After a long week of testing Michael turned his attention to Tuesday's departure for Brazil and the weekend's Grand Prix. "After Malaysia, San Paolo will also be a difficult race for us," he said, "it was the same last year, no-one believed that...
After a long week of testing Michael turned his attention to Tuesday's departure for Brazil and the weekend's Grand Prix. "After Malaysia, San Paolo will also be a difficult race for us," he said, "it was the same last year, no-one believed that we could win at Interlagos. But, in the end, the race went in our favour, but it was close and we weren't the fastest. In a way the situation this year is the same: it will be hard, but we can do it."
The debate around the consequences of the rule changes has grown as the opening races to the Formula 1 season have been run. Even the patron of Formula 1, Bernie Ecclestone, has added his voice in declaring that he is not overly content with the new qualifying format. And what does Michael think?
"The thing is," he said, breaking into a smile,"if there were ten Bernie Ecclestones, there would be ten different opinions! I mean, everyone has his own idea as to which direction the rule changes should go. In the end, it depends on what they are aimed at doing; in my opinion, this hasn't been clarified yet. Personally, I preferred the old way; maybe because I grew up with that system. The younger drivers who know only this new qualifying style will perhaps see things in a completely different way. I will race, anyway, under whatever rules they decide."
Mention of the postponement of the bar on electronic aids, programmed for Silverstone but now officially put back by the FIA to next season, also brings a wry smile to Michael's face. "I have never hidden my opinion about electronic aids: I like them because they give the driver the possibility to fully exploit the potential of the car and you don't have to compromise anything. It is true that you can drive without them."
"I think that it is reasonable that the ban has been put back to next season Simply, it is better to be able to prepare yourself for the new system in good time - at the end of the day, the new regulations were introduced with them aim of saving money. And with this postponement, that objective is surely more realisable."
The Brazil race weekend begins on Wednesday afternoon when Michael will take part in a football training session with Brazilian champions, Santos FC, the proceeds of which going to a UNICEF project. Michael is excited at the prospect: "I can't wait to play with them. I really have fun playing with professionals because I can learn so much." The serious stuff begins on Thursday morning with a Shell press conference set for 1000 at the Transamerica Hotel.