Last weekend was one of reflection, affection and nostalgia for Michael Schumacher. Circuit de Spa-Franchorchamps is one of fond memories for the German. As a precarious talent, he was handed his F1 debut here by Eddie Jordan in 1991 to replace the imprisoned Bertrand Gachot, with the Frenchman being sentenced to two months in jail after an altercation with a taxi driver. A year later for Benetton he notched up his first victory in the premier class, beating the Williams duo of Nigel Mansell and Riccardo Patrese. In fourth position for the majority of the race, Schumacher pushed hard once the rain came, setting a new lap record, and managed to pass Mansell for the lead at the end of the race, aided by the Brits troubled exhaust.
Last weekend was also one of pride for the seven time world champion. Not only was this his 300th Grand Prix weekend, but he was also made an honorary citizen of Spa to commemorate his anniversary; a worthy accolade for the six time Belgian GP winner. Pre-race weekend Schumacher spoke about how special the track in the Ardennes forest is to him “It all happened to me here in Spa. First race, first victory, some beautiful victories and interesting races and in 2004 the seventh title, last year the 20th anniversary and now number 300 and being honoured. So it’s a full package. Spa has always meant a lot to me. I always called it my living room – now I can officially call it my living room. “During the drivers parade he still commanded the largest cheer from the diverse crowd. Yet since his return in 2010, it is fair to say the legend has struggled to replicate his former greatness.