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Interview with Michael Schumacher: & # 34; I don't have to argue with results '

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Interview with Michael Schumacher
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Was it brave to make a comeback?

Schumacher: J a and no. A certain amount of self-confidence and courage was necessary. If you've been out for three years and then want to compete with the world's elite again as an athlete over 40, then you need a certain optimism. You can also call it courage.

With what minimum goal did you start your second career?

Schumacher: I didn't exactly have a minimum goal. My goal was that we should be able to compete in the world championship. That's not unrealistic, considering that this team won the title the year before, that the engineers presented me with a development roadmap that made me optimistic. It wasn't unreasonable from what we knew then. Unfortunately things turned out differently, as we all know.

Did the positive moments outweigh the frustration?

Schumacher: After we realized that the championship was a very unrealistic goal, we reoriented. The aim was to build up the team for the future. I dealt with that very quickly, and that was fine with me, even if it wasn't what the team and I had expected from the start. With the combination of the world championship team and yours truly, we could assume that we would be right at the front. But I'm also realistic enough to assess the situation and then came to terms with it, although I never lost the belief that we could somehow manage it.

What were the highlights?

Schumacher: The pole position in Monte Carlo. The Indian GP 2011, when I drove the whole race at the limit after a bad qualifying and at the same time held the tires together better than Nico. Everything fit in my possibilities. Montreal 2010 was on the better side too. I get some satisfaction out of races like these because I know there wasn't much that I could have done better.

Was the pole position Is Monte Carlo important to you as confirmation that you still have the speed?

Schumacher: Not for me. For the outside world, yes. It is easier to argue with results. I know the details. We racing drivers are heavily dependent on the material. Unfortunately, we weren't always able to put together two constant cars. I know that, I can understand that. Can I explain it to the outside world? No. Do i have to explain? Not necessarily. A result like this helps, of course.

Which experience in your second career was the most surprising?

Schumacher: The car as it stands, Pushing it to the limit quickly is not the big problem. I noticed that when I agreed to help Ferrari after Felipe Massa's accident. I was up to speed quickly. The challenge is to put together the big puzzle from all the options you have as quickly as possible and to design it optimally. It took me a little longer than I expected because I first had to find the drawers in which these ingredients are in a new team.

Was the puzzle bigger than it used to be?

Schumacher: Very clearly. First, larger and, second, harder to locate. At Ferrari I knew every drawer. Then I knew exactly where to start to put that together. After a three-year break, I first had to find my way back into a new team.

Has the competition got bigger today than in your first career?

Schumacher: Yes, because the field is narrower lying together. In my early days, there was always the opportunity to give another driver not just a few tenths, but a whole second. Why? Because the cars weren't so aerodynamically balanced and therefore very sharp to drive. As a driver, you then have a lot more opportunities to break away. Today the cars are aerodynamically stable and very balanced. The window you move in isn't that big anymore. Breaking out does not work. Are today's drivers that much better? Even then, only the best drivers made it into Formula 1. Are there more best drivers today? Of course I have set new standards with the way I work, but my former colleagues were also perfect in the way they were used to work. And some have copied the new standard. The difference from today is perhaps that the new generation grew up with this standard. She internalized it.

Ten years ago only Mika Häkkinen was put on your level. Damon Hill and Jacques Villeneuve needed a very good car. With Vettel, Alonso, Hamilton, Raikkonen, Button, Webber and Rosberg the top is not todaydenser?

Schumacher: We didn't have so many good drivers back then. I think you can find them too.

Have you become a stranger to the new generation? Most of them are 15 years younger than you and logically have other interests.

Schumacher: They do other things like twittering. You have to accept that. But that's about it. Every time brings changes. There used to be no cell phone. Everyone has one today. If someone feels dependent on it and only lives in this world, then that is a different path. But we're not talking about that. But in the past there were also age differences. I was the young driver then. There were always different characters. With one you can, with the other you cannot. Despite the age difference, I have no problem with the Seb or the Timo. I don't feel that way at all. But then there are also a few colleagues I can't be with, and they are not necessarily younger.

In your second career you dealt more openly with defeats. Why? In your first career from 1996 to 1999 there were also periods in which you had a lot of opportunities to deal with difficult times and defeats.

Schumacher: Because I didn't have the experience back then, deal with it. In 1996 it was the slightest problem because we didn't have a car to win the world championship. From 1997 it was mainly in my hands. Then when you are close to it and still fail, it is just difficult to deal with defeat. For the past three years it has been more like 1996. We weren't able to fight for the championship at all. With the experience of this situation, you can come to terms with it better.

Is it correct to say: 2010 and 2011 you did not have the car, this year they were Is it your fault?

Schumacher: No. Of course the tires are a problem, but so are they for the others. They're way too specific to different cars. We are dealing with a tire with a small working window that few can handle. It shouldn't be like that. Our car has a character that it cannot work with this specific tire situation. That made the situation problematic for us.

Did Mercedes really understand the tires? The last few races didn't give the impression that it was like that.

Schumacher: We understand you, but you're not very flexible with our car. Certain problems cannot be cured. We still have some things from the past in the car and they cause a lot of tire wear.

Has Mercedes in comparisonSpent too little money on Red Bull?

Schumacher: That is a factor. Over the years, Red Bull has also built up an infrastructure that gave them the opportunity to react to everything and implement the budget optimally. That is nothing else than what we had at Ferrari at the time.

Could you have been world champion in a Red Bull or McLaren?

Schumacher: I would sign that I can keep up with the guys who are currently up front in a car like this. Can I win the current Red Bull or McLaren race is a good question. I can't answer that. Every driver needs a certain amount of time to get the car there so that it can win races with it. Nobody gets in and wins immediately. That was also the case with Ferrari back then. Can I drive as fast in a bespoke Vettel car as I do in a bespoke Schumacher car? Probably not.

In the past, a Grand Prix consisted of qualifying laps, interrupted by fuel stops. Today it is a long distance race. How much did you have to adapt your driving style?

Schumacher: You always have to adapt your driving style. This time the conversion process was a bit more extreme. Because the possibility as a driver to influence and bring about changes has decreased. The tires don't allow so much anymore. You just can't drive to the limit all the time. Every effort too much slows you down. So driving slowly is sometimes faster. You have to manage the tires from the start. In the past, that only happened when the tires were blistering. You used to be able to stand out from others by driving almost permanently to the limit.

The 1996 Ferrari wasn't a stroke of genius either. Still, you won three races. Is the Mercedes even worse in comparison?

Schumacher: You can't compare 1996 with 2012. The situation is very different. The Ferrari was extremely inefficient. Today we may not have the best car aerodynamically, but the gap is definitely not as great as it was in 1996. The cars are much closer together.

Was it surprising that you weren't a problem with age?

Schumacher: Of course I had my question marks there. In the first test drives and the first races, I watched myself closely to see whether everything was still as it should be. It was nice to get confirmation for myself that it was possible. Without self-praise I can say: I was probably a bit special in the relationship before, and that's why I was still able to do it at the highest level now.

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