On this Day in F1 – 2008
By all accounts Ralf revealed on this day in 2008 that he had lied. Not to the level that politicians lie to their respective countrymen but to the media about not staying in F1 for 2008.
He had wanted a quiet end to his career and therefore lied to the reporters about his future. Amongst other things, Schumacher had not dismissed press speculation after a test for the then newly acquired Force India F1 team in December 2007.
He insisted at the time that he was only fulfilling a promise to Mallya, whom he met in his capacity as a Toyota sponsor last year.
“Ralf is a good friend,” Mallya told the German magazine Auto Motor und Sport in an interview.
“He was never a candidate. I asked him to test our car once in the winter because I wanted to know his opinion.
“The real alternatives to Fisichella were Liuzzi, Klien and Montagny. Not Ralf,” he added.
It seems that Michael’s younger brother was the only one living with the illusion that he would be pestered by the media. Infamously abrasive during interviews, many members of the press – and the various F1 teams he drove for – had few words to say as he kicked the metaphorical pebble along the dust track into retirement.
It’s not as though the F1 specialist press has maintained any correspondence with Schumi’s kid brother – although he must be grateful for Willy Weber being his manager during his career. Even to the point that according to legend, the Toyota company failed to realise they hadn’t signed Michael until they reconvened after the winter break.
The Grumpy Jackal