‘Motivation, not a question mark'

Y.B. Sarangi
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FORMULA ONE / Schumacher hopes to meet Tendulkar over the weekend

TRADING BANTER: Michael Schumacher and Narain Karthikeyan, along with Adrian Sutil, during a press conference on Thursday. — PHOTO: Rajeev Bhatt
TRADING BANTER: Michael Schumacher and Narain Karthikeyan, along with Adrian Sutil, during a press conference on Thursday. — PHOTO: Rajeev Bhatt

: Staying motivated is not a problem for Michael Schumacher. The seven-time champion, so used to beating opponents hands down till a few years ago, now finds himself in a strange position of starting from behind and seeking to reach the top of Formula One racing once again.

Schumacher, driving for Mercedes GP Petronas, finds joy in his quest for excellence again.

“Motivation is not a question mark. It is just a matter of having a procedure of building ourselves back to the top. That's what we are here for and that's why we all work very hard. There is only one target and that is coming back to the winning groove,” said the legendary driver at a press conference here on Thursday.

Focus on podium

In his second coming, Schumacher said his mission to stand atop the podium for the Silver Arrows was still on.

“Both Mercedes and I had different expectations to win races. At the moment, we know we have to be patient and we will be back on the winning road.”

However, Schumacher, after 284 starts on the F1 circuit in a 20-year career, is not shy of admitting that the most difficult part of a race for him is the wait before the competition on the starting grid.

“It is usually the start which is the most intense moment — to get on the line with traffic around you and make a position without contact.”

On safety

Driver safety has been one of the main talking points after the recent deaths of IndyCar racer Dan Wheldon and MotoGP rider Marco Simoncelli. With loads of racing experience, the 42-year-old gave a practical outlook towards safety.

“We live in a world where nothing is totally safe. Your fate will take you anywhere, any moment. If you look how much we have improved (in F1), it's huge.”

Schumacher added the drivers knew how to drive within their limits and stay safe as far as possible.

F1 will have 20 races next year and Schumacher said that should be the limit.

“Twenty races a year is fine. But it reaches the limit. We cannot have endless number of races. It is a tough schedule for the engineers and mechanics.”

On F1 coming to India, Schumacher hoped that the country would emerge as a popular destination for the sport in the longer run.

“India is a very high growing market for technical products. It has some tradition, but it has the will to go for technology.”

Despite his busy schedule, the German driver wanted to meet Indian cricket legend Sachin Tendulkar.

“Many years ago, I met him and I remember the meeting with my friend. I have good memories (of the meeting) and I hope to run into him over the weekend,” he said.

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