Ralf Schumacher has admitted his burning desire to prove his older brother Michael wrong – by making a success of his new DTM career with Mercedes-Benz.
The younger Schumacher has signed up to compete in the pan-European touring car series in 2008 against
the advice of the seven-time Formula 1 World Champion, who only last month suggested Ralf would find the experience somewhat more of a challenge than what he had been used to in single-seaters.
“I believe that neither of us have the talent to drive those cars quickly,” the former Ferrari ace is quoted as having said by Grand Prix Magazine
. “I have even tried them, and it is a completely different world.”
In evidence of Schumacher Snr's point, fellow ex-F1 aces Mika Hakkinen, Jean Alesi and Heinz-Harald Frentzen have all won races in the DTM in recent years, but none were able to string together the necessary consistency in order to mount a full-on title bid.
What's more, Schumacher Jnr – who quit F1 at the end of the 2007 season following eleven years and six victories in the top flight – will be campaigning a year-old C-Class during his maiden season in the championship, hardly an advantage in such a hotly-contested environment. He insisted, however, that his elder sibling's concerns had only served to spur him on.
“It is more of an incentive for me,” the 32-year-old told German newspaper Bild
, fuelling speculation that the brothers no longer share a close relationship. “To find out if it comes easily to me or not I can only try, so we will see.”