| Michael Schumacher
Suzuka: Michael Schumacher kept his date with history on Sunday but admitted that the Japanese GP had been one of his toughest ever races.
“It has been a tough year, a tough late stage of the season and a very tough race, one of my toughest ever,” said Schumacher after passing the mark of five world titles held by Argentine legend Juan Manuel Fangio.
“But the team and Rubens (Barrichello) did a fantastic job. The feeling of winning has not sunk in yet. I can feel for the team but not for myself yet. I am exhausted and proud of what we have achieved.”
In 2002, Schumacher had wrapped up the title by the halfway stage of the season, but this time around it was a lot tougher with Kimi Raikkonen and Juan Pablo Montoya in the Williams pushing him all the way to the final race of the season.
“Most of my championships have been secured with a win on the track. Today I did it with eighth place which gives me mixed emotions,” he said.
“A fifth constructors title in a row is a fantastic achievement. People wrote us off and said many outspoken things. But Ferrari never give up. We are a huge family and we always fight back.”
Schumacher blamed Japanese driver Takuma Sato for a heart-stopping collision that almost wrecked his push for history. The German made contact with the rear of the BAR driven by Sato on lap 7 and was forced to make a pit-stop for repairs to a mangled front wing on his Ferrari.
“In Formula One, you accept that if somebody leaves the door open like he did you are allowed to go through.” “But obviously he (Sato) saw it differently and decided at the last moment to slam the door shut on me. It was hard to avoid him and I lost my nose.”