Schumacher: On Mercedes fortunes, on Vettel’s dominance and on life after F1
29 November, 2013
Michael Schumacher gives his views on Mercedes’ performance this past season, the dominance of his friend Sebastian Vettel and what he does with his life now that he is retired from Formula 1.
Schumacher is clearly impressed by what Mercedes has achieved in the year since he departed Formula 1, and believes that the infra-structure is now in place for a Silver Arrows driver to win the Championship and for the team to battle for titles.
In a TV interview released by the team, Schumacher said, “It is a great result. Particularly if you consider where we [came] from last year. I mean [we were] absolutely nowhere by the end of the year. And nobody could have expected to be fighting even at part of the season for the Championship. So they did it, they had a great start of the year and they even were able to a sort of push through the year quite hard.”
But after the summer break in August Red Bull returned to the Championship fray with a clear advantage and thereafter Sebastian Vettel was unstoppable as he notched up nine victories on the trot, wrapping up the title with five races to spare.
Schumacher ventured, “Until a point that they understood: Ah OK, here we are at the end of the Championship for us, so it is better to focus on … 2014.”
“The infrastructure now is in place. Since quite a while [ago] Ross Brawn decided to have the right amount of people in the right position and everything now is there to have the base to fight the Championship in the future. And that’s what I think can happen. Anyway, congratulations for the second position,” said Schumacher who returned to F1 with Mercedes in 2010 after a four year break from the sport.
As for his feelings since retiring from F1, Schumacher said, “I mean Formula 1 is certainly the highlight of motorsport and it’s great to drive the car absolutely, yes. I enjoyed when I have been in Nürburgring to drive the car to have a bit of fun but to do it seriously…no. I’m tired of this one and that is why I decided so, because Mercedes gave me the option to continue for the future and I didn’t really fancy it.”
“I have arrived in my new life and that is very nice. Even if you go back after the first time I retired I didn’t really miss it because I have so many other pleasureful things to do, so it is a good life,” insisted the German who competed in 307 grand prix races, winning 91 and scoring 155 podiums along the way.
Schumacher and quadruple World Champion Sebastian Vettel and Schumacher have a special bond. After all they have been partners in the all conquering Team Germany at the annual Race of Champions, and Vettel has admitted that Schumacher was his idol.
Of the Red Bull driver’s accomplishments Schumacher said, “Great job, very consistent, look at his teammate that is your reference point that you take. I mean he won all those races, 13 this year I think. Mark Webber …won none in the end. That is pretty shocking. I’m glad I’m not his teammate, but definitely he is the worthy … champion. I’m really happy for him. If somebody can break all [my] records I prefer it to be him, than somebody else.”
As for what keeps him occupied and motivated beyond Formula 1, Schumacher revealed, “I’m looking after young drivers in the go-kart area. I’ve always been close to the go-kart scene. I have a friend, he builds go-karts and I do actually test drives and development for him. Yeah, karting is a fascinating world that I still love to be involved in and I always see young kids and they come along and so I give them my point of view and they appreciate that.” (GP247)
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