Present: Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) Q: Tell us about the football last night, how did it go? Michael Schumacher: Very good, enjoyed ourselves, amazing crowd, really great support we had from our fans and good success in terms of the money...
Michael Schumacher (Ferrari)
Q: Tell us about the football last night, how did it go?
Michael Schumacher: Very good, enjoyed ourselves, amazing crowd, really great support we had from our fans and good success in terms of the money we were able to raise for the children. All the guys who came enjoyed themselves, we had a nice dinner afterwards together and they seemed to have a great party afterwards which I obviously didn't attend but everybody said they were quite happy.
Q: So who were the star players?
MS: We had Effenberg, we had Torsten Frings, and we had lots of good German players - ex-players, obviously not players who play in the leagues right now because they are just in preparation. A bit of an unfortunate situation with Figo, who had to cancel at the last minute, for whatever reason. It was a little bit disappointing because I went to his game and he sort of committed himself to come to our game and he didn't come up, so that was a little bit disappointing for the fans there. But anyway, we had a good game and guys like Matthaus were there, Toni Schumacher was there, a good level of people.
Q: And the score?
MS: We scored 6-6 altogether. It seems to be tradition that we even out (the score). I don't know how it works all the time but it does seem to work out somehow.
Q: Now, what is the story about your - I don't know whether you call it a good luck charm - the thing that you have round your neck? That apparently went missing, is that right?
MS: Yeah. I lost it during the English Grand Prix and it's a - how do you say - a lucky piece from my wife, and it's obviously quite meaningful to me because it has all the initials of the family on there. It is not highly valuable but it has a personal meaning to me and I was lucky that a good guy found it and actually returned it to me today.
Q: Did he find it outside the circuit or within the paddock?
MS: Within the paddock, it was apparently somewhere close to our motorhomes where I was running. A little clip came undone somehow and that's why it came off. It's lucky I got it back. It's now in my pocket.
Q: This weekend's circuit, it's quite interesting, because by your own standards, it's not one of your luckiest, in fact. You've had one pole position and two wins here, so how do you feel about Hockenheim?
MS: Yeah, my results don't look too great for whatever reason but coming here I always feel good. And I just hope that, as I didn't finish as good in England in previous years and I seemed to turn that around, (I will) be able to do the same here.
Q: You have had a fantastic season so far and you can clinch the Constructors' Championship here. But do you feel they are closing in on you?
MS: I definitely do. We live from the fact that we almost always get 100 percent out of our package, get the right bit, our strategies and live occasionally from when our competitors don't do it, because maybe they had a bad qualifying or they just made a mistake on the strategy, which allows us to look very strong. To win as many races as we have done in this season shouldn't have happened, honestly, but we are glad it has happened and we hope we can continue.
Q: The Constructors' Championship, obviously you're fairly confident that you're going to clinch it, if not here then elsewhere.
MS: We would rather do it here, obviously. It would be a nice present for our fans and supporters to do it here and it could mean that we could have a nice celebration afterwards.
Q: There is another great sportsman making history at the moment, Lance Armstrong, in the Tour de France. How do you see his accomplishments in relation to your own?
MS: I don't really see that you should compare in any way, because what he is doing is so unique and so special. I was just watching television, them sitting on the bikes again after so many days being on it, and so many kilometres they have done. I do training myself and I know what it means to do what I'm doing, but to do what they do, that's massive. It is really, really massive and impressive. We do, maybe, in other views, something different but obviously interesting as well for a lot of people. But to compare, I don't think there's common ground except the success, but I think there's more than just to compare the success.
Q: Michael, looking back on your years with Ferrari, the team must be indistinguishable from that of 1996. To what would you attribute, the greatest changes, who would you say had the most influence on the team and how far do you feel the team has come in that time?
MS: Let me put it this way: You cannot judge success to one single point. It is a series of combinations which need to be right to be as successful as we have been. There are some pinpoints, of which obviously Jean Todt is the first one to mention, to pull the right people together. Then we have to talk about Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne, Paolo Martinelli, a whole group which then forms around them to make happen what does happen. Each one has his portion of this one.
Q: You talk about Paolo Martinelli, Ross Brawn and Jean Todt, surely they are not going to be at Ferrari forever. Can the team hope to maintain the same course as at the moment?
MS: Who knows? The point is that we are all not really that old to retire rather soon. We have some more years in front of us and if I understand the situation well, then everybody is happy and everybody could imagine to keep going.
Q: Michael, there are going to be 100,000 people out there on Sunday very happy if you win but there will be people elsewhere saying 'oh no, another Michael win. It's getting monotonous.' How do you react to them?
MS: I think the point is that I worry for the people who cheer for us. I don't worry for the others, there is no reason to. I would rather make them happy, they support us.
Q: I don't know if it's the acoustics here in the room, but is your health OK? You sound as if you might have a cold or something.
MS: It is nothing to do with last night! I just have a flu. When you have a flu you are not 100 percent but by Sunday I will be.