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JULY 7, 2001

Schumacher speaks out

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER has spoken out against his perceived arrogant image and indicated that he has always struggled to adhere himself to the English people.

German Schumacher suggested he has never had a good bond with the English fans and said it was not helped by his titanic battles with British driver Damon Hill in the 1990s.

"The way I protect myself to stay concentrated and focused when I'm working may appear arrogant," said Schumacher in an interview in The Times magazine.

"The problem is there are so many requests to find out who Michael Schumacher is and I can't deal with them all. This obviously resolves into an unbalanced situation where people still have to write about me and what I am...

"There is one particular country, which is England, which struggles with me, but I think it's part of history. They have always struggled with Germans to be honest.

"And me fighting against British drivers makes it even more complicated, so there's always this extra intrigue which doesn't bring over the real Michael Schumacher."

Schumacher and Hill famously clashed in the 1994 season's last race in Australia when the latter's car was damaged after a controversial coming together with the former. Both drivers were eventually forced out of the race and the title went to Schumacher.