I Michael Schumacher presented himself in high spirits at the official team presentation in Stuttgart. The spotlight and attention were back and his old Ferrari companion Ross Brawn was at his side too. Schumi clearly felt at ease that the Formula 1 fever was rampant in Germany again: 'We saw that already in the summer. It is a great feeling to get such support from outside.'
Thereby a return of the record champion was always a topic, as he himself admitted in Stuttgart: 'Ross and I had contact at least once a year. Even when he was at Honda, he already indicated that there might be a possibility.' But the time was not yet right. 'We joked a little about it in Abu Dhabi. When he called again during the winter break, it was clear what it was about,' the German describes the way to the comeback.
Brawn trusts Schumacher a lot to
Team boss Brawn is thrilled to be reunited with his old companion. 'Like me, he took a break. He's fresh again and looks younger than his age says', the Englishman sprinkles flowers for his protégé. 'His talent is not getting any less. He still has a great work ethic. And he has already shown his commitment at the factory. I don't know if he'll need a race or two to get back where he wants to be. Me think he's quick from the start. '
Schumacher himself tries to take the pressure off a little. The goal is of course the title, but the seven-time master does not want to promise anything: 'We have everything to do it. But it is one thing to have all the ingredients and another thing to cook a menu from them, in other words: good ones Achieving results. But with the experience of Ross Brawn, who won the title last year, with Mercedes with all his experience, his know-how, his qualities and, finally, I'm also there. Sorry: there can only be one Giving a goal: We have the goal and the mission to win the title. '
That the German knows the situation with the refueling ban from the first three years of his career doesn't really help:' That is not comparable. The rules are new. Cars have evolved. Now it depends on who is best able to adapt to the new situation. '
Schumacher does not go crazy
The 41-year-old does not feel any particular pressure from the young competition from Hamilton, Vettel and Co. 'It doesn't matter whether an opponent is young or experienced. It's all about being better.' What has changed, however, is that with Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull several competitors are fighting for the top positions. 'In the past there was usually only one competitive opponent.'
The German did not let go of the past, even when he started again. English reporters tried to lure Schumacher out of the reserve with allusions to his often uncompromising actions on the track. But the Silver Arrow pilot did not get involved and instead referred to his track record. For their part, the Italian press tried to remember the time at Ferrari - with more success: 'Ferrari is part of my past and part of my heart is red. We are still friends. Just because we race against each other on the track doesn't mean you forget what happened in the past. '
Schumi doesn't have to prove anything to anyone
The Kerpener is full of energy and wants to finally get started. 'We started discussing the comeback at the beginning of November. I can't wait to get into the car for the first time in Valencia.' After the team management announced, Rosberg and Schumacher will share the cockpit on the first day of the test. The main thing is to have fun: 'Because of my age, I don't have to prove anything to anyone. At most to myself. I'm just absolutely keen on driving at a high level,' the record champion concluded. So the competition should be warned.