It is not easy to relinquish your position when you are at the peak of your career. There is always that urge to carry on in life, even though you know that the end is not far off. It is normal for any individual not to give up when in your final phase of what you are doing. The inherent selfishness in an individual rises to the surface on such occasions. One has to realise that all good things must come to an end. But, one also has to know how and when to put a stop on everything.
Michael Schumacher, inarguably the word's best F1 driver, is going to step down after this season from Formula 1. The F1 fans around the globe have become so used to the Ferrari cap adorned by Michael Schumacher, that it is going to be very difficult to imagine F1 without Schumacher, and more importantly, to see someone else wear the red cap for Ferrari in his place. It would never be easy for Ferrari to replace this amazing driver, who single handedly has got Ferrari victories from the jaws of defeat. It was also fascinating to see the Ferrari-Schumacher combination beat the guts out of the rivals by simple and effective pit stop strategies. The passion in Schumacher will definitely be missed by all sports buffs, simply because of the way he carried himself in the large arena. There were times he hardened his stance by taking certain uncompromising decisions, which was rebuked by all critics. But that's the way he has always played the sport. In an era of high competitiveness and "result is all" attitude, it is not difficult to realise why Schumacher carries his passion on his sleeve. He was loved by many and equally, or rather more than that, hated by many. Obviously, he has got into many controversial situations in many many races. But then, imagine for how long he has been driving. He is in the F1 circuit for more than a decade, and in such a large span of driving, one is going to face many stirring situations. Schumacher too was not different in this aspect. He has been a part of too many races and each race besets a new problem.
Alonso was on a roll last season with Ferrari struggling to cope up with the speed of the Renault. Renault was walking away with the championship with more than half a dozen races to come. People were speculating about Schumacher's position in Ferrari. Ferrari obviously did not want to let go of the genius. Schumacher too did not want to leave Ferrari with a big low. He stayed on for one more season, and in 2006, showed why he is regarded as the best in the circuit. With just one more race to go, Schumacher might come second in the championship, but there is no denying that what he did in the last decade will be remembered by every F1 fan. It is also good to see the sporting genius retire on a high, when things are working in his favour. Rather than being kicked to the sidelines, he has chosen the right moment to come out in all glory. That's what is needed from a true sportsman.
There are a lot of people in the global sports arena who want to squeeze out the maximum from their playing days, and stick on till the end, even when they know that they are not giving their maximum to the game. But, Schumacher with perfect timing is walking away with all respect and accolades.