Michael Schumacher has had plenty to celebrate in the last few weeks and this weekend brought further enjoyment for him; the church wedding of his brother Ralf to Cora on Saturday in Salzburg and the Ferrari Racing Days event at the Nurburgring on...
Michael Schumacher has had plenty to celebrate in the last few weeks and this weekend brought further enjoyment for him; the church wedding of his brother Ralf to Cora on Saturday in Salzburg and the Ferrari Racing Days event at the Nurburgring on Sunday. At both events the World Champion proved he is in the mood to enjoy himself and on both Saturday and Sunday he was in fine form.
"Honestly, I have to admit I'm a bit tired," he said with a smile, addressing his fans at the Nurburgring. But once he got behind the wheel, all thoughts of tiredness evaporated. The fives times world champion tackled the German race track in a Maserati Trofeo, the new Enzo Ferrari sports car as well as the F2001.
"I had never tried it before, but it's easy to drive, " said Michael of the Maserati. "The Enzo is also a fantastic car. You only have to touch the throttle and it responds immediately."
"I like going to the Nurburgring, which is not far from my home and it's always a pleasure to come home," he continued. "And, with all the success we have enjoyed this year, it is even more special, particularly in front of such an enthusiastic crowd," Michael told the forty thousand fans who had turned up.
So, will it be another day to celebrate this coming weekend at Monza for the Italian Grand Prix? Sticking to what he said immediately after the race at Spa, Michael did not want to speculate. The feeling he had back then was gradually confirmed at last week'' Monza test. "It is going to be tougher than in Belgium. Our testing went well and we got through all out programme, but we have seen that everyone is very close in performance terms."
Backing this up is the fact that, on Michael's second day at the test, his brother Ralf set a time very close to his brother's. "I reckon the BMW-Williams and the McLaren-Mercedes will be quite strong at Monza," said Schumacher. "Just how strong is difficult to say. Whatever, it would be presumptuous to count on another Ferrari one-two, although we can promise our fans we will do our very best. Another celebration would always be welcome, especially if we can please those who have supported us all year. But in any case, there will be plenty to celebrate, given everything we have achieved this season!"
Late on Sunday afternoon, Schumacher got home to rest after a busy weekend. On Wednesday evening, before the Italian Grand Prix weekend gets underway, he will take part in a charity soccer match with funds going to a charity for victims of events on 11th September. The Nazionale Piloti team will play an eleven from the world of fashion.
On Thursday, Michael's work kicks off with two press conferences before getting to the track to tackle questions of a more technical nature. "After the Nurburgring, Monza is almost another home race for me, as a Ferrari driver," he laughed. "And as I said before, it's always good to come home."