The Scrutineering Bay is Badger’s way of taking a hot Grand Prix racing topic and getting people from the Sett involved to put their opinions across. From predicting races, arguing stewards decisions to just deciding who was/is/will be the best, anything is fair game!

Michael Schumacher has divided fans across the sport for a long, long time, and here in the Sett – especially after his calamitous race on Sunday – he has been quite the area of discussion. Where better to go this week than look over Turkey and ask;

“Will Schuey be in F1 next season?”

The group of Badger’s making their points this week will be myself, Craig Normansell, pun-maestro Jimmy Von Weeks and starting the ball rolling, Adam Millenueve:

Michael Schumacher – he’s F1’s answer to Whacky Races’ Dick Dastardly – he’s always been up to sneaky tricks and never refuses to giving up.

Putting his incident with Rubens and the wall to one side, he has calmed down a little on the dirty tricks side of the Whacky Races villain analogy lately, but the other trait of said villain was that he’d never give up – ever. In those fantastic cartoons you’d see the villain get it wrong and then get wrong again, but he’d keep coming back and having another go – rather inevitably the episode would end with him being a laughing stock.

Are you following me readers? Fans of the statistically best driver ever, don’t get me wrong, I’m not just against him staying on because of the past (Adelaide 94 dammit), but because he’s just ruining his once legendary status and the myth that once surrounded him – “Schumacher’s behind you” that radio message used to simply scare rookies off the track, whereas now everyone is passing him and treating it as a trophy move – it’s not fair on Michael, yes it’s his own doing that he’s back, but he should get out now and start reliving his glory days on Geoff Crammond’s Grand Prix games (he was often leading in those!)

Oh and err, my answer is no he won’t be in F1 2012, and if it turns out he’s still looking silly in 12 months time, I’ll write to Dick Dastardly apologising for ever comparing him to Michael Schumacher, because even he wasn’t that silly.

Up next is Jimmy:

I believe I’m alone in thinking Schumacher will remain in F1 next year. I don’t necessarily think he should stick around, I just happen to reckon he will.

Why? Because if he’s having fun (which he largely is, Turkey aside) and the team want him (they do – though not wholly for his driving) then what’s stopping him?

His future has been the subject of debate since midway through last season but for the most part the seven-time champion has seemed perfectly happy to stick around as long as Mercedes will have him. Yes, the results have been poor, but as a man who’s already achieved more than anyone else in the history of the sport, Schuamcher has little to prove. Speaking about the new-for-2011 rules before Istanbul, Michael made it clear that he’s having a blast.

“There is fantastic fighting [during the races]. I was in the middle of that in the last grand prix, I had lots of action and I have to say I enjoyed it big time.”

Admittedly this was before the Turkish horror show, after which he told the BBC that “the big joy is not there right now.” But if he has a good time in Spain – and that just means enjoying the racing, not necessarily beating Nico – then that will be forgotten

I don’t pretend to know Schumacher and I can’t fully put my finger on what it is that motivates him. I don’t think it’s money – he gives so much to charity and was still making so much from endorsements in retirement that it seems unlikely he’d return chasing more cash.

All I can imagine is that he came back to enjoy racing again, and if he puts Turkey behind him he’ll quickly forget any notion of quitting he may have at the moment. Another crack in 2012 would then be a perfectly plausible scenario.

And lastly, it my go:

I made this abundantly clear when the Scrutineering Bay previewed MSC’s season, and I’ll make it clear again now; I am not a fan of the man. It probably started after Adelaide ’94 and was exasperated between the years of 2000 and 2005. But, that’s another article entirely.

It’s kind of bittersweet to see the greatest driver in history – statistically – meander round tracks, occasionally bumping to drivers or running them off the road. In Turkey, thanks to his dubious defensive tactics, we got to see both. If there was ever a shell of a former legend, it was sat in a Mercedes on Sunday afternoon. It’s almost like karma has come back to haunt Michael. Again, maybe that’s another Badger piece for another day.

Sod’s law says he’ll turn it around within the next few races though. The Silver Arrow has pace, Rosberg is showing that, what odds are that the Silver Baron finds it when everyone least suspects it? Slightly less than previous years I’d bet, but possible none the less. And if that happens then what harm would one more crack in 2012 bring? I hope it doesn’t happen but ultimately I’m just not that lucky!

Lots of strong opinions from all the Badgers involved there, but what do you think about where Michael Schumacher will be next season? Could it be on the track of off it? Feel free to add your slice of banter and let us know!

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