Berlin: Michael Schumacher says age is not a factor in the fight for Formula One titles but the 43-year-old German continues to leave his future open ahead of his 300th grand prix on Sunday.
Schumacher said in an interview that “it has nothing to do with age” on whether he could win another title or not, if he continues in Formula One beyond the present season.
The seven-time world champion said ahead of Sunday’s Belgian Grand Prix the question of another F1 title “unfortunately is not there” this year, with Mercedes not a contender.
“This year we are no longer fighting for the world championship. Let’s see what the future holds,” he said.
Schumacher’s contract expires at the end of the season. He has previously said he would like to wait until October before making any decision on his future.
In German media interviews this week, Schumacher said he had no regrets on his comeback to Formula One racing in 2010 after a three-year absence, although he is still searching for a first victory since his return with Mercedes.
He goes into Sunday’s milestone race at Spa-Francorchamps with only a single podium place — won this season in Valencia — to show since his F1 return, and made it clear he would love to experience another victory.
“Of course that [failing to win] would be a pity. I would like to experience a highlight or two,” he said.
“But confirmation of your performance does not only come through victories. I have had a few moments since my comeback which have given me great satisfaction, for example if I can get the very best out of the car, even if it hasn’t produced results you can show.
“That is difficult to explain to the outside because you cannot recognise that from the outside. But the feeling is very nice.”
The last of Schumacher’s 91 grand prix victories came in China on October 1, 2006, then driving for Ferrari. But on Sunday he returns to a special circuit for him in his his 300th race. Spa-Francorchamps was also where he raced his first grand prix, won his first grand prix and won the F1 title in 2004.
“Somehow everything always seems to play out in Spa, my career circles around Spa so to speak. That I am now about to take part in my 300th race there is pure coincidence but somehow it is to be expected,” he said.
Victory or not, the record world champion says he never stops questioning himself.
“Self-doubt is always important. I am always doubting myself, that was always the case,” he said.
“You have to permanently question yourself in order to develop and to be able to learn. That’s the same everywhere in life and in our world especially, because Formula One also means developing further.”