Michael Schumacher: The long goodbye
- Tanzanian student was not stripped, paraded naked: K'taka Home Minister
- National Herald case: Sonia, Rahul Gandhi move SC challenging Delhi HC order
- Budget session of Parliament to begin on Feb 23; Jaitley hopeful of GST
- Suspended UP chief engineer Yadav Singh arrested, Congress, BJP say probe links
- Will stand by Pakistan if it acts on terror: Rajnath Singh
Michael Schumacher's comeback was less than successful but it had its moments
Motivational speeches about life and second chances aside, second acts in sport rarely turn out well. For every Andre Agassi who redeemed his professional and personal reputation with his comeback, there's a Michael Jordan, a legend not quite tarnished by his misadventures on a baseball field following his first retirement, but one who certainly became more of a punchline after his third and final retirement from basketball. As Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix brought the curtains down on the 2012 Formula 1 season, it was clear that Michael Schumacher's second go-around was more Jordan than Agassi.
It was always going to be difficult for Schumacher to emulate his own staggering success. By the time he made his comeback in 2010, he was a (very fit) 41-year-old competing in a sport that seems to get younger each passing year. F1 tends to evolve quickly, and the sport had changed dramatically in the three years he had been away, after first retiring as a Ferrari driver in 2006. Expectations were nonetheless high; he re-teamed with old collaborator Ross Brawn at a brand new Mercedes works team, returning to the fold, as it were — his F1 debut in 1991 was funded by Mercedes.
But through the 2010 season, it became painfully clear that the heady days of 2000-04 were long past. Schumacher had younger, hungrier rivals; he struggled to come to grips with the new tyres; and most incredible of all, his reaction times were slower. Time had caught up with the man many compared to a robot for his metronomic consistency and left him behind. Still, given how much success in F1 is about the car, there was reason to hope 2011 would be different. When that failed, fans pinned their hopes on 2012 — even if he couldn't win another title, surely race wins were possible?
- Outcome on Section 377 will depend on composition of the Constitution bench
- Inadequate staff, payment delays undermine MGNREGA in drought-hit Mahabubnagar
- ICDS, the primary scheme targeting malnutrition, needs to be broadened
- Rohith's death must focus attention on the rites of exclusion in the university
- Telescope: State in the bedroom
- The economy is best served by lowering interest rates and blocking protectionism