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Formula 1

Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher: Part 1

June 2002

Part One: At last we have found the tortoise!

Part EinsI am still so very angry about what happened at the A1-Ring. Willi is telling me not to read the newspapers - which I am not - and Sabine is keeping the dog-pack at the bay, but I am still filled up with anger about the press conference. The question that is sticking most in my mind?
'What is the championship worth if you win it now?'

That is not a correct question. How would I know? It could be worth between $20m and $50m, only Willi knows the answers to that. But what a time and place to be asking about money.

It is a relief to be back in the factory and talking to 'Father' Rory Byrne. I must explain about this. I once was thinking when I was looking at him, that if you put him into a priest's uniform, he would look just like a traditional Irish countryside priest. And since that time we are having this enormous joke where I call him 'Father' and he is calling me, 'my son'. Nigel Stepney is in on our joke also with 'Father Byrne'. He is saying to Rory, "Can you fix that Father, to be sure, to be sure," and they are both laughing a long time. I do not know why. Perhaps I will use that funny line also "to be sure, to be sure".

I am having a phone call from Ralf in the week asking why I did not come over to see him, Cora and little David in Spielberg. In all things between us we can talk openly and plainly except when it comes to Cora. I deflected his enquiries with counter questions about his hairstyle. This story, that the colour was a 'bad mistake' by a hairdresser, not for a second do I believe. I am sure that it is Cora who is wanting to change his looks and image. And what a disaster she has caused. He was wearing one of his 'oh no, I've broken the go-kart again' faces all weekend, that I know so well from our childhood.

It is not a good time for me with either the Austrians or the Swiss after the environmental party turn down our plans for a ranch - the reason they say is that the land is for agriculture. I am wanting to say back to them in a very loud voice - what are horses then, a chemical works? I do not think horses are industrial, they are as green as the leaves on the trees. I believe the reason they are saying no is because motor-racing is not green or they are McLaren fans. It is a big disappointment because Corinna loves horses so much. She even calls me mein kleines pferde gesicht at our moments of great passion.

However the good news is that we have found Gunther, the tortoise Mika Hakkinen gave us. We had so much fun last year with Gunther, but just after hibernation we put him in the garden and the little fellow made a break for it. Lucky for us our neighbour found him. She said she knew he had to be ours because it was the only tortoise she'd ever seen painted with a 'Deutsche Vermögensberatung' logo.

On Thursday I have to confess I had my fourth chocolate biscuit of 2002. It was a lapse in concentration, a moment when I was not being focused and I just reached out and took it from a plate in the middle of a table. I do not intend to repeat this act of madness until the championship is won. To make up for it, I spent an extra hour in the gym, running an extra 20 kms. I do not think Jean, will notice when he gives me my weekly massage.

As for Monaco, I am looking forward to the race extremely. Our tifosis will be camped on the hillside for the race and I will thank them for their understanding and dedicate the race victory to them. Somebody said that I have won at Monaco so many times that if I win the race one more time I should keep the trophy, but I do not believe this is possible.

I am not looking forward to the questions by the Juan Montoya-loving press room. They are like jackals after meat and I do not want to play the lonely wildebeest that is getting separated from the herd. I have been looking in the mirror and practicing 'I'm very sorry' faces. That will have to do.

               Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher  |  Part 2 >>

Disclaimer: I am not the author, but have archived these entries for posterity as I felt that they were so well written by "Michael Schumacher" for Planet-F1 (who have removed almost all of the originals from their website).