Michael Shumacher (centre) for the past 15 years have been living in Switzerland. Image Credit: Abdel-Krim Kallouche/Gulf News

Abu Dhabi: Seven-time Formula One world champion Michael Schumacher said he stood by his comment that Switzerland is his home.

After the German's recent statement that "Switzerland is the only home I have" had Germany's daily newspaper Bild carrying a headline: "Schumi, what should we take this to mean?"

When Gulf News asked him, during his visit to the Emirates Motor Company in Abu Dhabi yesterday morning, whether he would like to clarify that statement, Schumacher said, "No. It is true I feel Switzerland, where I live, where my family lives that this is our home. Absolutely."

The current Mercedes GP driver however quickly added, "But at heart I still remain a German."

The German-born F1 legend has for the past 15 years lived in Switzerland with his wife Corinna and his two children.

When asked what message he would like to give to those who have been irked by his comment, Schumacher said, "My real German fans have no reason to be upset. If somebody wants to cause animosity I can't stop that."

Commenting on the latest F1 sensation Sebastian Vettel, who is also a German, Schumacher said, "First thing is that he is a good friend of mine. He is highly talented and deserves the success he had with his team."

"He [Vettel] has worked over several years to arrive where he has arrived. More important is that I like to have some fun together with him and we are working on a car to have so," he said on a more humorous note.

Schumacher also felt that the new venues in the Middle East and Asia were a natural progression of the sport. "I think it is natural to exand to all over the world. The main focus used to be Europe but now it is a worldwide sport so there is no reason why it should not go world wide," he said.