June 24th, 2009

5 reasons why Micheal Schumacher is not The Stig

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So The Stig has been revealed. It’s Michael Schumacher if you didn’t watch the season premiere of Top Gear.

But The Stig hasn’t actually been revealed, he has been “revealed” according to the BBC. The Stig is not Michael Schumacher it is just Andy Wilman playing his clever games again. Remember a couple of months back when it was thought that he was revealed and Top Gear smoke screened the situation by putting out viral videos and bogus claims? This is exactly the same. Schuey cannot be the permanent Stig for five main reasons. The big reveal was just using the German as a pawn for Ferrari and Fiat PR as well as a marketing exercise for the Beeb and Top Gear, to try and see how many Youtube hits they could get. Anyway, enough hating, here is my 5 point plan.

  1. The Ferrari FXX that did the viciously quick lap time was Michael Schumacher’s very own car. Michael was given a very special track version of the Enzo because he was so good for them in F1. It was different to everyone else’s because he received it from Scuderia as a farewell present for the good work he did in F1, a bit like a Victoria Cross for the Ferrari world. Schumacher’s FXX differs from the other 29 produced as it is the only black FXX without a stripe, and comes with red trim on the wheels, in addition to matte exhaust tips ( because the chrome ones are so last year darling). So if you were Michael Schumacher would you let anyone else drive your near priceless one of a kind car? No. So Schuey was driving that lap but that doesn’t make him The Stig, it makes him The Stig for one lap. The BBC and Top Gear  has a bit of a hard time getting high end Ferrari’s, so remember when they had to borrow Pink Floyd drummer Nick Mason’s Enzo in order to get a review? Well if they can’t get an Enzo how will they get a limited-run track prepped version? Easy, you get the German who won a lot of Grand Prix’s to drive it for you.
  2. As Clarkson pointed out during the interview, when Michael left F1 it didn’t mean he left the company with the prancing horse. Schumacher is still a permanent feature within Ferrari just as a race advisor and helps them with innovation and product development. Do you then think he has time to fly to Dunsfold Park from his house just to drive a Mitsubishi lancer round the test track? No. Do you think that he is contractually obliged to do so? No. If anything driving the FXX was a litmus test for Ferrari’s development as the Top Gear test track is the Nürburgring of popular car perception. It made Ferrari look good and that was the outcome they wanted. It was also convenient that the show was recorded on Wednesday, a day before the start of the British GP when Schumacher and Ferrari were in town.
  3. Another point is that the size and shape of Schumacher in the ice white suit was different to the ‘normal’ Stig. When I say normal, I mean the one who normally drives the cars round the track because I am sure that they use different Stig’s for different situations.
  4. If you have been spending the last year or so locked in a bunker speculating over who The Stig is you may not know that we are currently amid the power and force of economic doom. The BBC salaries are constantly under scrutiny and it would be hard for them to afford the world’s greatest racing driver, a man who was earning $70 million a year whilst racing in 1999. Also he would be one of the most obvious choices for TG to pick and investigative journalists to uncover.
  5. Finally, Top Gear could now be seen as a British institution and a political vehicle for expressing the values of England and Britain. Top Gear is now the George Bush of television, slowly invading countries preaching a neo-conservative motoring message. As xenophobic as this sounds, do you think that Jeremy Clarkson would allow a German to be the mysterious gem in Top Gear’s crown? Again No.

So there is my take on Stigate. The ten time champion of F1 is not The Stig but was used very very well as a source of entertainment, Ferrari testing and a curve ball for Andy Wilman to further delay the real reveal of The Stig.

If you think that I am talking rubbish leave a comment below about who you think The Stig is.

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