The German champion hasn't been much successful for Ferrari, post 2009
Year 2002. A moment in photographic history was created when Sachin Tendulkar met Michael Schumacher for over two hours and had dinner in London, post the race at Silverstone circuit.
Cut to 2011. Tendulkar will be flagging off the race at the Indian Grand Prix this Sunday at Buddh International Circuit in Greater Noida, where Schumacher will be behind the steering wheel.
Michael Schumacher in New Delhi
Schumacher is looking forward to meet the Little Master. "I don't know how many years ago I met him last, but I would love to see him again," he said on Thursday. "I have good memory, so I remember Sachin well," he says, chuckling.
The seven-time world champion said the Indian Grand Prix was going to be "interesting". "I have no idea what the track looks like. I have only seen plans. I am looking forward to enjoy myself on the new track," Schumacher told MiD DAY.
He went for a track inspection later on Thursday. But he has already decided on how to approach the race. "I will physically see it, rewind it in my mind and then figure out how to approach it," he says.
The sport has seen two deaths in less than 10 days. But that doesn't perturb Schumacher. "We live in a world where nothing is totally safe. Total safety doesn't exist," he insists.
Date with destiny
The legend is a firm believer in destiny. "If your fate is what it is supposed to be, then accidents will strike you wherever you are," he adds. Schumacher, however, feels one can always improve on existing safety procedures. "It is motorsport and the possibility of accident is there. To improve safety is an ongoing process," he says.
More is less
Schumacher is currently at No. 8 with 60 points at the FIA Formula 1 Drivers' World Championship, but the hunger for more hasn't reduced one bit. "There is only one target- to come back on the winning road. That's the road I like," he says.
The champion, who hasn't been as successful post his comeback in 2009 for Ferrari, as cover for the injured Felipe Massa (he signed a three-year contract with Mercedes GP and has been racing for them since last year), insists that motivation, or the lack of it, isn't coming in the way of his success. "It is a matter of the procedure to build ourselves technically," he says.
Schumacher agrees that post his comeback, he hasn't quite matched up to the expectations. "When we came together, the target was to fight for the podium and win races. I want to be patient and take it step-by-step," he says.
The legend of Formula One still gets nervous before every race. "The start is the most tensed moment," he says. Increasing number of races, Schumacher insists, is not as tiring for drivers as it is for engineers and mechanics. "I prefer not to do too much testing like we used to do in the old days. That is much more tiring," he says.
India, for him, is not a land of elephants and snake charmers.
"If there are any animals here, I would love to see them," he says, laughing. The racing legend is quick to acknowledge the country as an emerging market. "India is a high growing market for technical products. There are a lot of smart people with very high potential," he adds.