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Last Updated: Monday, 23 October 2006, 05:27 GMT 06:27 UK
Schumi comes under fire from Hill
By Andrew Benson
Motorsport editor

Damon Hill
People have an uneasiness about Michael, which is a shame because with that much talent it could have been different

Damon Hill
Michael Schumacher has needlessly compromised his standing in Formula One history, says former rival Damon Hill.

Schumacher retired after Sunday's Brazilian Grand Prix with more titles and race wins than any other driver.

But Hill said the German's reputation for dubious tactics would tarnish the way he was judged, despite his record-breaking seven drivers' titles.

"It is a shame because I really think with that much talent it could have been different," said Hill.

The 46-year-old Englishman told the BBC earlier this month that he thought Schumacher had not been good for F1.

Hill also believes the career-long list of controversial incidents in which Schumacher has been involved have detracted from his talent and achievements.

"Michael has won the most, there is no taking that way, and there is no doubting his talent, but the manner in which it has been achieved has left two camps," said Hill.

"There are the Michael supporters - and there always will be - and there are those who have an uneasiness about it, which is a shame because I really think with that much talent it could have been different."

Michael has taken a slightly cynical approach to the sport which has been bad for it, and bad for us watching it

Damon Hill

Hill had a series of run-ins with Schumacher when they were rivals in the mid-1990s, most noticeably in 1994.

Schumacher led the championship by a point going into the season-ending Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide.

But Hill's hopes of the title were dashed when the German turned his Benetton into the Englishman's Williams.

Neither could finish, so Schumacher was crowned champion.

"I believe Michael has taken a slightly cynical approach to the sport which has been bad for it and bad for us watching it," added Hill, who went on to become champion in 1996.

"I feel a little bit as if he has been taking things for granted a little bit.

"Those uncomfortable experiences like Austria [in 2002, when Ferrari ordered team-mate Rubens Barrichello to hand victory to Schumacher on the last lap], we don't want those sort of things happening.

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher finished fourth in Brazil - his final Formula One race
"You've got to have some respect. There's no need for it in F1, it's only a bloody sport. It doesn't have to happen.

"If anything serious happened, they'd cancel motorsport and we'd have to get on with the serious things in life.

"So there is an obligation to entertain, there is an obligation to deliver something honest, something truthful to the people who watch and who have paid for it.

"That's been put to one side slightly in Michael's career. I don't think I'm alone in thinking that, but what can you do about it?"

Hill said Schumacher's statistical achievements had fooled a lot of people into disregarding his dark side.

"A lot of people are only interested in the victory, they're not necessarily interested in how it's achieved," said the Briton.



SEE ALSO
Alonso takes title as Massa wins
22 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher's career in photos
10 Sep 06 |  Motorsport
Michael Schumacher profile
02 Oct 06 |  Drivers
F1 review 2006
22 Oct 06 |  Formula One
The magic of Fernando Alonso
18 Oct 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher's tainted legacy
10 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher's chequered history
28 May 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher's place in history
13 Oct 03 |  Formula One
Schumacher in the dock
28 May 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher not a cheat - F1 boss
28 May 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher defends Monaco conduct
28 May 06 |  Formula One


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