A storm in a teacup

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER found himself at the center of a media storm last week after remarking innocently that the Albert Park circuit was "nothing special" and that it could have been designed to be more challenging.

Schumacher's remark led Ron Walker, chairman of the Australian Grand Prix Corporation, to comment that the German was "a prima donna" who did not have the right to criticize the circuit.

"I don't have to stand here and take criticism from people who come into this town, who don't even live here, and start to criticize a track which is one of the foremost in the world. There are some sports champions throughout the world who can take the glory and some people who can't. It's up to him to be repentant about what he said about Melbourne. I won't put up with it."

The media jumped at the story and whipped up a storm of comments from other drivers and racing personalities about the Albert Park circuit and the stories were beamed around the world.

When Schumacher arrived in Melbourne from his holiday in Queensland he seemed rather mystified about the apparent controversy but was happy to make peace with Walker with a public handshake.

Walker denied suggestions that the entire interlude was designed to increase ticket sales for the race.

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