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Formula 1

Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher: Part 31

Saturday January 31 2004

31: Part Ein Und Dreizig: Planet-F1 is proud to bring you the exclusive, unedited text from Michael Schumacher's secret diary.

Part Ein Und DreizigGreetings to my lovely tifosi playthings.

So, now we have it, our new car is launched, testing is under way and I can almost smell the new season.

We are having a lot of criticism in the press for not changing our car between 2003 and 2004. This is not helping anyone, seriously, by Rory telling reporters it will be very much an altered appearance on show in Melbourne.

I honestly believed it was a new car - because Ross told me it was - despite it looking very much like the old one. However, sitting in the new car at Maranello for the press photographing, I noticed a bit of chewing gum that I stuck under the steering column from last year's Italian GP at Monza. Of course I did not tell anyone.

A lot of the press were expecting a radically different nose for 2004, but this is something lost in translation between a journalist and Mr.Todt. Jean actually said he was getting a radically different nose for 2004. He is fed up with the big fat French one he has to look over.
(I wouldn't say he has a big nose, but when he sneezes in the motorhome, the walls distort so much you could fit another three people inside.)

I think he is very much influenced by the TV programme Will and Grace.

Anyway, now for an exclusive, tifosi playmates. I have been a naughty boy. Oh yes, your Schumster isn't beyond a bit of illegal fun every so often.

At the FIA awards in December, World Rally Champion Petter Solberg asked me if I'd like to try out being a passenger in his seat for one of a rally shaking down in the Subaru. Now technically I am supposed to say no to these things because my insurance company says it is most 100% verboten.

When I am asked by Ferrari personnel, Marlboro or my insurance broker I say no, you would not catch me dead in a rally car. I would sooner have my testicles set on fire during pitstops.

However in reality I love to stick my bobbling hat on and my unfashionable anorak and go rallying. Luckily for me the ITV cameras that had come to interview Petter got there late just as I was being whisked away in an Audi estate car. And nobody was any of the wiser.

We are back testing the cars, which is something I am always keen to do. The minute I return to the car, the mechanics are allowed to take the wooden wedge from underneath the accelerator, which Luca and Rubens are forced to drive with. All of a sudden we are setting stunning times again and everything is looking great for our season ahead.

I am saying less in front of reporters in 04, a deliberate policy, you will find. I have also introduced a new concept by talking about 'the dangerous one'. This is me being elusive and mysterious. Now reporters are turning and asking each other who is 'the dangerous one', who is 'the one that Schumi fears'.

Some think it is Raikkonen, some think it is Juan-Pablo, some think it is Alonso, and David Coulthard's mother thinks it is him. I will not let on exactly who is 'the dangerous one'. We shall let this one run.
(Obviously it is the German tax investigator, but this is ruining the mystery if I let it slip out).

Finally it looks very likely that I won't be placing high-fives on my old buddy Jos Verstappen this year. He couldn't come to an agreement with Eddie Jordan for a drive in the yellow incendiary device. It is no surprise for me that this is so. Eddie is as slippery as a pig dipped in butter (but not as charismatic, obviously) in his negotiations.

It would probably be easier for Jos to sign a pact with the devil than get a proper contract out of EJ. And talking of the devil I wonder what ever happened to Tom Walkinshaw...

<< Part 30  |  Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher  |  Part 32 >>

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).