Schumacher: We hardly make mistakes

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP in the FIA Press Conference. Formula One World Championship, Rd 7, Turkish Grand Prix, Preparations, Istanbul Park, Turkey, Thursday 27 May 2010.

Michael Schumacher during the FIA press conference in Istanbul

May.27 (Grand Prix 247) Michael Schumacher has come back to Formula 1 in 2010 after a three year lay off. The seven times F1 World Champion has yet to regain the form that he showed during his dominant Ferrari era. The Mercedes GP driver spoke at the Thursday FIA press conference in Istanbul, ahead of the Turkish Grand Prix weekend. Here are highlights.

Michael Schumacher makes the move on Fernando Alonso  that got him demoted to 12th at Monaco

Michael makes the move on Fernando Alonso that got him demoted to 12th at Monaco

Give us your comments on your Monaco race and particularly your interpretation of what happened on the last lap?
Michael Schumacher:
There is nothing more to be said then we said straight after the race. Green flag. Tried. The rules were slightly different to our interpretation and points were taken away, so I think it is a straightforward thing and not too much to look backwards and just look forward to the next one, here, now.

Was there absolutely no doubt that you were going to have a go coming out of Rascasse and you were going to try and overtake Fernando Alonso?
Sure, yes. I sort of was told obviously by the team – similar from my side – I checked everything I could check internally from driving the car to be prepared for that particular manoeuvre, yes.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP MGP W01. Formula One World  Championship, Rd 6, Monaco Grand Prix, Practice Day, Monte-Carlo,  Monaco, Thursday 13 May 2010.
Michael’s Mercedes MGPW01 will have more updates in Turkey

Up until then how was Monaco for you re-visited?
It is obviously exciting to drive in Monaco, no doubt. The race by itself, I have to say, was rather boring. You just drive and you can’t be overtaken, you can’t overtake. You have to really wait for the pit stop or wait for mistakes. We are all professional drivers, so we hardly make mistakes, so you are just stuck in your position that you are in and finish the race. That’s it.

Since Barcelona I think you have been happier in the car. Tell us what we can expect, what you expect from yourself, in the upcoming races?
If you see the position we are in, it is that Red Bull is driving a little bit in their own world and delivering a good driver’s job on top, so it is not just the car that you have to see there. After that it is Ferrari, McLaren, Renault and ourselves and I hope we have another little step of development here that moves us closer to this group and to be in a reasonable position to fight with them and hopefully be in front of them. It is to be seen here exactly where we are. Monaco, I don’t think, is a guideline or a reference. It is a very specific track, so it is interesting from our point of view what is going to happen this weekend.

Michael Schumacher (GER) Mercedes GP. Formula One World  Championship, Rd 5, Spanish Grand Prix, Qualifying Day, Barcelona,  Spain, Saturday 8 May 2010.
Michael has yet to deliver for Mercedes as he did for Ferrari

Do you think this should be a continuation of Barcelona, given that Monaco is a very specific track?
Yeah, if you look, we have been in a reasonable position basically right from the beginning of the season and it has continuously gone upwards. I have had two races in Australia and Malaysia I couldn’t really prove from my side but from the team’s side that was proven. If you take Shanghai away it just continues, Barcelona and Monaco onwards and I think it does it here and therefore it will be interesting how our car can perform physically here with the latest upgrades we have given to it.

Sir Jackie Stewart remarked in an interview yesterday that given the lack of success so far in your comeback that you were damaging your legacy. Do you agree or disagree with his comments so far?
I guess it’s pretty fair that he has opinion and I have mine and I naturally disagree, yeah.

Race winner Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari celebrates on the podium. Formula One World Championship, Rd 10, United States Grand Prix, Race, Indianapolis, USA, 2 July 2006. DIGITAL IMAGE

Michael celebrates winning the 2006 United States GP at Indianapolis

Bernie Ecclestone has announced that there will be a US Grand Prix in Austin, Texas. How important is it for your teams’ sponsors to have a race in the US?
Certainly, it’s one of the beautiful places around the world to go to and enjoy some good times, lots of great opportunities. For me, naturally, I love to go and race there as it allows me to spend some days before the race to hang out there and enjoy it. But more important for most of the manufacturers that are involved in Formula One, America is a very important market. If you think of how many countries like Brazil, Argentina, all those countries in South America, how many we had of those guys at Indy, then we should have even more, because logistically it’s easier to go to Texas than all the way up to Indy. Hopefully, that’s the case because one of the points that we have been missing is the sort of excitement that Formula One can create and can give to the fans that are in America. Yeah, it has not fully arrived, but quite honestly you cannot expect those things to happen overnight. You have to give it continuation, and this continuation hasn’t happened for a long enough time, plus maybe we haven’t yet got a known or successful American driver in our group that would be quite helpful for this. But certainly from our point of view we are very happy to go there.

The football World Cup will start in South Africa so what do you think the prospect for Germany?
Obviously we all cross fingers for our nation and naturally, after some good results in past championships, we still hope to do a little bit better now and maybe win a final, although it’s very optimistic to say that, especially with the sad happening to one of the most important players that we have had recently. Nevertheless, I’m sure that they will keep trying and we cross fingers.