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  • Cowley Cowley Jun 4, 2007 01:53 Flag

    Can Schumacher ever be replaced?

    I used to think no one could replace Juan Manuel Fangio. I still think so. No one can replace him or his record. Similarly, no one can replace Michael Schumacher or his record. Nor Ascari, nor AJ Foyt nor Richard Petty. Their records are just records and records are made to be broken. But each champion lives in his/her own unique period of time and so must be measured against those competitors in that same period of time. I've heard young fans today deride the accomplishments of men like Fangio and Ascari and Moss, saying that their cars were slower and therefore easier to drive. Easier to drive? How easy do you think it was for Parnelli Jones to drive around the two and a half mile oval of Indianapolis, breaking the "150 mph Barrier" in a car with bias-ply tires no more than 8 inches wide, with an unsuperchaged, four cylinder engine designed in the 1920s, mounted in the front of a ladder framed chassis with solid axles at both ends?

    Often the question is asked, "If they were both at their prime, could Muhammed Ali have beaten Rocky Marciano? Could Michael have beaten Fangio when both were in their prime? Impossible to answer questions like that because the situations are pure conjecture and could never happen.

    Of course Michael's record will be broken; but it won't be broken by a "new Michael Schumacher." It'll be broken by a new someone else. And you can take that to the bank.