After fulfilling various sponsor functions in Tokyo yesterday, Michael Schumacher arrived at Suzuka circuit today, where he met the local and international media this afternoon. Given that all the talk in the paddock is about imminent bad weather...
After fulfilling various sponsor functions in Tokyo yesterday, Michael Schumacher arrived at Suzuka circuit today, where he met the local and international media this afternoon. Given that all the talk in the paddock is about imminent bad weather and the possible arrival of a typhoon, followed by heavy rain and flooding, particularly on Saturday and Sunday, inevitably this was the topic of the opening question.
Had Michael Schumacher ever driven in a typhoon? "Well, as far as I remember, I don't think so," laughed the world champion. "But I do remember a very difficult race back in 1994 which had to be brought to a premature end because of the very heavy rain."
"But there are still two days to go and the forecasts can change. We will have to wait and see what happens. However, I am sure the FIA will do everything to ensure that the race takes place in safe conditions and I am not worried about it."
Rain was not the only force of nature on the agenda: earthquakes are a common occurrence here in Japan and a strong one hit Tokyo last night. "Everything seemed to be very lively," joked the German. "I was pretty sure I had not been drinking but it felt as though I had!"
"I was lying on my bed and everything was moving around me. It is the first time I have felt that. In 2000, there was a small tremor here during Friday practice, but I was in the race car and it did not feel anything. It was all very strange."
As usual, Michael expressed his delight at being back in Japan. "The track is special, and the fans are really enthusiastic. I like the food, especially sushi which is healthy and non-fattening."
Michael was asked if he was angry that Barrichello had won the last two races. "No, of course not and there is no reason for me to be so. Rubens was evidently better than me in the last two races. The championship is already decided and the most important thing is that Ferrari has a driver on the top step of the podium. It can't always be me. There are still two races: let's see what happens."
The Japanese Grand Prix is naturally very important for Ferrari's tyre supplier, Bridgestone. "Everyone at Bridgestone is very motivated and the same goes for us. They have done such excellent work in terms of always coming up with new and more evolved solutions. So we would like to pay them back for this by getting the win here on Sunday."