Michael Schumacher was born there were no German drivers in Formula One. Then how did his country produce one of the greatest drivers of all time? NISHAD PADIYARATH talks to the seven-time world champion.
“It was in my blood and rest was all destiny,” said the legendary Schumacher. The Ferrari star is one hero haunted by the media since he landed here. “I have spent the last three hours doing interviews and you are the last one mate. So you should be alright,” he yawns.
Schumacher has already fallen in love with this place. “I am so much impressed with this place. Ever since I landed here on Thursday, the hospital- ity that is given to me is simply incredible,” he said.
Speaking about the Abu Dhabi Grand Prix, which is one of the richest and the most eagerly awaited sporting spectacle, Schumacher said given a chance he would love to drive on the Yas Marina Circuit.
Schumi, as he is popularly known as, is not a person whom one can have for an easy interview. As we talk, a small band of students milled around Schumi in an attempt to take his pictures. “Am I still popular?” he humbly asks signing the autographs. It’s been three years since Schumacher retired from the sport but back in Germany, he is still an icon. His every move- ment and utterance are monitored, while his image is on billboards and in as many as a quarter of all advertisements on televisions. “There have been a few scary moments when I used to walk in public.”
“A lot of people want to get close to me. It is just affection, but there are chances of me or others getting injured. So I am really careful to go on a casual stroll these days,” he quipped with a smile.
There have been a few scary moments when I used to walk in public.
Schumacher has won seven world championships and what really is the secret behind his success?
Some say the key was his phenomenal level of fitness. Few others thought, his mental powers, but he gives his signature smile while saying: “You learn from your mistakes. I learnt from my failures. Every time when I lose, I used to go down to the paddock and think why did I lose the race? The moment my team members are out of sight I used to cry. But then, later on I realised that winning and losing are all part of life. It is how you accept it,” he adds.
This story was originally published on November1, 2008 in Times of Oman.