With news minimal about Michael Schumacher as he remains hospitalized following his ski injury, we thought it appropriate in the run up to the Australian Grand Prix to relive the good moments when discussing the seven-time World Champion instead.
Schumacher is one of only two four-time winners of the race in its history; Lex Davison, the other four-time winner, won the event when it was not a part of the championship.
And so this year marks the 10-year anniversary of Schumacher’s fourth and final win at Albert Park in Melbourne. He also won three straight years from 2000 to 2002.
Schumacher’s 2004 win was one of his most dominant. He completed the “grand slam,” winning pole position, leading every one of the 58 laps and setting the fastest lap in the process.
The win over teammate Rubens Barrichello in the Ferrari F2004 was Schumacher’s first of what would be a record-setting 13 victories in that 2004 season, also the year he won the last of his seven titles.
The start, then, of what became a record-setting campaign is above.
Lewis Hamilton believes that this weekend’s Abu Dhabi Grand Prix will be remembered as the last race with good-looking Formula 1 cars ahead of the introduction of the ‘Halo’ cockpit protection for next year.
Officials from the FIA and F1 Strategy Group confirmed earlier this year that the Halo would be fitted to all cars from the 2018 season in a bid to improve safety standards, with the deaths of Justin Wilson and Jules Bianchi putting head protection high on the agenda for the series’ chiefs.
Hamilton has long made his opposition to the Halo clear, believing it will ruin the look of F1 cars, and echoed his thoughts ahead of the final Halo-less race in Abu Dhabi this weekend.
“It’s the last year of looking good I think in the cars. It’s the last race where the cars will look good,” Hamilton said.
“I think next year, it’s all downhill from there in terms of how they look.
“But safety will go up at least, and maybe it could be successful in some way.”
Hamilton’s F1 title rival Sebastian Vettel was less bothered about the change, believing the field will adjust and move on.
“The cars will look different next year. Everything I’ve seen so far looks different, but on the other hand it is something we all get used to,” Vettel said.
“But no doubt the cars look better now, but we’ll get used to it, and we’ll work on the aesthetics so it can be better. It is less of a big deal.”
Red Bull’s Daniel Ricciardo shared Vettel’s view, saying: “I don’t think it’s gonna be as dramatic as most people make it out to be.”