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OCTOBER 10, 2000

Former Italian president laments Schumacher over victory celebrations

Former Italian president Francesco Cossiga has blasted Michael Schumacher for mocking the country's national anthem during his celebrations on the Japanese Grand Prix podium.

Cossiga was left fuming after the German conducted the crowd during the Italian national anthem and insisted that Schumacher's victory had meant nothing to him.

"I expect at the end it is the Ferrari team and not an insolent overpaid little Bavarian boy that has won the world championship," Cossiga said.

"I know what I am saying goes against popular opinion but to me Schumacher's victory means nothing."

Cossiga was unhappy that Schumacher, who ended Ferrari's 21 year wait for a drivers' title, has respected the German anthem before insulting Italians with his actions.

"It annoyed me that a boy we paid with our country's money behaves like a good German when he is listening to 'Deutschland Uber Alles' and watches the German flag with rigid attention," he added.

"Then he decided to play the fool, and not for the first time, when the Italian anthem is played."