Japanese GP - Schumacher: 'Important to go into the winter with a good result' Suzuka, 11th October 2001 - With both titles already in the bag, Michael Schumacher was naturally in a relaxed mood when he arrived in Suzuka today. However, the ...
Japanese GP - Schumacher: 'Important to go into the winter with a good result' Suzuka, 11th October 2001 - With both titles already in the bag, Michael Schumacher was naturally in a relaxed mood when he arrived in Suzuka today. However, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro man made it clear, he would not be cruising on the track. "It's been a few years since I have come to Suzuka without any pressure," admitted the world champion. "But that doesn't mean I have less motivation. I want to have a good race and try to win, because it is important to go into the winter break with a good result and also I want to please our fans, especially as we did not do so well in the last race."
Although the title was won in Hungary, Schumacher admitted the past few races have not been his best. "We have probably seen a realistic Michael Schumacher in Spa, but since then I am not so sure," he said. "But we will soon see the real one again! This season has been without a doubt my best season, apart from the two failures at Imola and Hockenheim. We have had exceptional reliability all season and our car has been competitive everywhere, with the possible exception of Hockenheim. That's a good sign. We were dominant for the first two races and then we had to really fight hard for it, but it was enjoyable and we got the titles, which was very satisfying. Now, I am looking forward to a period of Ferrari being strong."
And is it important for Barrichello to take second place in the classification? "Of course it is not vital, but it would be nice if Rubens finishes runner-up in the Drivers' Championship," said Michael. "It would be good for Rubens to get his best ever finish in the classification and it would be equally important for Ferrari. We will have to wait and see what happens on Sunday." Schumacher refused to pick out one race as his best of the year. "There were several races this year where I feel that everything worked really well, from the driving side and from the time side," he offered. "Just because I won the title in Hungary, that does not mean I would select it as my best race of the year. There were other races where we gave our maximum, so I would not want to single one out as being special."