There are now just a few days to go to the German Grand Prix and Michael Schumacher is keen to get on track at Hockenheim, a circuit which holds so many great memories for him. "Last year this race was one of the highlights of the season. I had...
There are now just a few days to go to the German Grand Prix and Michael Schumacher is keen to get on track at Hockenheim, a circuit which holds so many great memories for him.
"Last year this race was one of the highlights of the season. I had won the Drivers' Championship at the previous race and came to Germany with the feeling that I could really celebrate the title with my fans. On top of that, I was very confident about my chances in the race, which is not all the common at Hockenheim. Victory came after years of trying with Ferrari and when I stood on the podium, I felt like the happiest man in the world. With that in mind, obviously I can't wait to return to Germany, ready to fight on track."
"This year, the race definitely looks a much tougher prospect than last season's and everyone at Ferrari is aware of that, but it is not an impossible task. Recently, we have made significant progress, so we feel well prepared. We can expect a very tough race."
A tougher race is actually a great stimulus. "Several times this year we have seen that the true performance level of the teams at various circuits has only been revealed over the course of the weekend. This applies particularly to those circuits where we do not usually test and Hockenheim is one of these, so we will have to wait and see what we can do. It can be considered as a track which is not particularly suited to the Ferrari, but of course we will be out to prove the opposite."
The recent 'rest' days have seen Michael continue with his training and the German champion has also been busy in other sporting areas. Over the weekend, he had some fun with his new Ferrari, the 'Enzo' and other racing cars. "Corinna, Jean Todt, his son and I went to a mutual friend's birthday party where there was a racing track and also two little go-kart tracks. It was great fun, especially with the Enzo," recounted Michael, adding with enthusiasm, "Corinna also won a race: she started from pole and would not give up the lead!"
Michael's sporting diary took him to Ancono on Italy's Adriatic coast last Friday to take part in a charity football match with the Nazionale Piloti team, which ended 5:1 in the drivers' favour. Michael scored one of the goals and regarded the game as a warm-up for the 'Partita de Cuore' which will take place on Wednesday at the Carl Benz stadium in Mannheim.
"This match is particularly dear to me as all proceeds go to UNESCO," explained Michael, who is looking forward to taking part. "For years now, this event has been my prelude to Hockenheim and so far it has always been great fun. I hope that once again we put on a good show for the spectators. We will certainly be doing our best!"
Michael is an ambassador for UNESCO, mainly supporting projects aimed at helping children. Last Friday's match in Italy was also aimed at raising funds for this type of project.