Schu warns media off ‘r’-word

Tue, 26 September 2006, 11:38

Michael Schumacher has advised journalists attending the Chinese grand prix this weekend to steer clear of the ‘retirement’ issue.

The German, who announced at Monza that he will not be returning to the formula one grid in 2007, was quoted by La Gazzetta dello Sport as refuting a spate of rumours and then drawing a line under the topic.

Responding to stories that he was pressured by Ferrari to retire at the end of 2006 in order to make way for Kimi Raikkonen, Schumacher said: ”This is simply stupid.

”I made my decision on my own and from now on I want to concentrate 100 per cent on the title.

”Nothing else interests me.”

Less than twenty four hours after championship rival Renault’s Pat Symonds referred to his record at Shanghai as ‘poor’, however, Schumacher had to confess that China was not his happiest hunting ground in 2004 or 2005.

Last week in testing, though, Schumacher set a new V8-powered record at the Mugello test, and he insisted: ”(Former teammate) Rubens (Barrichello) won the race two years ago, which means that our car can go well in China.

”I assume that it will be better for me this time.”

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