FORMER world champion Michael Schumacher is a “tragic ex-hero” who is “dismantling his own legacy”, according to his one time rival on the track, Mika Hakkinen.
The Finn clashed with Schumacher on several occasions during a career that saw him claim two world titles of his own.
The 42-year-old has toyed with the idea of returning to the sport he left in 2001, but unlike Schumacher, who made an unsuccessful comeback with Mercedes this year, he has resisted temptation.
Schumacher capped his 2010 campaign, inwhich he finished with nearly half as many points as his team-mate Nico Rosberg, by spinning on the opening lap in Abu Dhabi and seeing Tonio Liuzzi’s Force India launch into his car, with the nosecone and front wing narrowly missing his head.
“Michael is for me now a tragic ex-hero,” said Hakkinen. “I ask myself why on earth he got back into the cockpit. There is the most successful man in motor sport driving down in the pack and making a ridiculous mistake in Abu Dhabi that almost cost him his life.
“What has the man who has won more than anyone else still to prove? In my view, he is dismantling his own legacy bit by bit.
“It makes no difference whether it is for technical reasons or because he can no longer keep up with the boys.”
NEVER GO BACK | FAILED COMEBACKS
Bjorn Borg showed just why wooden rackets belong in the loft, losing 12 straight matches with his archaic equipment in the early 90s
Muhammad Ali was the greatest, until Larry Holmes and Trevor Burbick made him look old
Joe Kinnear’s shock return to management with Newcastle lasted just seven months and was best remembered for a very sweary press conference