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Helmet hid Schumi tears

Berlin: Michael Schumacher, who won Sunday’s San Marino Formula One Grand Prix only hours after his mother died, kept his helmet on after victory to hide tears that welled up as he crossed the line, a German newspaper said.

Schumacher kept his helmet on as he was led away from the finish area by Ferrari team boss Jean Todt, the Frenchman’s arm on his shoulder.

“When Schumi shot through the finish, the tears came. He couldn’t speak. He cried over the radio on the lap of honour. He was ashamed of taking off his helmet,” top-selling German newspaper Bild said Tuesday.

‘Schumi, Was That The Right Thing To Do'’ the newspaper asked in a front page banner headline. Michael said he did what his mother would have wanted him to do after winning Sunday’s San Marino Formula One Grand Prix hours after her death. “My mother loved to be at the karting track when we were in our karts in Kerpen and loved to see us racing,” the five-times world champion said on his website.

Michael’s younger brother Ralf also took part in the race and came fourth. The two, believed to be back in Germany, were nowhere to be seen on Tuesday.

German media tended to back Schumacher and praised his professionalism. “He did his job,” said Berlin-based Der Tages Spiegel.

Bild quoted a host of German celebrities, including many from the world of sport, the majority backing the brothers’ decision to race.“I can imagine that their mother would have said that the two boys should do their job and race,” said Sauber driver Heinz-Harald Frenzen.

Franz Beckenbauer said the decision had been purely for the two brothers to make, but commented that motor racing drivers were a breed apart. “One thing is certain: you need a different benchmark to measure a Formula One driver. They are extraordinary people who handle extraordinary matters differently from the rest of us.”

Elisabeth Schumacher, 55, died in hospital in Cologne on Sunday morning after Michael and Ralf paid her a final visit on Saturday after qualifying first and second on the grid.

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