After having won his seventh Drivers' title and his fifth with Ferrari on Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps, Michael Schumacher has already knuckled down to work. The world champion is today taking part in FOM testing at the Monza autodrome. In the...
After having won his seventh Drivers' title and his fifth with Ferrari on Sunday at Spa-Francorchamps, Michael Schumacher has already knuckled down to work. The world champion is today taking part in FOM testing at the Monza autodrome. In the early afternoon he met briefly with journalists, generating a rumour that he was about to announce his retirement from competition.
"I have heard it said that I was about to announce my retirement," began a relaxed and smiling Schumacher. "I am sorry to let everybody down but I have competition in my blood; I live for it. This is the reason that I will continue as long as I have this instinct and I am competitive."
Michael then spoke about Sunday's race. "I didn't know how to take the second place. Then, when I got back to the motorhome and I saw how happy everyone was, I realised..."
Talk then returned to the tyres used at Spa -- "Regarding the tyres, the choice was clear: they were slower on the first lap and then slowly got faster. The problem was when the safety car came on and then I had to wait for the tyres to get to temperature again. If the safety car hadn't appeared I don't think that Raikkonen would have overtaken me."
"Montoya did well and went past me at a point where I didn't expect him to. When I saw him it was too late and I didn't have time to react. I don't think that I was excessively prudent, simply that it wasn't worth risking anything."
Those who have racing in the blood, in any case, cannot dwell on maybes: "I honestly never look back; I always concentrate on the next set of objectives. To realise those goals there are the winter months."
To those who enquired as to whether he expected a more difficult and trying championship, the German champion responded that: "We thought we might have tighter races but I have to say that we did a great job. It's true that this has been the best season of my career. From now on racing will be much more enjoyable. I will be able to focus on every single race, from Monza onwards, without thinking about the tactics."
Can this year be compared to 2002? "No," replied Michael. "In 2002 we knew we had the most competitive car; this year we only realised it in the middle of February when we tested at Imola."
There will be no modifications to the F2004 for the remaining races in the calendar. "If there are changes, they will be small", confirmed Schumacher. He then responded to journalists who wanted to know if he would be helping out his team mate to win second place overall: "Rubens is more than able to do that himself, but if he needs a hand..."