so he did, coming out of the pit garage at Silverstone, getting into the car, and refusing to put a microphone on. The reason for this became clear shortly afterwards, since he also refused to speak.
But then many years later, while making a show called Speed, we contacted Schumacher to ask for written permission to show some of his so-called unsportsmanlike moves over the years, and he agreed. He had mellowed.
Sort of. Because I will never forget his final race in Brazil, and that extraordinary charge from last to fourth place. Can anyone think of any other driver out there now who would have the skill and the aggression, and the determination, to do that? I can’t.
Losing Michael from Formula One is not like losing your arm or leg. It’s like losing your torso. It’s like removing America from the world map and hoping that somehow Spain can fill the void.
It’s another reason why I feel sorry for Fernando. Not only was he largely ignored as he won his second championship, but he had to go home knowing that next year the best Formula One driver in the world will be sitting at home in Switzerland." (By Jeremy Clarkson)
Well, seems like we are not the only ones whose thoughts about Michael 'divine' Schumacher match!