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Formula 1

Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher: Part 30

Saturday January 10 2004

Part Dreizig: The latest exclusive contribution from the man who is more Formula 1 than Formula 1.

Part DreizigHappy New Year my tifosi chums. Well, not long now till another new season is starting from the grid.

I have had a great break at Christmas with Lieblings pudgie wudgie doughnut face and the two little rascals. As usual we flew off to spend New Year in Norway with Jos and his family. He is joking with me that Minardi helped Ferrari win the Constructor's title last year by giving us valuable tyre data and I am joking back that it was nice of him to sweep the track for me at every race.

Then I am saying I didn't realise Minardi were on Bridgestone and he is adding that they were probably tyres from 1999 and it is all getting hilarious.

As a special treat I gave him the latest limited edition T-shirt from the new Schumi Is A Living God merchandising range, 'Six Is Good For You'. He said he would definitely find a use for it.

I have seen the new Williams car and what a shock. It looks like a kit car that Patrick Head has knocked up in his garage at weekends. No wonder he didn't come to all the races last year.

Someone said to me, "have you seen that big nose at Williams?" and I am answering, "what you mean Marc Gene?"

I cracked myself up the middle at this remark.

This talk of new cars makes me hopeful to see the new Ferrari F2004. Ross has said that it is so full of parameters that he needs Luca Baldiserri to look after strategy this year while he looks after the parameters.

I hope these parameters are reliable and have been properly tested before I get to the car.

Right now we are having a massive practical joke on the other teams by not running to our fastest speed in testing. Even though some of the times are posting two seconds under the Toyota and the Renault, this is because we have put a small wooden wedge under the accelerator pedal.

This will give the other teams a false sense of progress, then, at the opening race we will take the wedge out.

People are expecting me to get upset about Martin Brundle's criticisms. He is saying, "Michael sets a bad example as far as I am concerned as he will run everybody off the road at the first opportunity. He did it in Formula Three in Macau, he did it to me and he has even put his own brother into the wall."

This is of course rubbish. I never put Ralf in the wall, he got very close, yes, but he missed it. And I only ran Martin off the road in a hire car on the way back to Barcelona Airport when we were at Benetton together. He is still sore because he had to pay the insurance excess.

It is nice of Mark Blundell to say that he thinks I will win a seventh title, this year.

"This year's going to be good. I think McLaren are going to be strong, and Williams look like they're be right in the thick of things as well. but I think that Michael Schumacher and Ferrari will be knocking on the door of another World Championship."

What a great vision he has. Who could have predicted that Ferrari, Williams and McLaren would have been contesting the World Championship and not Toyota, Sauber and BAR. He may have been a fat nobody in F1 driving terms but he is a great TV pundit.

I am off to make amends with Jean, now. I bought him a Christmas present which he has taken the wrong way. There is a certain, how do I put it, atmosphere in the motor home after a hot day on the track. So I bought him a crate of 18 cans of deodorant and labelled one for every grand prix. Perhaps the French have no sense of humour.

<< Part 29  |  Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher  |  Part 31 >>

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).