24 June, 2021

Schumi’s A Champ

Not just immense talent, he probably had the most exceptional work ethic

AFP (From Outlook 17 March 2014)
Schumi’s A Champ

Perhaps my most vivid memory of him was at my F1 debut in Australia in 2005 (of course, I remember my first-ever F1 race as if it was yesterday). It was quite something to be on the same grid as the legendary Michael Schumacher and understandably I was a little unnerved. My recollection of the encounter is still crystal clear--as during the pre-event press-conference, a journalist had asked him, “What do you think about this rookie in the Jordan?” and he replied, “He’s doing a good job for them.” Coming from someone like Schumi, it was a massive inspiration to do even better!

As the weekend unfolded, it kept getting crazier. A lot of cars went off track in qualifying and in the end I managed to be 12th on the grid and Schumacher was only 18th (I had the advantage of completing my laps before the conditions changed drastically but it isn’t every day that you find yourself ahead of a seven-time world champion!) I went on to finish the race ahead of him as well, so it was quite a weekend.   

Since then, I had plenty...

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