Schumi still a fighter - Vettel

2012-09-04 08:03

SPA-FRANCOCHAMPS, Belgium - The decades have not dimmed Michael Schumacher's fighting spirit, as defending Formula 1 World champion Sebastian Vettel discovered at the 2012 Belgian Grand Prix.

The two tussled on track and almost collided when Schumacher's Mercedes suddenly swerved right into the pits lane across Vettel's Red Bull that was turning into the left-hand corner.

The stewards took no action and Vettel considered that to be the right reaction.


Vettel said: "It doesn't matter where you get Michael on the circuit, whether you're fighting for P1 (first place) or P15, he will fight like hell which is great to see. He hasn't lost it. It obviously makes it hard for you but it's always a great challenge. It's very close with him but always fair."

Schumacher posed after qualifying with F1 chief executive Bernie Ecclestone, team bosses and a cake to mark his 300th race, finished seventh at his favourite circuit after starting 13th.

The seven-times F1 champion, the sport's most successful driver with 91 race wins, was hampered in the closing stages of the race by transmission issues after his second stop.

Schumacher said: "I quite enjoyed my 300th race - it was good fun out there with all the battles. In the end, you have to be realistic and getting into the points from where I started was not too bad."

Schumacher had his F1 debut at Spa in 1991 and won his first GP there in 1992. However he hasn't won a race since 2006 - his best third in Valencia 2012. Whether he will race on in 2013 is a matter of considerable speculation though his Mercedes contract will end with the 2012 season.