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Formula 1

Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher: Part 15

Part Funfzehn: Disaster at the Ferrari Christmas Party

Monday December 23 2002

Part FunfzehnI love you tifosis! It is very much and quite honestly appreciated deeply, that quite honestly I love you, sincerely and obviously, this is true. I have to confess to you, my lovely lovely tifosis, that I have been drinking a little bit.

This is one hour after the Ferrari Christmas party and I am not able to write in a straight way and so I am speaking this to a tape machine which I will give to Sabine unless the tape gets stucked, which honestly I hope it doesn't.

So I am dictating this into a thing I have known for so long that journalists are always carrying round with them everywhere they are going. Yes, a bottle of beer. Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha-ha

You see when I am not trying so hard to be funny the comedy is just flowing out of me.

Sabine - this is Michael, obviously - I want you to type this straight out exactly and send it to the website.

I am a great dictator. I can talk for hours if I need to be talking for hours. Rod Dennis paid me the very nice compliment by saying that I am articulated and in fact one of the most articulated drivers in F1. Which is a nice thing to be in not your mother language. Even if he was only comparing me to, I-am-a-robot Raikkonen, a person with as much carisma as a cat flap.

Sabine - did I say Rod? Of course this is Ron Dennis, don't be taking me too seriously on names that you know are not 100%.

I had two small beers before the speeches at the party, which is my maximum limit. But I am getting very nervous in my build-up and so I had one more, virtually a month's alcohol intake in just three hours.

Knowing that Jean Todt was waiting in the wings with a Cher costume from 1986 - complete with seeing-through latex and two thousand glittery, small, sew-on things, made me very nervous. Paolo said it made him nervous too and he didn't even have to make a speech. (That shows you the team spirit at Ferrari, we really feel each other at big moments).

Finally the time came for me to give my speech and I knew Ross would be judging it to see if it was 70% funnier than last year, which honestly and quite obviously I knew it could be. I decided to start with a joke that had made me laugh like some drainage.

I stood up in front of everybody underneath the bright lights of concentration.
"Why do grand prix drivers have bigger balls?" I asked.

Unfortunately by this stage I was not remembering the exact answer to this. Of course too late now I recall that it is because they sell more tickets. But standing up there with so much expectingness focused upon me, my mind went completely silent.

"Because there are a lot more people at them," is what I finally said.

The roar of laughter that I was hoping would greet me did not arrive. Instead of using my predicted speech I tried to get the audience going with my second funniest joke. This was also one which is making me laugh very much. Only now I am slightly tense and my mouth is dry, like sand on a barbecue.

"A naked man enters a fancy dress party on all fours. On his back he has a naked woman. The owner of the party comes up to him and asks him what he is coming as."
The naked man is answering - "a tortoise".
"So," replies the host, "then who is this girl on your back?"
And then I should have said, "that's Michelle".
But for a fatal fraction of a second I paused.
And then for some reason I said, "that's Miguel"

Again silence. Dreadful, painful silence, when I realised I was indeed the Alex Yoong of comedy.

Jean came on afterwards and demolished the house with his medley of Cher numbers. Everyone was impressed with how easy he finds walking in high heels and where 'everything' gets located inside his costume.

I could do nothing but sink my sorrows in more alcohol and after my fourth lager half-glass this is the sorry drunken state you have found me in.

So next year I have two challenges To win another world title and to become just 50% funnier. Have a happy, lovely New Year tifosis. Now, where is the toilet...

<< Part 14  |  Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher  |  Part 16 >>

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).