IndyCar should go after Michael Schumacher
I hope Rubens Barrichello already has made the phone call, or tweet, to Michael Schumacher to encourage him to race in America next year.
Barrichello and Schumacher were teammates at Ferrari, where they were the best driver combination in Formula One.
Schumacher won five world championships for the Prancing Horse, while Barrichello captured his share of races during the period -- including the 2002 United States Grand Prix at the Indianapolis Motor Speedway pretty much as a gift from Schumacher, who allowed Barrichello to sneak past at the finish line.
On Thursday, Schumacher announced he will retire from F1 again at the end of the 2012 season, saying "it might be forever."
So here's Barrichello's chance to lure Schumacher to the IZOD IndyCar Series, where Barrichello recently completed his rookie season for KV Racing Technology, finishing 12th in points.
Before you label me a lunatic, I understand Schumacher doesn't need the money. Who could pay him enough anyway?
He doesn't need another title -- he has seven F1 championships, a record that may never be beaten. He could race sports cars, touring cars, boats, karts, motorcycles -- OK, he tried that and hurt himself, any number of things. He could also become a team principal -- grow fat in the board room and garage area, but I think not.
Or he could join Barrichello, who is 40 and enjoying racing perhaps more than ever.
Schumacher is pure driver and, at 43, has more to share in the cockpit than those half his age.
Mercedes team boss Ross Brawn called Schumacher, who initially retired in 2006 only to sign with Mercedes in 2010, "the most courageous driver of the century."
For those who think IndyCar would be below Schumacher's level or dignity, I don't buy it. The series is among the toughest in the world in which to win a race.
In a Mercedes team release, Schumacher, who races in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka this weekend, said he had "opened my horizon and I am at ease with myself" in explaining his forthcoming retirement from F1.
He thanked his family for standing by his side during his career.
Maybe Schumacher will call it a day at the wheel. Or maybe, just maybe, Barrichello can convince his old teammate to make an Atlantic crossing.
Schumacher on Belle Isle in June -- that would be priceless. Detroit Free Press