Monday October 20, 2014 Search
Weather | Athens
24o C
16o C
News
Business
Comment
Life
Sports
Community
Survival Guide
Greek Edition
Schumacher comes full circle

 F1 legend pledges to fight on with the very team he started at

By George Georgakopoulos and Spyridoula Spanea

Michael Schumacher raised many eyebrows with his decision to return to Formula 1 a couple of years ago. After all, what more could a record seven-time world champion expect from a cockpit comeback?

His record since then has been poor by his standards, but tomorrow he starts his third year with Mercedes at the Albert Park Grand Prix in Australia, and he’s looking good for a better showing this year.

In fact, if Friday’s afternoon practice session -- during which he chalked up the fastest time -- is anything to go by, the 43-year-old German appears to be finding his old form.

Ever popular in Greece, Schumacher took his foot off the pedal for a few minutes to speak exclusively to Kathimerini before the red lights go out in Melbourne. He revealed why he came back when he did, showed his renewed ambition and pledged to fight on.

What are your thoughts about this year’s championship?
We see more and more that predictions are nearly impossible to make. During the winter tests, everybody is working on different schedules, so it is very difficult to compare the different teams. After last year’s experience, when we were really optimistic after the last tests and then saw in Australia that we were wrong, I prefer to wait and see. In any case, we have made a step forward, our car is reliable, so it is a positive trend. How positive? We will only learn that later.

Was it ambition, money or the racing atmosphere that made you come back?&?nbsp;
It was a fascinating coincidence which made me come back. Suddenly there was a free cockpit, suddenly Mercedes was cooperating with Ross Brawn’s team, so the combination was tempting. When Ross called me and offered me the seat, the combination of the competence of Mercedes and the then world champion team was extremely attractive for me, and to do this with old friends made it extra exciting. It was like the circle was closing after all the years I spent in Formula One: I concluded my first ever driver’s contract with Mercedes -- back then in Group C and Le Mans -- and Mercedes also supported me when entering the F1. So finishing my career with Mercedes somehow makes sense.

Do you miss winning races and getting onto the podium, or is the fun of racing enough for you?
I am definitely not driving for fun; I am here to win races. But it is extreme fun to try to do it, to race, to take up the challenge. Of course I want to be on the podium, ideally in the middle.

Did you ever have second thoughts about making a comeback?
You mean because I have not won yet? No. This is sport, it’s about working hard to achieve your goals and about never having a guaranteed success. I am a fighter and I am happy to have a lot of titles under my belt. At the moment I am facing a tough period, but that does not mean I’m going to quit just because it’s tough.

Schumacher politely refused to answer questions about his charity work, which a few years ago had brought him over to Greece for a charity soccer match in Piraeus. He also evaded questions regarding Greece’s image abroad, although he’s definitely still one of the most popular Germans in Greece, along with soccer manager Otto Rehhagel.
He was quite willing however to offer his view on a subject about which every F1 fan has an opinion:

Apart from yourself, who do you rate as the best driver ever?
Impossible to say in my opinion. There are different times, different tracks, different cars, different possibilities. People ask me that a lot, but you cannot compare different things. Of course Ayrton Senna was a special driver, but was he better than Juan Manuel Fangio? Who could ever say? It is a great sport, and there are a lot of great drivers.
ekathimerini.com , Friday March 16, 2012 (23:04)  
Reds lose to Nea Kifissia, search for new coach
OFI stuns Panathinaikos, Mitroglou hits twice
Greens survive Turow´s comeback to win
Ranieri gets Greece backing despite poor start
Athens calls on Ankara to ‘reverse course’ over Cyprus EEZ
The Greek Foreign Ministry on Monday called on Turkey to “reverse course” after a Turkish seismic exploration vessel reportedly entered Cyprus's Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ) earlier in the ...
Magistrate, prosecutor disagree over handling of driver in deadly crash
The magistrate and the prosecutor handling the case of a deadly crash in central Athens last week that resulted in the death of three people disagreed on Monday over whether the driver who c...
Inside News
German bunds rise on sata seen adding to gloom; Greek bonds gain
German government bonds rose for the first time in three days before reports that economists said will add to signs Europe’s economic recovery is grinding to a halt, boosting demand for fixe...
ECB review will clarify Greece´s needs, says Regling
A review of the European banking sector due to be released on Oct. 26 should bring clarity on Greece's funding needs, the head of the monetary union's bailout fund said on Monday. Klaus Regl...
Inside Business
COMMENTARY
Stop moaning and get in the game
There are so many people who love spending their days talking about the crisis and proclaiming that they know exactly what needs to be done to solve the country’s problems. Some of them obvi...
EDITORIAL
Exorcising the ghosts
Developments last week held in store an uncomfortably realistic understanding of the risks engulfing the country. The massive sell-off in Greece’s stock and bond markets was a strong shock. ...
Inside Comment
SPONSORED LINK: FinanzNachrichten.de
SPONSORED LINK: BestPrice.gr
 RECENT NEWS
1. Athens calls on Ankara to ‘reverse course’ over Cyprus EEZ
2. Magistrate, prosecutor disagree over handling of driver in deadly crash
3. German bunds rise on sata seen adding to gloom; Greek bonds gain
4. ECB review will clarify Greece´s needs, says Regling
5. Ex-party leader to see prosecutor on Tuesday over bribe allegations
6. PASOK objects to plans for changes to public sector wage structure
more news
Today
This Week
1. Greece must stick to reforms, says Schaeuble
2. Bakers encircle Thessaloniki's White Tower with giant 'koulouri'
3. Hardouvelis does not see 'big surprises' in ECB stress tests
4. European leaders pivot back to debt crisis after wake-up call
5. Turkish vessel enters Cypriot Exclusive Economic Zone
6. Samaras to visit Cyprus on November 7, ahead of Egypt talks
Today
This Week
1. Possible third figure in Amphipolis mosaic may be uncovered shortly
2. Less haste, more focus
3. Greece to contribute 1 mln towards Gaza reconstruction
4. Greece nearing bailout exit, says gov't spokesperson after IMF talks
5. Istanbul skyscraper casts shadow over Greece's banking ambitions
6. Coalition shooting itself in the foot
   Find us ...
  ... on
Twitter
     ... on Facebook   
About us  |  Subscriptions  |  Advertising  |  Contact us  |  Athens Plus  |  RSS  |   
Copyright © 2014, H KAΘHMEPINH All Rights Reserved.