Thursday August 23rd, 2001
By Simon Evans
Michael Schumacher credited discipline as the key to his Formula One success on Thursday and said he no longer felt any need to hide his emotions.
The Ferrari driver, who won his fourth world title at Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix, was asked by reporters at Italy's Mugello circuit what special qualities were required to reach his level of success.
"A lot of discipline. Discipline in training, in work on the car, belief in development, on the human side as well as the technical side - and of course you must never give up," the German replied. "I am lucky that I have most of those ingredients to be successful and I know you have to be disciplined enough to keep on working."
Schumacher, who now needs one win to break Alain Prost's record of 51 career race wins, was once known as the "Ice Man" due to his calm and composed approach to the dangerous and high-octane sport. That image has changed since he joined Ferrari, especially after last season when he ended Ferrari's 21 year wait for a driver's world title.
With that Championship, he became a national hero in Italy, a country where sportsmen are expected to talk of their inner-feelings and to display them. Schumacher rejected the notion that he had become "more Italian" with his displays of emotion and said he had not changed much since his youth.
"But in the past I was trying to control myself very hard and to hide myself," he added.
"I don't feel there is a reason to hide things," said Schumacher. "In the past I thought people would think that it is a weakness - there are people who misinterpret things. When you are young, you do these things, but as you get older it changes."
Schumacher said it was impossible to compare this year's World Championship win with last year's.
"You can't compare last year with all the pressure after all those years (without a Ferrari champion) with now where we achieved the same result a second time - the emotions are on a completely different level. I have simply enjoyed what has happened," he said.
Schumacher said he and the Ferrari team had no intention of basking in his glory and were ready to get back to work.
"You can see it with the team. All the guys, everyone involved, is so determined to win and when you achieve it you quickly move on. We had a party but then it is back to reality very quickly."
Schumacher said he had spent some time with his family since the celebrations in Budapest but his two children were too young to be truly aware of his achievement.
"I wouldn't say that they understand fully what we are doing and I don't explain the details....I don't want to influence them," he said. "When I came back from Hungaroring the kids knew, but it was not like you might imagine and not like the fans we saw in Hungary.
"Actually I like it that way. We were jumping on the trampoline and playing and that helps to keep the balance which is something you need in life".
Published at 15:24:13 GMT