This weekend's Spanish Grand Prix will be Michael Schumacher's 200th Formula One race, another milestone in an illustrious career. With four consecutive wins this season, Schumacher will naturally be hoping to celebrate race number 200 with...
This weekend's Spanish Grand Prix will be Michael Schumacher's 200th Formula One race, another milestone in an illustrious career. With four consecutive wins this season, Schumacher will naturally be hoping to celebrate race number 200 with another victory. For the six-time champion, the amount of races he's competed in seems too low!
"I was amazed more than anything," he remarked. "It was odd that the first figure was a '2': 200. I've been in F1 so long that it felt as though I have had many more races. I thought that the figure would have been much higher…maybe it's better not to speak in figures."
For such a landmark in his career, one would have perhaps expected a less casual reaction. "Maybe you expected me to say how old I felt?" Schumacher finds it amusing. "Well, in all honesty I don't feel a day older than twenty!"
It's hard for the German to pick a special memory from such a list of races, much the same as he can't chose any favourite year from his six title-winning seasons. "I always have difficulty responding to such direct questions; questions that don't take into account a series of factors," he explained. "It's a bit like the questions everybody always asks me, like which world title is most special to me; they are all special for their own particular reasons."
"I can't classify them and I don't want to. And this goes for the single races too! If I have to choose one, I would go for Suzuka 2000 because the battle with Mika (Hakkinen) was so competitive, because our respective teams were the best, and because the end of the season is always exciting. Also, my first world title with Ferrari was indescribable and long-awaited."
Schumacher has been in F1 over a decade and things have changed over the years but Michael finds it more exciting and challenging than ever. "Naturally it has changed a lot. In my opinion it is now more exciting for the drivers," he said. "Today's cars, even without electronic aids, are so sensitive, reactive, and fast that we don't really miss anything. I don't think Formula One has ever seen anything better or faster."
"It would not be the same even with a turbo or a 1000 bhp engine. We are about to break through the 1000 bhp barrier but I believe a small decrease in power would be more than compensated by increased reliability. In my opinion we've reached the limit but by saying this I certainly don't want to say but we can't go further still. I'd like to say that it is exactly this that is the real challenge of the sport. And I, once again, am looking forward to the challenge was with enthusiasm."