Ralf: I may not be best, but I want to have fun.

Ralf Schumacher has admitted that while he may not go down in history as the best driver motor racing has ever known, he at least wants to be remembered as one who liked to have fun and give it his all.

With six victories and 329 points from 180 grands prix between 1997 and 2007, Schumacher made his mark as the second most successful German driver of all time in the top flight, behind only his record-breaking brother Michael. Having now switched across to tin-tops by signing for Mercedes in the DTM – where he will campaign a year-old C-Class run by Trilux in 2008 – he says he is aiming to rediscover enjoyment in his racing over the coming months.

“Of course I know that neither the media nor the spectators consider me the greatest race driver of all times,” the 32-year-old candidly acknowledged, “and this is not what I'm aiming for.

“During my last three years in Formula 1 I didn't have much success, and it almost sounded strange to me when Norbert [Haug – Mercedes-Benz Motorsport Vice-President] mentioned in our conversation that shortly before this time I had managed to win two grands prix within only eight days.

“However, I am still the same Ralf as at those times, the same racer who has fun in motorsport and who wants to compete with the best.”

Schumacher will evidently be keen to dispel the belief that F1 refugees struggle to adapt to driving with a roof above their heads, after Mika Hakkinen, Jean Alesi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen all won races in the DTM but failed to find the necessary consistency in order to string together a championship bid.

“I like the series, I like the environment and I like the enthusiastic and positive spectators,” he underlined. “I like Mercedes too – with them I got my first chance to test a Formula 1 car in 1996.

“Who knows how my Formula 1 career might have turned out if I had accepted the McLaren-Mercedes offer to become their test driver for 1997, but then I wanted to drive races, and that's what I still want today, more than ten years later.”

In describing his new signing as a perfect fit for both the championship and Mercedes' title ambitions, Haug is clearly confident Schumacher has all the necessary attributes to shine and become a firm favourite amongst the DTM's fervent supporters.

Related Pictures

Click on relevant pic to enlarge
Former F1 star Ralf Schumacher tries out a Mercedes C-Class DTM machine at Estoril for the second time [pic credit: DTM Media]
Ralf Schumacher on the podium in Oz
Former F1 star Ralf Schumacher tries out a Mercedes C-Class DTM machine at Estoril for the second time [pic credit: DTM Media]
Gotz at Mercedes
Esteban Ocon poses with the Mercedes DTM car at Jerez. Pic credit: Daimler
Charles Pic poses next to a Mercedes DTM car at Jerez. Pic credit: Daimler
AMG Mercedes C-Coupe [pic credit Mercedes]
AMG Mercedes C-Coupe [pic credit DTM Media]
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi [pic credit DTM Media]
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi [pic credit DTM Media]
Marco Wittmann - RMG BMW [pic credit DTM Media]
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi [pic credit DTM Media]
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi [pic credit DTM Media]
Mattias Ekstrom - Abt Audi [pic credit DTM Media]
Paul di Resta - AMG Mercedes [pic credit DTM Media]
Augusto Farfus - RBM BMW [pic credit: DTM Media]

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Suzy - Unregistered

February 20, 2008 11:45 AM

I know he will be again a subject of mocking for this comment, but I'd like to ask those he enjoy bashing him: what has he done to you? Is it so much fun to kick the guy who is down? I think Ralf knows exactly how to rate himself - and that can't be said of every F1 driver. Why don't people bash those who seem to think of themselves they are the best thing since sliced bread? If anything I think Ralf is seriously underrated. He is not among the greatest, but also not so bad that he deserves all the bashing and mocking he gets! He is a good racing driver.


February 20, 2008 2:06 PM

Every driver makes mistakes in his carreer decisions and Ralf had made his when he refused Mclaren-Mercedes offer to become their test driver in 1997 electing to join Jordan as a driver instead, when he was still 22. Since then he drove for Williams and Toyota, two teams that were going nowhere during his time with them. As he said , who knows what could have been? It's no use crying on spilt milk now, Ralf.

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