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Formula 1: United States Grand Prix

American Government Special Collections Reference Desk

Open Wheel Racing Topics:  United States Grand Prix

Formula 1: United States Grand Prix

Michael Schumacher
June 29, 2006


INDIANAPOLIS, INDIANA

THE MODERATOR: Michael, you've always managed to be fairly anonymous in the USA. Is that still the situation over the last few days?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Yeah, even after being racing in the States, it's still the same basically. Depends where you go honestly. There's some places a bit different, but generally that's the case.
THE MODERATOR: You've managed to enjoy yourself over the last couple days then?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Yes.
THE MODERATOR: Can we ask what you've been up to?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: A nice ride with the bikes.
THE MODERATOR: Did you do Pikes Peak then?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Pikes Peak, no.
THE MODERATOR: Some people have done that hill climb.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: No.
THE MODERATOR: What we've heard is great optimism from the team all the time, that we can at some stage beat Renault all the time. Yet it hasn't happened. You haven't led a lap since Spain. Is that optimism well-founded or not, do you feel?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Yeah, it is. I mean, there is clearly progress happening. If you go back to the races sort of before England, we looked pretty strong. If you see the development we have done, it looked optimistic for us. Obviously, the other guys don't stand still either.
THE MODERATOR: And the development, are you expecting obviously more development in France? Is that going to happen? Can it happen there?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I mean, we keep on developing. There's nothing else for us to do. I mean, we keep on fighting and see what happens.
THE MODERATOR: You said at the start of the season, it's all about the rate of development. Have you been surprised at the rate of Renault's development?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: In a way, yes. I mean, you should think that we should have more sources available. But then there is the two areas of development. You have the tire development and you have the car development. It depends in which area or what area you compare and you look at.
THE MODERATOR: It was interesting last weekend, two Bridgestone runners obviously made a mistake in terms of their tire choice, including your brother. Seemed to be such a huge difference in performance just from making that wrong tire choice.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: Well, I mean, I'm not involved in what they did, so I will look at our own situation. We clearly weren't strong enough. That's what came out.
THE MODERATOR: But here, no one has a better record than you or the team. Four wins. Ferrari have won five out of six races. You personally have led every one of those six races. You never finished lower than second. Does that mean anything?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I still have a good record in Canada, as well. It doesn't really mean anything, honestly. End of the day, you have to look at the now situation. We have a find out whether our package suits the circuit.


...

Q. Michael, American racing fans take their four-time winners at Indianapolis pretty seriously. Al Unser, AJ Foyt, Rick Mears among them. Do you consider yourself, even though you're a different racing discipline, part of that Indianapolis fraternity of four-time winners? Do you consider yourself part of that Indianapolis greatness?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I mean, I'm not exactly sure of the history of Indianapolis, when it started, how long it is. But, I mean, Formula One is there just for the years we are here, and I'm not sure if you should really put yourself into that history that much. I'm not considering it too much, no.


...

Q. Michael, the number of times that you're finishing second being so uncommon given your career, does that frustrate you or give you even more drive to get back to where you were?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: No, neither/nor honestly. It's just part of the game. It's natural that you simply can't win every race, although you wish.
No, but last year was occasionally frustrating. But to be second, I mean, like a race in Canada actually in the final stage to get second position is some excitement.

Q. Michael, of the panel, you would be the most experienced. With the success that you've had, do you think -- have you peaked or are you still potentially getting better or are you still learning or do you think you've peaked as a driver?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: You never stop learning, absolutely. There is a point where you stop obviously gaining speed, natural speed. But That starts very early. After that, it's just experience you take on. I'll never stop honestly because Formula One just develops all the time and you just have to keep track of the development and just be on top of it, and that makes you developing at the same time.

Q. So would a driver with a technical feel, would he potentially have an advantage in Formula One as it is today or is it the instinct-reflex driver? Do you know what I mean by that?
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I don't think the reflexes -- I mean, I haven't measured it. There is obviously a trade-over when maybe your reflexes slow down and experience come in. But I only can compare myself against my teammates. I haven't looked to that so far, so...


...

Q. Michael, tomorrow Germany will play against Argentina. What do you expect of this match? You think it will be possible to watch the match here in the USA during the practice? I don't know if it's before or after.
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER: I don't know what time it is. But if I have time, I will certainly watch it, absolutely. I think if we go through that one, then we have done already 50% or maybe more than 50% because Argentina is one of the top teams. Being able to beat them, we're looking good.



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