One week after the Japanese Grand Prix, where Scuderia Ferrari took its fifth consecutive Constructors' title and Michael his sixth Drivers' World Championship crown, the entire Ferrari family got together at Mugello to celebrate. On Sunday,...
One week after the Japanese Grand Prix, where Scuderia Ferrari took its fifth consecutive Constructors' title and Michael his sixth Drivers' World Championship crown, the entire Ferrari family got together at Mugello to celebrate.
On Sunday, over 50,000 fans partied in honour of the Reds' achievement during the 2003 Ferrari-Maserati World Finals. Michael was joined at the Tuscan circuit by Rubens Barrichello, Luca Badoer and Felipe Massa to put on a magnificent show for all the fans. Also present on the day at Mugello were Ferrari President, Luca di Montezemolo and the Managing Director of the Gestione Sportiva, Jean Todt, along with Ross Brawn, Rory Byrne and Paolo Martinelli, to celebrate one more time the great results achieved this season.
This was Michael's first appearance since taking that historic record in Suzuka. As could be expected therefore, the press was keen to know his feelings about this achievement had affected his life. "In some ways, the events at Suzuka seem a long way ago and over now," said Schumacher.
"However, when I am at home relaxing, naturally my thoughts return to that day. But everyday life soon returns as I live a very normal existence at home. Corinna and I have two children and they currently represent my present life. In general, I take very little interest in the past and much more in the future. Nevertheless, I cannot deny that what happened in Japan was something fantastic."
Obviously, the German champion will have to work hard to defend his records, but for the moment he is intent on resting prior to next season. "I am in the fortunate situation of being able to organise my own programme up to January," said Michael. "Apart from a few appointments which are already in the diary, I am looking forward to a holiday."
"Over the past few years, I have realised how important it is for me to have a break from Formula 1, in order to prepare again for another tough season with my batteries fully charged and a new motivation. Because the best thing is to really want to drive a car, otherwise the season just becomes long and stressful. But this requires a lot of energy and in fact it is just like refuelling for the winter!"
In the late afternoon, Michael headed by plane to Padua for the final appointment of the season with the Nazionale Piloti football team, with which the world champion has played several charity matches this year. Michael's team had the upper hand over one captained by Prince Albert of Monaco, with a final score of 5:0. The German also scored the final goal; yet another reason to celebrate.