Mugello, 23rd August - Today at Mugello was Michael Schumacher's first on track appearance since winning the 2001 World Championship. During a break in testing, Michael met with the press and here are the main points of the press...
Mugello, 23rd August - Today at Mugello was Michael Schumacher's first on track appearance since winning the 2001 World Championship. During a break in testing, Michael met with the press and here are the main points of the press conference.
Will you help Rubens take second place in the championship?
"Yes, but we must see if it's necessary. If he goes as well as he did in Budapest, I think he is capable of doing it on his own."
Why did you give him the winner's trophy from the Hungarian Grand Prix?
"On Saturday evening, we saw the trophy, a steering wheel, during a gala dinner, I saw him looking at it very closely. At the time, I didn't say anything to him, but then, on the podium it seemed right to give it to him. It was a way of restoring some of the balance for the help he has given me over the past two years."
Do you have a different feeling about this title, when compared with last year's?
"As I already said in Budapest, it is impossible to make a comparison. Every success has its own story and so the emotions behind each one are different. In Hungary, I quickly realised the importance of what had happened, but when you reach a goal, you soon move on to thinking about the next one. Sometimes that can be a shame. It would be nice to prolong these moments of celebration, but without going too far! On Sunday night in Budapest we had a really great evening. Nothing had been planned, but the lads had a great time. Again in Maranello yesterday, we had a nice party. It is very important that for once we were able to be all together and it would be good if we could do it more often. It shows how united a group we are."
Do you still feel motivated about your career?
"I love competition, the fight for pole position, the duels in the race and the striving to win are a big emotional stimulus. I am still passionate about it and want to keep winning."
How did your children react to your success?
"I don't really want to involve my children in my professional life. Of course they knew I had won, but when I went back home, we celebrated in a normal way, in a low key way I would say, when compared with the fans. I want to live a normal life at home."
Have accidents like the one in Silverstone in 1999 and this July in Monza changed your perception of fear?
"Yes, it has changed me a little. These accidents are definitely not a pleasant experience, but I know there was a technical reason behind them. However, I have always had great faith in the team. I know that, just as when I get on a plane for example, that you can never be 100% sure you will not have an accident."
When did you realise you were capable of winning in Formula 1?
"It was in Monza, in 1991, when I found myself fighting with the other drivers. I realised no one was unbeatable and that if I did the right thing and had the right car then I could win."
Have you changed as a person over all these years? Are you able to allow yourself to be more emotional?
"I don't think I have changed much compared with the past. Mind you, at first I always tried to control my emotions, because when you are young, you are always worried that people will misunderstand you. Now, I am more secure and don't find the need to hide my feelings."
Why do you think Ferrari does not employ an Italian driver?
"I think Ferrari always looks for the best and if an Italian was the best driver then he would be taken on. On top of that, you have to look at the availability of the drivers as far as their contracts are concerned. In any case, these matters do not concern me and you should ask this question to Ferrari."