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Formula 1

Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher: Part 10

Monday October 07 2002

Part Zehn: Michael reveals the real reason why he finished second at the US Grand Prix.

Part ZehnWell, my Planet-F1 tifosis, I think perhaps you are already knowing the reason for my not winning the US Grand Prix. After my last confession with you (Secret Diary Part Neun) it is very plain. What is the most surprising is that nobody has asked me about this, almost not believing that I am regularly giving you my inside line.

There has been so much questioning after Indianapolis. Did you know where is the finishing line? Did you let Rubens through? Was it a mistake? Was it a favour? Was your car stucked in gear? Were you really trying to make the first ever dead heat?

Naturally, it was not a mistake. I am not blowing my own trombone here, but I think you have known me many times enough to know that this is not a mistake I could be making.

The reason...?

I got a phone call from Corinna when we are having the race debrief and she said that Frau Blucher sends her best wishes and that it was very nice of me not to win. Yes, that is the truth of it. I did it for Frau Blucher.

But it is difficult to stand up - well, sit down and shift uneasily from bottom cheek to bottom cheek - and say that you did not win the American Grand Prix because your moany, 74-year-old Swiss cleaning lady finds it difficult lifting any more heavy trophies, complains endlessly about arthritis in her fingers and that we won't be able to replace her till she retires in February 2003.

This is obviously something I am not even telling Jean or Ross yet. The cat is still in my bag.

I will have to admit I was becoming slightly envious when I saw Juan-Pablo on the David Letterman Show before the US Grand Prix. He is a big fan of Formula 1 and clearly sees Juan as a starring act. Envy is not a good emotion to have in your harbour, but Juan-Pablo - honestly - was not a great guest for the show. His idea of being funny is saying something stupid and then moving his eyebrows up and down very quickly. That does not even make it into Chapter 1 of 'How To Make Yourself Extra Funny' books.

If the researchers working for Letterman had done their work properly they would have realized that I am 70% funnier in 2002 than I have ever been.

Let me example you:
David: Great to see you Michael Michael: Hello David, do you know you look like Otto my dentist?

I am falling creased on the floor when I am thinking up this crazy line and it is a great pity there is no chance to administer my punchline to the American public. Paolo Martinelli has entered my motorhome at this moment and for a few seconds he thought he would have to ring Luca Badoer and say, "get your helmet ready".

It is also creating bad thoughts within me that Letterman found a nickname for Juan-Pablo so easily - they called him "Zorro", like the buckswashling hero from the movies.

I am having real difficulty obtaining a suitable nickname that sits contentedly upon my shoulders. Sabine says to me, "You are Schumi, you have a nickname already." Yes, yes, she is right, I know, but Ralf is a Schumi also. Yet Nigel Mansell is 'The Lion', Alain Prost is 'The Professor', Juan is 'Zorro' and I am 'The Bootlet'.

Let me float this one over you - 'The Scarlet Fox'? Good/bad? I leave it for mulling and will return soon.

Great news about my old engineer Steve Matchett. I was fondling though the latest issue of F1 Racing magazine - which is worth 6 euros just to read the wise commentary of Peter Windsor. "I love seeing perfection in motion," writes Peter this month "and never get tired of watching Michael win another one". He is a truly inspired journalist (though I have always wondered what his exact relationship is to Edward Windsor).

A distraction, though. I was reading the excellent magazine - when I spied Steve's name. He is now occupying the role of the magazine's technical editor. That is an amazing transformation! One week he is on Speed (no doubt in a gutter somewhere) and the next he is pulling his life together to write for the best F1 magazine in England. He is truly a lesson to us all.

<< Part 9  |  Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher  |  Part 11 >>

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).