Soccer first course for Schumacher

It has become something of a tradition that Michael Schumacher kicks off the week of the Monaco Grand Prix with a football match. Tomorrow, at seven in the evening, Michael will be on the pitch at Menton for a charity game between the Nazionale ...

It has become something of a tradition that Michael Schumacher kicks off the week of the Monaco Grand Prix with a football match. Tomorrow, at seven in the evening, Michael will be on the pitch at Menton for a charity game between the Nazionale Piloti and an All Star team put together by Prince Albert of Monaco. Once the game is over, from Wednesday Michael will resume his duties as a racing driver.

However, for the world champion, his work is also his hobby and Monaco is one of his favourite circuits. "The Monaco Grand Prix is a challenge. Racing between the guard rails at high speed is tiring, but at the same time, extremely motivating because it is so narrow," explained Michael. "I really like driving here. There are so many blind corners which make it unique and I am looking forward to racing here again." In his role as the GPDA representative, Michael is always aware of the safety aspect and this circuit is definitely close to the mark as far as that issue is concerned.

"Clearly, Monaco is not one of the safest circuits and there can be no doubt about that," said Schumacher. "Every year we ask ourselves why we continue to race here and every year we decide to come back. In many ways, it's a strange thing. Probably, we think it is only one of 17 races on the calendar and that once a year we can take this sort of risk with all the necessary precautions. You really have to avoid making any risky moves because the consequences can be serious."

Last week, Scuderia Ferrari did a lot of work in preparation for this race. Michael ran for two days at the team's private Fiorano test track, where the characteristics are similar to those of Monaco. On the second day, working mainly on set up with the F2002, Michael completed no less than 126 laps, the quickest being a 58"326, a new track record. So it's no surprise that Michael feels confident about the forthcoming race.

"I think the F2002 will also go well in Monaco. The car intrinsically has a lot of aerodynamic downforce, which is a very important factor at this track. Also from the mechanical point of view we are well prepared and Bridgestone are bringing a tyre well suited to the characteristics of this track. I am reasonably optimistic about our level of competitiveness."

-ferrari-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher
Teams Ferrari