by clicking the arrows at the side of the page, or by using the toolbar.
by clicking anywhere on the page.
by dragging the page around when zoomed in.
by clicking anywhere on the page when zoomed in.
web sites or send emails by clicking on hyperlinks.
Email this page to a friend
Search this issue
Index - jump to page or section
Archive - view past issues
GP Week : Issue 97
you're going to race forever, how about you? She's never mentioned anything to say that she wishes I could stop. The kids definitely think I'm going to race forever and they're happy. I feel that it's going to be a hard decision to say I'm going to stop. But it's going to be an easy one from that fact that I've been so honest with myself, that the day I don't feel there's such a big pleasure in taking the corners, it's going to be the day that I will know exactly what it means to shut down. Is there anything you regret from your career? For example maybe spending all the time at Ferrari... No, I don't regret anything. It's been part of making me better. You say, "yeah, you didn't win the championship yet". Yeah, I didn't. But I think I've learned so much and I became better all the time. The reason I'm still working in Formula One with so much pleasure is because I still aim to be world champion. Obviously people might say I'm crazy. But you would never have said that with a Honda in 2008 I would have finished on the podium, and I did. People say, "if you really had a bad time at Ferrari..." which I didn't, because I had a great time with everyone. Obviously I fought all the way to have the same treatment, and the day that I felt "okay, I don't, they're not going to give that to me" was the day I was going to have to find something else, and that's why I left the team one year before. But even in those years, the car was better than all the other cars. I had a chance to win still, even though Michael [Schumacher] was there. I've been on the other page, I'd been racing for Jordan and Stewart - and we had so much fun and pleasure, but the cars were not good enough to win races. So those years with Ferrari, I still had a great time. Do you think you could have been world champion at Ferrari if arrangements with Michael hadn't been so weighted in his favour? We cannot say that, because first of all it would be a word that is too easy to say -- you say 'yes'. We're never going to go back there. It doesn't change my life to know. I know what I have given and how much effort I put into all the teams that I went through. And at all of them, I had a great time, honestly. So it doesn't really matter to me if we think now that I could have been champion. I'm still fighting for that. Has there ever been a time in your career when you were thinking about retiring? It's never been on my mind, no. I've always worked to keep my dream alive and to keep going. The most difficult period of my career was back in 1996 when I didn't have a contract with Jordan any more. I landed a good contract with Stewart. That was the only time that I talked about racing in Indycar. Apart from that, I've been Formula One all the time. As you have been in Formula One for such a long time, which corner gave you the most excitement, and in which car? I've been through Eau Rouge so many times with the foot completely down in a V10 car. You're just in a cold sweat for the whole straight after that. It has some danger in it, but it gives you the pleasure, and I've been through that so many times. But I couldn't pin-point just one, because I've had pleasure in so many. The two corners in Malaysia are amazing, Copse corner at Silverstone is amazing. But Eau Rouge is a good example of adrenalin and the danger. It used to be more difficult with a V10 car. With a V8 now, it's almost close to flat, if not flat, in the wet, so it could give you that buzz. In the dry, maybe on 160kg you would get the buzz, but not on empty tanks. In the incident with Schumacher in Hungary, when you were that close to the wall, did that not make you think "ah maybe I should stop before something serious happens"? I never saw it [the wall]. I just saw it coming, but the wall honestly I saw for the first time on TV. You give so much for overtaking, my measure was Michael, it wasn't the wall. To be honest with you I saw that he was coming, coming, coming, but I would never have backed off. I didn't feel any fear through that moment because I was just going to make that happen, the overtake was going to happen, so I didn't care what was coming. In a way I never saw the wall. It was Sam Michael [Williams technical director] who sent me the first picture from the last moment where the wall disappeared and from inside of the car you can see the shade. It's possible one finger or two, but I never saw it coming luckily. Nasty moment: Rubens' shunt in Friday practice (above) at San Marino, in 1994, was a precursor to Formula 1's worst weekend for decades ... 27 F1 FEATURE >>