Q & A with Michael Schumacher
By Jonathan Noble Sunday, October 22nd 2006, 20:50 GMT
Q. What is your comment of this race?
Michael Schumacher: The race was chaotic, I think that is the right word. We really had a superb car today from the pure speed we could have lapped everybody. So I have to say it was the perfect end to the season in terms of car performance but for me it didn't work out well. For Felipe is worked out extremely well he is the first Brazilian to win his home Grand Prix since senna and I want to congratulate him.
Q. Why did you have so much bad luck this weekend?
MS: I don't know why it was like this, but this is part of racing too.
Q. There was a fight with Fisichella and you cut your tyre. Was it fair?
MS: I cannot really judge it as I haven't seen anything. I was told my tyre was cut but I didn't feel it. The only thing I felt was in turn two when the tyre didn't really work any more.
Q. The whole weekend you seemed so calm despite so many people wanting to speak you...
MS: It was like in Monza, we don't let hectic things like that affect the team. We wanted to fight for the constructors' championship so we shut out everything else. To win it we needed a one-two finish so we had to concentrate. It was hard and we could not allow ourselves not to concentrate on performance.
Q. When will it hit you that you are no longer an F1 driver?
MS: I have no clue. I don't know when this will happen. There are a lot of questions I don't have answers to.
Q. Anything you won't miss?
MS: Maybe questions I cannot answer. The things I will miss are probably the fans and in every moment they have been behind me and always supported me. That support helped me perform, especially in moments when it was difficult. Over the years that was immensely important. I can only say thank you to those people and those fans.
Q. A lot of media only know F1 with a Schumacher, so it will be strange for you to be without F1?
MS: It is far too early to answer that question because I have not had time to think about it. We have been in a championship fight.
Q. What was the most beautiful championship?
MS: Certainly the one in 2000, we had a lot of hard work and setbacks so when we finally won it it was the most beautiful championship.
Q. When will we see you again?
MS: Not so far away. Next week is the Ferrari world day at Monza and I will be there. There will be a press conference so we will meet there, and after that I will have some time off.
Q. You feel sad?
MS: Of course I would have loved to be on the podium in my last race, but it wasn't to be with the way the race went. Now we look to the future.
Q. Any future plans?
MS: I have no plans at the moment. But I am quite sure at some point I will miss this team, but there are friendships here so we will meet again.
Q. What will you do on March 18, 2007.
MS: That is the date of the first race, so I will either be with my kids or sit in front of the TV and watch it.
Q. Any regrets?
MS: Of course there have been regrets and things I would do differently, but if I went into that it would get too intense and we don't have time right now. But there is the song 'my way' and I think that is true right now.
Q. Tonight what are your plans?
MS: I will sit down with my family and friends and we will celebrate together.
Q. You have had some bad luck in Japan, qualifying here and today but you never criticised the team?
MS: In a way it is a closed circle because my F1 career started and finished after 500 metres, which was maybe a symbol of what happened yesterday.
Q. People say you may change your mind because you are still so strong?
MS: At the start people said what is your decision, when will you make your decision and when I made my decision people now ask whether I will change my decision. It is funny. I certainly have no plans to change my retirement.
Q. Was this race the nicest of your career?
MS: No, but it was a nice race. It was okay.
Q. From the outside it looked like you were having a lot of fun. Was that so?
MS: Yes, by the end I really started to enjoy myself when I saw I was able to close the gap and come back into the points. In the end I wasn't too far from the podium so I felt joy, but at the beginning it was boring. We were so far behind that I didn't think we had any chance. Then it developed nicely and we started having fun.
Q. Having finished your last race, what is going through your mind?
MS: I haven't had enough time to think about it.
Q. Do you have sadness or satisfaction?
MS: I feel very mixed. Partly both.
Q. How many laps do you think you would have needed to get on the podium?
MS: Maybe five.
Q. It seems you are retiring at your best, are you retiring happy?
MS: I would have preferred to be on the podium in my last race, but seeing the circumstances I suppose I have to be happy.
Q. What have your family said to you?
MS: My dad was happy to see me after the race and he said: "finally it is over". He was quite happy. I feel more relaxed although I think his heart rate was higher in the race than mine. I think Ferrari have ended their season on a high.
Q. Your career in F1 lasted 16 years. Was it long or short for you?
MS: It was intense but I loved it.
Michael Schumacher Career History