Ferrari world champion Michael Schumacher did not get to play his favourite game – football – as part of his fitness regime before the Petronas Grand Prix but he definitely squeezed in other sports during his break in the Maldives.
“There was no football field but I did running, squash and cycling. It was a small island and there was no big space. But they had a good gym,” he said in an interview yesterday when asked how he kept up his fitness level.
Asked if he had tried a marathon – as Jarno Trulli and “Jungle Boy” Antonio Pizzonia – as a way to keep fit Schumacher said: “No, I’m not crazy. I do so many things. I don’t have to do it in a row. It’s not my style.”
Cheekily, he added, he just did understand why teammate Rubens Barichello did not like football. “It’s strange. He’s Brazilian,” he said.
On a serious note though, the German ace said team effort was the key in tackling the new FIA regulations implemented this season.
“It is always a combination of decisions not just a single person. Ross (Brawn, the team’s technical director) had the support of the engineers and drivers.
“We often sit together to make the final decision for one or two laps, more or less. It needs involvement from everyone. It is 100% (team),” he said.
Schumacher also did not discount the fact that team strategy would play a bigger role rather than a driver’s skills during the qualifying round on Saturday.
“But to win the race here, we need the support of our fans. There was a Schumacher (win last year). Maybe we can change the first name again this year,” he added.
Brother Ralf had won last year's Petronas Malaysian Grand Prix.
When reminded that he had said before that Malaysia should have their own F1 driver to boost local support, he said:
“That's funny because you had for last year and sometime the year before that Alex (Yoong) and ticket sales were difficult.
“But now he is not here. And I hear that ticket sales are very good this year.
“I was always under the impression that one needed a local hero to boost ticket sales,” he added.