Last Sunday's British Grand Prix was just the sort of race Michael Schumacher likes: fascinating, unpredictable, difficult in parts and finally victorious. It was also a race which clearly revealed the special relationship between Schumacher and...
Last Sunday's British Grand Prix was just the sort of race Michael Schumacher likes: fascinating, unpredictable, difficult in parts and finally victorious. It was also a race which clearly revealed the special relationship between Schumacher and Ross Brawn, Scuderia Ferrari's Technical Director. If it had not been for Brawn's decisions during the race, which Michael followed to the letter, a sixtieth win for the German might not have been awaiting him at the end of the afternoon.
"I didn't know what to do before the first pit stop," said the four times world champion. "The rain could have eased off and the Silverstone track would have dried very quickly. In that case, if I had come in for intermediates I could have looked like an idiot, because in that situation the right decision would have been to stay out on the dry tyres. But Ross said to me 'come in, it's better to be on the safe side' and in the end he was right. So I have to thank Ross and the rest of the team who provided him with the right information. It's easy to forget all those who work behind the scenes and whose calculations allow Ross to take these sort of decisions. On top of that, no one in the team made a mistake even when, in a race like this, it would have been easy to do so. The engineers, the mechanics, the team all did an exceptional job."
Michael also drove a faultless race and at Silverstone he set another record as he now heads the table for the most number of podium appearances at 107. Michael was asked if, in the end, all these records became rather boring. "On the contrary, I still enjoy them a lot. Especially after races like this which are really hard and difficult, there is a special sense of euphoria which I don't want to give up."
However, at Silverstone, the subject on everyone's lips was the fact that, in theory, Michael could take his fifth world title at the next race at Magny-Cours. The reigning champion did not want to discuss it as his chances were not entirely dependent on his own performance. "For this to happen, all the other drivers in the running would have to retire or be very unlucky," said the German with a smile. "And I don't think they'll do that for me. Anyway, it would be much nicer to win the title at the next race in Hockenheim, even though I must try and win the title as quickly as possible. The chances seem good, I know, but I also know that anything can still happen, so I don't want to start speculating too much."
There were other matters over the weekend which the four times world champion was loath to comment on, such as the possible retirement of Ferrari president, Luca di Montezemolo. "I hope all of us have, with this win at Silverstone, shown our president how much he would be missed. He is simply part of this team and without him this success would never be possible. He is the foundation which is why we all want Luca di Montezemolo to stay with the team."
The winner of the British Grand Prix stayed in the Silverstone paddock until six in the evening and then went home. There he will enjoy a few quiet days before heading for Ferrari's Fiorano base near Maranello, to resume testing this Friday and Saturday.