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Zanardi rejects DTM offer

30 December 2012

Alex Zanardi has revealed he has turned down the chance to race in the DTM next season.

Zanardi, who won two gold medals in the London 2012 Paralympic games and who lost both his legs in a Champ Car accident at the Lausitzring in 2001, drove a specially modified BMW M3 DTM at the Nurburgring in November fuelling speculation that he might make a full-time return to racing in 2013, despite his admission at the time that 'the level in the DTM may possibly prove to be too high for someone of my age'.

Speaking this week in an article in British newspaper, The Daily Telegraph, he conceded however, that it was discussed.

“We [myself and BMW] did have a conversation about taking it seriously further on but I decided it would be a little bit too much for me to be involved full-time for the whole season next year,” he explained. “It would mean I wouldn't have time for things I'd enjoy – like cycling and fishing with my son – so I decided to wait for the next train.”

Meanwhile, the 46-year-old clarified that he hasn't given up on handcycling and that he might compete in Rio and look to add to the gold medals he won in the London Paralympic games.

“My problem is I talk too much and tend to confuse my listeners. I said I'd had a magnificent adventure and was a little sad it's all over. I didn't mean it to sound as if it was the end of my cycling career because I still think I can be competitive at 49 in Rio in four years time,” he added.

As for his lot in life, he has no complaints with how things have turned out and insists while having no legs may look like 'a very severe handicap', in reality he is 'a very lucky person'.

“I know the world has this image of racing drivers getting out of their private jets just to jump on to their private yacht,” he continued. “And so it's in human nature that, as well as a lot of admiration for these people, there's also some envy.

“And, though I'm not saying people would wish them the worst, when I had my accident, subconsciously I guess a lot of people deep also said: 'OK, now I want to see what you're going to do'.

“Well, what I did was carry on my life as if nothing had happened. I felt that the simple fact I was still alive was a great opportunity for me to investigate new opportunities directly related to my condition. And to tell the truth, the things that I've done in the 11 years since I nearly died have been so fascinating and so enjoyable that it would be really hard if tomorrow morning God appeared and said: 'I can grant you a normal life again' – that is with legs – because that would mean I would have to give up my life which I feel very comfortable with,” he concluded.