I'm late sending this column in to Crash.net, but it's not my fault..... If they want to put a 'pit babe' section on their site, then it's their fault.

'Your search has returned 500 pictures. You are on page 1 of 56'. By the time I reached page seven, it was difficult to think of Ferrari, Schumacher, or anything that didn't resemble two melons wrapped in lycra.

Okay ... give me time. I'm trying. Er ... I've got it! Michael! He's done it! He's gone and done it! Six world championships! A totally brilliant achievement and in pretty tough circumstances - he managed to somehow keep focused even though there were some fantastic promotional girls on the Suzuka grid, with really short skirts and figures that ... er, sorry again ... anyway,.

The sheer pressure Michael was under must have been staggering, but let's also think about the massive pressure his younger brother Ralf was under.

For part of the race, Ralf was holding his Williams-BMW in the eighth position that Michael desperately needed to secure the title. Michael was right behind him and pushing very hard. As he looked in his mirrors, poor Ralf's brain must have been in melt down.

''What do I do? What do I do? Shall I let my brother past? ... but then the world says I'm no good, BMW will want my 7-Series road thing back, and my boss Frank Williams will try and trade me for Stevie Wonder!

"Or ... do I keep him back, then earn one point which is totally useless to me and, in so doing, deprive Mikey of his sixth championship, and have to keep that BMW 7-Series road thing?

"What do I do? What do I do?"

But then, the pit-stops changed the order - if not the dilemma ...

''Okay ... Michael's now in front of me ...whew, that's better''

''Oh no! ... do I stay behind and not try to pass? ... but ... it's the same! The world will say I'm really no good again, and my boss Frank Williams will try and trade me for Stevie Wonder - or at least three of his albums! Or ... do I really try to pass him? If I make it by and get the eighth place, he could lose! All that work! The chance of creating history would be finished! All because of me - his brother ... who he loves!

"Then what about Christmas? Yeah ... I can see it now ... Dad, Michael, his wife Corinna and their kids, my wife ... all together at one end of the table ... and then me, standing in the corner alone, licking the sugar icing from the cakes they've all thrown at me while shouting Ralf is evil, Ralf is evil, over and over again!'

''What do I do?''

A while later, though, in the closing stages of the race, Ralf gave us all the most entertaining option ...

''Wow, Michael's sooooo quick through that 130R corner! Look how he's closing on Cristiano to out-brake him into the chicane. Thank God. He'll get by into seventh place and then it's out of my hands. Christmas will be fine. I'll sit with the others wearing my new woollen ski jumper present from Dad, eating a chicken leg prepared by Corinna ... and we'll be laughing about Michael winning another championship altogether ... and me, making them giggle about my worries on what to do in the race ...

'Hmmmmmm ... Mikey's getting bloody close to the Toyota ... Jesus! He's NOT by him! ... he's locked up the brakes! He's swerved in to my path! .... Fu..!!!
I CAN'T STOP ... AAAARRRGGHHH HELLLPPPP!!! I'VE HIT MICHAEL ... OH GOD NO! ... I AM EVIL, I AM EVIL! My front wings have folded up!'

''I wonder if I should go away this Christmas?''

Well, as we now know, Ralf needn't have worried. Firstly, Michael's team-mate Rubens Barrichello drove a great race to win for Ferrari, thus depriving McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen of his long-shot chance to win the championship. Secondly, Michael's car survived the incident undamaged ... even though his tyres had a flat spot bigger than Holland.

So, it was, there, at the Japanese Grand Prix that the record of five world championships - held for so long by the brilliant Argentinean Juan Manuel Fangio - was finally beaten ... and what did the organisers do to help the viewing world celebrate this? Yup ... they didn't invite our champion on to the podium! Can you believe that? Michael Schumacher, six times a world champion, making history, there at Suzuka, ... and they didn't invite him on to the winners' podium. I'm bewildered!

Okay, they may have invented Karaoke, but don't let them organise a party.

The Schumacher family though is due a serious party and, although it was a close call, I expect that Ralf is back on the invitation list. A family present might be a bit much to ask for ... so instead I might send him a copy of my book Flat Out, Flat Broke. It's sold 25 000 copies already, so in the spirit of Christmas, I reckon I can give one away! Thanks to all of you who've bought it and enjoyed it.

I'll be back on 25 October with some more thoughts.

Cheers

Perry

 

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