Michael Schumacher targets eighth world championship

By Gareth Llewellyn
Michael Schumacher(Photo: Bacardi Ltd)

Michael Schumacher

Michael Schumacher says he will race in Formula 1 next season as he seeks to achieve his ‘final target’ of winning an eighth world championship.

The 41-year-old returned to F1 this year after signing a three-year deal with then world champions Mercedes, after the team dominated the 2009 season as Brawn GP.

Schumacher said: “When I came back it was to win another title. That’s what I’m here for, very clearly.

“I know the final target, where I want to go, I’m confident I can achieve it.”

Schumacher has struggled with life on the track since his return, and with half the season already gone, the German finds himself 109 points behind championship leader Lewis Hamilton, and 54 points behind team-mate Nico Rosberg who has led the Mercedes charge.

There has been much speculation over Schumacher’s future in the sport in recent months, with former Ferrari driver Kimi Räikkönen linked with the seat, while Mercedes test driver Nick Heidfeld has also been touted as a possible replacement. Schumacher, however, is determined to continue.

In response to a question at the FIA press conference on Thursday he said: “There is an expectation out there which I think you have to be realistic that it is impossible to meet.

“I am away three years and just to come back and start exactly where I finished with maybe a car that doesn’t allow me to right now is probably unrealistic. I am not a magician either.

“There were some set-backs and moments where you would, obviously, be a little bit angry. But, in general, that is what it is about. There are ups and downs and that is the excitement of motor sport.

“I know the final target where I want to go and I am very confident I can achieve this. That is what I am working for and what I am focussing on. There is the sportive side and there is the entertainment side of this whole circus.

“You just have to accept and see it is just part of that situation and do not bother too much about it.”

Schumacher’s return to the German Grand Prix, a race he has won four times, comes at a time when Mercedes are under significant pressure to perform well in front of their home crowd to hang on to fourth place in the constructors’ championship ahead of Renault.

Schumacher’s last title came in 2004, before Fernando Alonso won back-to-back titles for Renault, with the German calling it a day at the end of 2006.

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