Monday August 20th, 2001
Michael Schumacher has dismissed suggestions that he should take a holiday after he won his fourth world title, saying his hunger for victories in the last four races of the season was undiminished.
"Of course we've had some celebrations, but holidays only begin at the end of the season. There are four races left and each is a challenge for me," Schumacher told German news agency SID. "Perhaps I can also help Rubens [Barrichello] reach second place. Of course we also have the goal next season of defending the title."
McLaren's David Coulthard had suggested on Sunday his German Ferrari rival take a break for the rest of the season after Schumacher won his fourth World Drivers' crown with victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Sunday. For Schumacher, the next goal must surely be to reach and then surpass Juan Manuel Fangio's record five titles and to push past Frenchman Alain Prost in races won. Both men have 51 track victories.
Schumacher, however, said Fangio's record was not on his mind and said the Argentinean's achievements were more impressive than his own.
"That's really not a goal of mine. I think that a comparison of me and Fangio wouldn't be very fair. It's extraordinary what that man achieved in his time. If you look at the safety and the cars of the time, it's incredible how fast they went."
Schumacher, himself involved in a two big accidents in the past few months, said his motivation instead lay in a simple passion for racing and the pulse-racing excitement of victory.
"I've still got several years in Formula One and I want to enjoy them. I want to win as many races as possible and take in the atmosphere on the podium. I'll enjoy wins as much as before. Motor racing is my life and there is always room to improve. Maybe next year you'll see a duel between the brothers," he added refering to his brother Ralf.
Schumacher's victory fronted most of Germany's newspapers on Monday, and the top-selling Bild daily devoted page after page to the man Germans refer to as "Schumi". In the paper, American Series Championship race car driver Hans-Joachim Stuck said Schumacher had become "immortal".
Sporting director Jean Todt also quashed suggestions that Ferrari will take their foot off the pedal in the four remaining races as he bids to complete the team's dominance of the season.
"We are still motivated," said Todt. "We want to get Rubens second position and to prepare next year's car, next year's engine, next year's gearbox.
"Michael is deserving his position in the team, Rubens is deserving driving a Ferrari, each one has their own position. We will try our best."
Published at 11:56:56 GMT