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FORMULA ONE: Schumacher-The New Rain Master

24 May 2000

By David Treffer
Contributing Motorsports Editor, The Auto Channel

Surely Aryton Senna was looking down from heaven in awe of Michael Schumachers performance in the rain at the European Grand Prix this past Sunday. Schumacher's drive was nothing short of perfection as he simply drove away from the rest of the field to secure his fourth victory of the season.

Senna was acknowledged by all as the maestro of the wet track. His memorable drive at Donnington Park for Team McLaren in 1994 and an earlier race at Estoril in 1985 ,when he drove the John Player Lotus, were but two glimpses of his mastery of torrid conditions. It is too bad for the fans of Formula 1 that these two titans could not have battled this past Sunday.

Schumacher seemingly willed his powerful Ferrari around turns at speeds approaching those that would be driven in dry conditions. It was "ballet on water." Several times Schumacher danced on the ragged edge of disaster. Each time his skill of knowing the balance of the car, throttle control coupled with magnificent driving abilities came through. It was sheer poetry.

Schumacher's mastery of the miserable conditions at the Nurburgring had to be an incredible psychological crush to McLaren rival Mika Hakkinen. For his part Hakkinen, who finished second, drove a brilliant race but on this day no one was going to touch "The Wunderkind."

Schumacher's joyous antics on the victory podium were some of the most animated demonstrations that he has ever made in Formula 1. Too finally see a human side of the German driver is something we have long awaited.

With 11 more races to go in the Formula 1 season a lot of things can happen. However, you can be certain that Mika Hakkinen and the rest of the Formula 1 racers will no doubt be hoping for sunny skies for the remainder of the season.

What a performance.

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