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Soup of This Day #5: Sir, Your Car is on Fire

May 29, 2011

Michael Schumacher
Michael Schumacher prior to a 2007 test run. He looks relaxed without a fire – Photo: Handler, 2007. Handler is not affiliated with Longworth72. Image cropped by Longworth72.

The Red Sox game at Detroit was washed out this morning, called after an hour and a half delay. Both teams have opted for a double header tomorrow. Terry Francona suggesting that it was the only viable option as taking up Thursday’s rest day would have meant 38 too many consecutive days of action. The starters for the games are as advertised, Buchholz and Beckett in that order. The weather is apparently looking sketchy again so apparently a return date after the All-Star is an option. The Sox got a fillip today anyway with the Yankees blowing their second in a row in Seattle. They had rallied to 4-4 in the 7th but lost it by a run in the 12th.

In football, Barcelona gave Man United a schooling in the Champion’s League final at Wembley. A goal to Pedrito for the Catalan giants on 27 was cancelled by a well-taken Rooney strike 7 minutes later. Messi took the lead back for good on 54 with an unstoppable effort from the edge of the area before feeding Villa for the final, curling, blow on 69. Messi was what Messi is, quite simply the best footballer in the world. Barcelona was what they are, the best club side in the world by some margin. Sir Alec Ferguson said post match that he felt ‘no-one has ever given us a hiding like that’. He also took umbrage at a reporter asking if he had a blank cheque, which Barca player would he sign. Sir’s response:

‘That’s one of the most stupid questions I’ve ever heard in my life… Javier Mascherano. You try my patience sometimes.’

This from former Liverpool holding midfielder, Javier Mascherano:

‘We are very happy. We beat a fantastic team but we’re happy because we played in the way we know how to play. It is very good to win the Champions League for any footballer. Also, Liverpool fans were a little bit sad after my exit so this is for them as well!’

Why, thank you Javier. Appreciate it.

Completing an ordinary weekend for arch rivals of this blog’s teams, West Coast got pantsed by Collingwood in the AFL today. Now admittedly no-one really likes Collingwood but the Eagles needed taking down a peg and if it has to be the Magpies then I’ll live with it. The Maggies by 105-53 at the final siren and the Eagles lead the Dockers by percentage at the bottom of the 8.

The racing lights will be out in Monaco and it will be go, go, go shortly. A street circuit that was never really designed for these cars, with 78 laps of twisty, concrete lined madness set to come. As pointed out earlier Seb Vettel on pole, Button 2nd and Webber 3rd. Lewis Hamilton penalised for cutting a chicane and knocked down to 9th. Watch for a risky pit strategy for him and some (gorilla) bananas overtaking. Michael Schumacher is a surprising 5th on the grid. Monaco has been a mixed bag for him over the years. He was penalised last year for an audacious overtake on the last corner under what was deemed to be a yellow flag. It was, arguably a tough and slightly pedantic call, unlike his stopping his car in Rascasse during qualifying in 2006, thus impeding Fernando Alonso’s tilt at pole. He paid on that occasion, starting from the back of the grid, the death knell for hopes in Monaco. For all that he has won Monaco 5 times. So putting aside all of the controversial things he has done (Twice seemingly deliberately colliding in an attempt to win the world title) and the fact that he has appeared as a shadow of his former self since returning from retirement I thought I’d share one of my favourite Michael Schumacher moments.

Sometime during the 2003 Austrian GP, May 18th at the A1 ring, Schumacher pulled his Ferrari in for a pit-stop. His car was refuelled and he took on fresh rubber. The tyres are irrelevant as it’s what happened as part of the refuelling process that’s the key for us here. As the refuelling rig nozzle was being retracted it caught fire. Flames could be seen around the nozzle and on the car behind the cockpit, over Schumi’s right shoulder. Quite possibly he could see the flames out of the corner of his eye or perhaps even feel the heat. He hardly moved, indeed, as his crew reacted with ridiculously quick reflexes to douse the fire with extinguishers, he almost seemed impatient. A stunning 20.4 seconds after the stop began and with the fire banished, the lollipop man lifted and Schumacher got back in the game, wiping retardant off his visor as he moved down the lane. Not just in the game to be fair, he actually won the game that day, finishing just over 3 seconds clear of Räikkönen. When the incident came to be discussed post race he dealt with it like it was a nothing moment. ‘I didn’t think it was an extremely dangerous situation. It was just a little fire,’ he said, before calmly adding, ‘I don’t know if you can call me a lucky man. I think I was unlucky to have the problem.’

He won the world title for 2003 from Räikkönen by just two points. It was his 6th of 7 so far.

One Comment
  1. Rain is really irritating our season this year…

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