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Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher: Part 38

Sunday October 31 2004

38: Part Acht und Dreizig: Planet-F1 presents the secret diary of the World's greatest F1 driver and all round Uber-Sportsman, Herr Michael Schumacher.

Hello my possibly underwhelmed but ever-loving and full of great anticipation tifosi.

As you will be aware, your Schumster did not have the most fantastic ending to a highly satisfying year of F1 thrills. Quite honestly and obviously we must be expecting some disappointments on the path to glory and it is only expected that in some races my trumps will not be coming to the top.

Brazilian was a strange race in many aspects. Strange to see Rubens finishing in Brazil, strange to see what Christian Klien's car looks like and strange to see Juan-Pablo concentrating hard on his driving for a change.

The hardest he normally tries is when he is trying to drive me off the road. At least he made a bit of effort for one time this year. (Juan fans you are possibly saying "Miaoow Michael", but this is true).

Not winning the race leaves me on 13 wins which honestly I am not too happy about. I do not believe in the science of lucky rabbit's footings or the genuine four-leafed clover Eddie Jordan once tried to sell me for $2m US. Even David Coulthard had his pair of lucky underpants (which must have gone missing this summer).

But I think 13 is a bad number. That is why there is no No.13 race car on the grid in case it brings bad luck. However I have another four seasons left to improve it to 14 or 15 wins and the way Bernie is signing up races for the future, we will have 21 on the calendar by 2006.

There was a lot of fun going on at my expense at the Brazilian weekend which was not at all appreciated on my behalf. It was all because Olivier Panis retired in Japan and so I became the new oldest driver on the grid. For this I received many presents. The Williams mechanics presented me with a flat cap and some tonic wine, Renault gave me a hearing aid, McLaren gave me a five-pack of incontinence pants and BAR presented me with a zimmer frame. These are all most amusing. To them anyway.

Not wanting to be accused of spoilsporting a party and pooping it, I smiled and said politely a thank-you. However underneath I was producing gritted teeth many times.

And mentioning age, there is a strange rumour going round the pitlane that Mark Webber is pretending to be younger than the age he actually registers. One of the engineers relayed to me a story that though he claims to be 28, he is really 31. I would be very interested to see a journalist ask him this question at a press conference next year in Melbourne. Perhaps I will ask the constantly irritating and bottom-licking Peter Windsor (for those of you who aren't in the know-how, he asks the post-race press conference questions) to ask such a question.

Now that the season has ended I am able to look forward to many things to do. One of which is to watch the special DVD of ITV's Formula Women presented to me by James - father of Enzo Allen - Allen. It is the very first successful matching up of comedy with motorsport.

I particularly enjoyed the hilarious Cadwell Park episode which combined tarmac racing with stunt driving and something that looked like rallycross, but might just have been not finding your way back to the track by the most direct route. Cora Schumacher tried her crow-like hands at motor racing this year in a celebrity touring car race and she would have been at home here. I have not laughed so much since Slavicia Ecclestone mistook the spare banana in Ross Brawn's overalls for something else. Who knows, I might even give ITV an interview if they come up with some more episodes.

Another thing I have to do very much of at this off-season moment is perform signatures. Willi has got me signing caps, T-shirts, photos, prints, model cars, gloves, helmets, visors, you name it, I will be signing it. Apart from a Williams contract, obviously.

Since I was giving him the big lecture about unsuitable and inappropriate merchandise - such as the Michael Schumacher toilet seat - Willi has been careful to limit my products.

One thing that I have said "yes", to, though, is an exciting new range of footwear - Schu's Shoes. Such a great name. Fashion is a big part of F1 with Oliver, OMP, Oakley and BOSS all sponsoring teams or drivers. So I have launched a range of shoes, because I cannot deny that for all of my life I have been a schu macher. You see, playing on the words "shoe" and "maker".

I will of course be signing my shoes which will start with racing boots, trainers, some formal wear shoes - the kind you might wear to an FIA awards ceremony in Paris - and some loafers. I told this to Jenson Button at the hotel in Sao Paulo and he asked if Jean Todt would be wanting a pair of loafers. I answered yes, because Jean has an eye for clothes. He then grinned in a strange way and said Jean would probably want a light in his loafers.

Sometimes Jenson is stranger than he looks.

Tifosi chums, even though the season has ended I will not be leaving you Schumi-less over the winter months. You can rely on me to deliver some more special off-season titbites for your consumption. As not the oldest driver in F1, but a trendy young dude would be saying... "Latest."

<< Part 37  |  Secret Diary of Michael Schumacher  |  Part 39 >>

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).