INTERVIEW WITH MICHAEL SCHUMACHER

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Q. How do you feel now after this sad event?

Michael Schumacher:
Well, you can imagine that I obviously do feel kind of frustrated and quite sad because due to the circumstances I wasn't exactly expecting to be ready, but because of what happened I was obviously available to support the team and everybody.

We have prepared ourselves very seriously, we have done as much as we could do from our side, but right from the beginning, Ferrari and ourselves always mentioned that I would do the job under the condition of being ready for it. It's sad that in the end I couldn't fulfil this target.

Q. Why didn't you have these thorough checks earlier?
Michael Schumacher: There's only one way to find out whether your situation is capable of standing the force because you have many simulations, I have lots of training machines and so on but none have ever simulated the stress and demands on the body of an F1 car. Therefore, we really needed to do this test in order to find out.

My doctor had told me that yes we could do this test and see then had to give it a certain time and put some more stress on afterwards in order to see the development from there on. In the end, we did everything in the most prepared way that was possible but it didn't work out.

Q. Would it have been possible to have prepared better?
Michael Schumacher: First of all, nobody knew that Felipe would have this tragic accident and in this respect it wasn't planned at all. The preparation, the way we did it, I don't think that there was any chance to do it any other way.

Q. There is already speculation that you would maybe step in from Monza or even next year?
Michael Schumacher: Speculation in this business is pretty natural. Lots of people have their own opinions and thoughts but the fact of the matter is that I'm very disappointed not to do what I was looking to do. That's all that I'm really thinking about and have to digest somehow.

Q. How do you rate Luca Badoer?
Michael Schumacher: First of all, Luca is a very good friend. He has prepared himself quite strongly in order to be ready for all the years because this was his main job, - to be ready for testing and in case something happened. So he is not somebody that has been sitting quietly around not doing anything. He has always been ready and naturally he has worked out very hard since Felipe's accident. We had said that I first need to confirm if I physically could do it and therefore it was always normal for him to keep himself on the fitness level he would need.

I don't see any reason from his knowledge and knowing the team, I think he is the best one. Yes, he hasn't raced for a long time, but a racer doesn't lose the racing spirit and I wish him well for a difficult task. It's a tough thing to face but if I see anyone it can be Luca.

Q. Have you had contact with Felipe Massa recently?
Michael Schumacher: Yes. I've always been in contact with him because we're very close friends and this is part of the reason why I accepted it because at the time I gave him my cockpit because I was tired and I didn't want it anymore and he was the right person to jump in and take over.

The good thing is to see that his recovery is going well, he's very motivated - he's working not very hard because he's not allowed to - but it's good to see his progress and I'm very happy about that.