Q & A with Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher: Monza is just unbelievable. It has always been very special, particularly when the fans are around to celebrate this moment with us. And due to the nature of the circumstance it is an unbelievable feeling I had out there today

Q & A with Michael Schumacher

Q. You knew a long time ago who was driving in the team. How difficult was it to make the decision?

MS: It has naturally been difficult in a way but at the moment I simply knew that all the effort, all the energy and all the motivation you need in order to be competitive, and that is the only reason I want to be here, I cannot see I can have that for further years. It has been such a good time for all this time and there is no point to just hang in and may take away a future of a young talented driver like Felipe.

Obviously my replacement I was aware of this for quite a long time and for Felipe it was around Indianapolis that his future had to be decided and I did not see a reason to just hang in and take away his opportunity. I think he is a talented and great person.

Q. How will you get rid of the competitive instinct?

MS: We have to see. I always said that the day I will retire I will just do nothing for a while. And then I will see what is my mood and what is going to happen. But I will always be a part of Ferrari family, we have to find out how but I will stick with my friends over there.

Q. Tell us about the early stages of the race

MS:There is not much sense going much closer because you find the car harder to drive, we wait until pit stop time and we tried to pick up lap times. Luckily it was two extra laps I had and it worked out.

Q. How difficult will the future races be after the decision?

MS:I think this was my most tough one, but it worked out fine. It is not as if I am lacking anything to make my decision. This is the reason. I don't want to be going away while I am well over it. I don't see a problem for the last three races.

Q. You say there was a time when you realised you wanted to retire. When was it?

MS: I said, in Indianapolis.

Q. You have been carrying this decision with you, how emotional is it?

MS: It was obviously pretty emotional to take the lap back after the race. I was talking to the team and informed everybody of my decision and probably this was the most emotional moment, being on the podium celebrating that moment knowing it was the last opportunity. The crowd gave me so much in terms of their feeling. It is just overwhelming.

Q. You informed the team in Indy?

MS: Basically after Indy, indeed. I informed the team as well there.

Q. Do you know what you will do with your life?

MS: As I said before, no. Part of it will for sure I will keep a relationship with Ferrari and we will talk about it at the end of the year and we will focus on the last three races.

Q. You always said you would stop when you had no pleasure or you were not competitive.

MS: There is another reason which developed and I explained that before.

Q. You look competitive at the moment, was there a struggle to think you could go another year?

MS: As you see what I am able to do now, this is not really the thought. As I said to you, you need all the energy and motivation and strengths and getting older it doesn't get easier to keep that. I just could not see I had it. It is maybe nicer that you go while you are at this point, rather than when you are at the other end.

Q. You mentioned Corinna. How much of a discussion did you have?

MS: It is natural with the relationship we have that we discuss every little thing and the good thing I mentioned before, without the support of my family, all these years with having these strengths and resist. She supported me in my decision, but there was no time when she went one or the other direction. She just helped me take my decision.

Q. You said it became harder to find energy and motivation...

MS: No I didn't say that. I can see this becoming harder. I don't see I will have that in the future.

Q. What takes most energy out of you?

MS: I don't know and I don't really want to think about it too much. If you forgive me, it is not really a good time to enter in every little detail of my decision. I hope you understand because I really want to focus on the championship. I think I gave you what I am pretty sure. I hope I expressed myself as good as I could. I hope you understand I don't want to get deeper into it.

Q. Do you think Ferrari could continue without you?

MS: I think Ferrari existed before and Ferrari will exist after. Ferrari took very good decisions of their driver line-up to ensure that success can continue.

Q. Can you imagine what life will be like without F1?

MS: I don't need to do it right now. We will see after. It is difficult to answer right now.

Q. Is there one rival who stands out as toughest competitor?

MS: I think the nicest battles were with Mika (Hakkinen) in the end. They were very high level without any animosities and hard racing.

Q. Michael, any regrets?

MS: Sure I have them, but I am not in the mood to go through them now.

Q. How much do you fear the announcement of your decision could distract you?

MS: I don't think the pressure is going to be heightened. I explained and expressed myself and if you have understanding what is most important is the championship. Everything that needs to do we will do.

Q. What was going through your mind when you crossed the line?

MS: Many things. But particularly family, team, the many friends I have.

Q. You had a very difficult season last year, how much did that play into your decision making?

MS: Not really because I don't see this will happen again. We have learned our lesson and I am very sure that next year they are going to have a car that is highly competitive.

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