Normal relations resumed at the Nurburgring
It is all over, Michael Schumacher said with a smile yesterday, referring to the spat with brother Ralf after their so-called near coming together as they crossed the finish line in Monaco last Sunday. Ralf and I had a nice chat about it. It is racing.
Brotherly love, then, was the order of the day, with Ralf furiously back-pedalling after accusing his sibling of a crazy move that could have killed us both.
It was one of those good-natured press conferences, and Ralf admitted that his cause in the Principality was not helped when the glass fell out of one of his mirrors, though he could not actually remember which one!
Honestly, Michael continued, I think we are both highly competitive race drivers, we fight on the circuit, everyone for their own interest, in a way for his team. But you never forget he is your brother, and you love your brother. You finish the race, you may have some more emotions, but it doesnt really matter. At the end of the day it is your brother, your blood, and everything that has been written in these silly newspapers at this moment, if you knew each other, if you would know us two, then you know it is BS.
In racing situations sometime you see things in a different way, Ralf said. We fight for positions, people do think its a bit tough or too tough, and maybe those things happen to me as well. Maybe for the future we adapt all that. At the end of the day we are all sensible. Nobody wants to hurt another driver but obviously, at the same time, you have to fight for your position, for your team and your own points, and it is a decision we sometimes have to take within a couple of tenths of a second. It might not always have been the right one.
So, thats that sorted out.
Jenson Button was also a part of the conference, and it is clear that he is raring to go after his five-week lay-off from racing.
Its been very strange watching races. Its so exciting to be back here! We have been very positive about doing the best that we can. Our problem will be having to go out first and second in quallie on Saturday. I like the new system, but I wish it had been delayed a race! Im very optimistic about the car. We took a bit step forward prior to Imola, and again on the aero front during testing at Mugello afterwards. That is the biggest step we have made with this car. We are all really happy with the changes, which dont just give us more downforce but also help the cars stability. We need a decent finish here so that we can really start to shine in Montreal, so Im very hopeful of a strong performance here. Everyone in the team is really up for it.
BARs only problem, apart from starting so early in qualifying, may be that they have to run the same engines they used at Imola, which are sealed and have been sitting idle for five weeks. Honda are slightly concerned that some internal corrosion may have started, which could have an impact on their reliability.
Elsewhere, Frank Montagny is preparing to celebrate his rise to official Friday test driver status, but for Jordan, not Renault. The Frenchman has replaced Dutchman Robert Doornbos.