Q & A with Willi Weber
|By Jonathan Noble||Monday, September 11th 2006, 09:40 GMT|
Q. How did Michael and you decide on the announcement?
Willi Weber - Michael Schumacher's manager: To make a decision you must be clear and this takes some time. The first decision to take is 'should I stop or should I continue?'. There are many little points that you see yourself. The decision to stop was only by Michael.
What I told him was that when you win the eighth title it is better we stop because this is the maximum you can achieve. With so many wins and so many titles and you leave F1, yes you leave F1 not as a king, more than a king.
You are the absolute hero. I think nobody else will achieve what he did - eight titles, I say eight at the moment but it is seven and a half, and so many wins. It is a sensation. It is a phenomenon and I think nobody else will achieve it.
Q. Will you continue?
WW: It is not clear yet. I go with Michael, we will have a little break, time out, we will stay together with Ferrari in different things. We don't know exactly what the position will be that we do, but we stay with Ferrari and Michael will need always a manager, a driver like him the world's best driver.
We have many things to do, we have many sponsors we need to carry on and maybe I come back with a young German driver. I don't know yet.
Q. Was it a relief for Michael that he made the decision?
WW: I am not clear on this position. We just talked. It is a decision that is not like changing only your haircut. It is a decision changing your whole life and it is very full with emotion. So when we spoke, by the time he had some months and weeks to get clear what he really wants and at the end of the day it was to stop at the end of 2006, and I think the decision was absolutely okay.
Q. What was for/against?
WW: We have not spoken against F1. This was not the point. We just say continue on or stop, that was all.
WW: Maybe to drive at a level like Michael did for this many years takes a lot of power and energy and maybe he feels he doesn't have the 100 percent that F1 needs from you to make a perfect job that Michael used to do.
Maybe it is 1 percent less and many little things come together. He loved what he was doing, we all know this, otherwise you cannot achieve so many wins or points, but some time you must say yes or no – to stop. This is era Schumacher finito.
Q. Was Michael happy to make the announcement here?
WW: You never find the right time to make an announcement like this, so I think it was okay.
Q. So did he not want to make it?
WW: To be honest, maybe I would say now we should not speak at all and drive the season. The last four days I don't know what I am doing here, I just had answers on what he is doing and nobody think we drive a race here. He drove a fantastic race, he won the race and we are near now to the championship. This is completely gone and that is a pity.