Kerpen, Thursday: After the shock news that seven-time F1 world champion Michael Schumacher is to make his return to the sport at Valencia next month, the German has revealed that “boredom” with retirement was the main factor prompting him to unhang his racing helmet.
“Initially, being retired was really good fun,” Schumacher said in a statement on his website. “I could get up whenever I wanted, walk the dogs all day, do the crossword in the paper and sit down for a relaxing meal with my family, without any of the pressures and strains of everyday life as a motor racing legend.”
However, Schumacher says that listlessness and a desire to do something more productive with the rest of his life set in around mid-2008: “After a year and a half or so, I started looking for another challenge. The bed wasn’t as comfortable anymore as my joints aren’t what they used to be. I started to get frustrated with the dogs crapping everywhere. The crossword puzzles were too hard and I couldn’t read the clues any more without my glasses. And, eventually, I realised that I can’t cook.”
After Felipe Massa was injured last week, therefore, Schumacher jumped at the chance to rejoin the F1 fraternity: “And then Willi [Weber, Schumacher’s manager] tells me that they’re willing to pay me three million euros per race! So long, crosswords!”
Schumacher admitted that he had tried taking up several hobbies to ease his frustrations, but that evening dance classes, lawn bowls and writing directionless, angry tirades to his local newspaper on the youth of today and local planning laws failed to capture his imagination in the same way as motor racing did.
Willi Weber welcomed his client’s return to Formula One, adding that he was “678% sure” that the 40-year-old German would never retire from F1 again.