But I know Grace doesn’t, and I know I can’t let Negative Camber be the one to politely comment on the subject of this post. So here goes:
Michael Schumacher is the latest subject of the Formula 1 official site’s ongoing “Secret Life of…” series. Needless to say, most of the answers are four words or less and he effectively grinds the whole endeavor to a halt. I wonder if he is the last driver they are profiling?
And… they’re off:
Q: Are you a â€˜Plan-Bâ€™ kind of guy?
Michael Schumacher: No.
Q: Driving a Formula One car aside, what is your favourite buzz?
MS: At the moment it is skydiving.
Wait! There is news! We now know how Schumacher will get out of his Mercedes contract early: injuries from a skydiving accident! I’m feeling better, I might make it through this.
Q: Who do you most look forward to seeing when you arrive in the paddock on a Thursday?
MS: The engineers.
Q: Who is your dream date?
MS: She is also my dream come true – Corinna.
Huh. In 10 words, I think Michael has just totally summed himself up. Part of him is all about racing and being with the “guys” and now he’s also got the half of him pulling him to his “life.” (I’ll let Grace comment on the sappy nature of that answer, though.)
Q: What are you afraid of – and why?
MS: It was heights, but not anymore.
I was confused here for a second, but then I remembered answer No. 2. OK, now for a string of improbably short answers:
Q: What is your favourite way to relax?
MS: A glass of red wine and a cigar.
Q: Five things that you hate?
MS: I donâ€™t really hate anything.
Q: Have you ever – or would you ever – dye your hair?
MS: Sure. Why not?
Q: What was the first CD that you bought?
MS: It was an LP – I think some hard rock, metal stuff.
Q: Do you have any tattoos or piercings?
MS: Only temporary ones.
Q: What did teachers say about you in your school report?
MS: Not nice things.
Q: Who were your childhood heroes?
MS: Hard to tell. I did not really have any.
Q: Do you have any guilty pleasures?
MS: Cigars? Poker? I donâ€™t think I should feel guilty about it.
Q: Do you collect anything?
MS: Watches maybe. But not madly.
Q: What do you miss most about home when you are on the road?
MS: My family.
Q: What was your worst-ever buy?
MS: That changes with every fashion change.
Oh. My. God. Michael just destroyed Paul Charsley’s favorite podcast feature. Can we really make fun of his fashion sense if he knows it’s bad?
Wait. Of course we can.
Alright, we are in the home stretch, and he hasn’t yet totaled the words that Kamui Kobayashi used to answer the question about his biggest fear.
Q: How do you take your coffee?
MS: With hot milk.
Q: Your ideal non-race Sunday morning?
MS: A long breakfast with my family.
Q: What was the first car or machine you drove?
MS: A Fiat 500 – well, actually I drove a lot of karts before that.
Q: What was the most embarrassing mistake you have made?
MS: Choose one.
Q: What is the best thing that you can cook?
MS: Italian pasta probably.
I’m like Mike. I prefer my Italian pasta to my German or English pasta.
OK. You’re tired, if you’re like me. But there is one question and answer left. And it is worth it:
Q: When was the last time you were really furious?
MS: Really, really furious? In Spa, 1998 [when he crashed into the rear of David Coulthardâ€™s McLaren while leading a very wet Belgian Grand Prix. Coulthard was a lap down and Schumacher blamed the Scot for the incident.]
Twelve years on, and he’s still all about it! Score!
Memo to young drivers: THAT is how you handle the official “media” requests from F1. You make them earn every answer, and you make them bleed out their ears while doing it.*
* Note: I’m assuming this was full of painful, awkward moments mainly because Schumacher has done 15 million of these types of interviews and they must drive him crazy. And the short answers just feel… Michaelesque. And no hate intended. The guy’s pretty much earned the right to blow off the F1 communications staff at this point.