Corinna Schumacher has given her first interview since her husband’s 2013 skiing injury, praising the Formula One legend for encouraging her love of horseriding.
Mrs Schumacher told Mercedes’ She Magazine that her husband predicted their daughter, Gina, would become a champion horserider.
She said it wouldn’t have happened had he not bought her a Swiss ranch for their 10th wedding anniversary in 2005, where she keeps 40 horses.
“I don’t forget who I have to thank for this. That would be my husband Michael,” she said.
Gina Schumacher won a gold medal with the German team this year in the Reining European Championships in Switzerland.
“When my husband told me that one day Gina would be much better than me, I was not thrilled,” Mrs Schumacher said.
“What do you mean by that? I work with horses from morning to night, trying to learn everything,” she said to him.
The Formula One star said that his wife was “too nice” whereas Gina “could say no sometimes”.
Gina Schumacher also spoke to the magazine, saying her father taught her from an early age that her dream of being a horseriding champion would be even harder than rising to the top of the Formula One scene.
“When you drive a car, you can stick it in the garage afterwards. But a horse needs to be looked after all the time, even on Sundays,” Gina recalls her father telling her.
The Schumachers are set to appear in a documentary about the Formula One icon later this year. The film was made to mark Schumacher’s 50th birthday and the 25th anniversary of his first world title victory.
Schumacher has not been seen since December 2013 after suffering a head injury while skiing and is reported to be receiving care at the family home in Switzerland.
In January the notoriously private family gave an update on his condition.
“You can be sure that he is in the very best of hands and that we are doing everything humanly possible to help him,” they said in a statement. “Please understand we are following Michael’s wishes and keeping such a sensitive subject as health, as it has always been, in privacy.”
In addition to Gina Schumacher’s horseriding achievements, her brother Mick Schumacher has found success following his Formula Two debut this year.
The parity debate over the Ford Mustang has raged on since the new model hit the track at Adelaide in March, while DJR Team Penske’s duel Bathurst dramas – the in-race team orders controversy, and the later engine breach from qualifying – has seen McLaughlin and Premat’s breakthrough win labelled as “tainted”.
The team orders controversy saw DJRTP cop a record $250,000 fine over for their role in instructing Fabian Coulthard to slow under the Safety Car, before McLaughlin was disqualified from qualifying and stripped of his Bathurst pole position after the #17 was found to have breached engine regulations in qualifying.
“Everyone says it’s been a tough year, but not really. It’s been the best year of my life,” he said.
“I’ve won 18 races, I’ve won Bathurst, the one I’ve always wanted to hit. Now with a second championship in a row, I’m really proud.
“When I came into the year, it was new for me as a champion, how I took on that role and how I had to be an ambassador for the sport.
“I feel like I’ve really learned a lot throughout the year and hopefully that will build me for future years as well.”
McLaughlin’s Ford team is still locked in a fight with arch rivals the Red Bull Holden Racing Team for the teams’ championship, with DJRTP holding a 116-point lead advantage over the factory Holden squad with 576 on offer this weekend.
However, having the drivers’ title sewn up has McLaughlin himself breathing easy after two previous visits to the coastal NSW city ended with two contrasting emotions.
In 2017, McLaughlin copped three separate penalties on the final day to lose the title to Jamie Whincup in dramatic fashion, before returning 12 months later to defy Shane van Gisbergen to win a maiden title.
This year, the drivers’ championship trophy is heading back to McLaughlin’s lounge room for another year, but that doesn’t mean he will take it easy this weekend.
“I feel like I can enjoy Newcastle for what it is a lot more. The last two years have been really stressful. I had a lot on my mind,” he said.
“To come here now, it is a lot a more relaxing, I can touch the championship trophy without feeling like I’m going to curse myself.
“I feel really excited for what’s not only going to be a good weekend for me, but the team and the fans.”
Regardless, rival drivers and team bosses have been unafraid to send a few jibes McLaughlin’s way in the wake of the parity debate and Bathurst scandals – but he firmly put the outside noise aside as he looks to finish 2019 on a high.
“I can’t control what other people say, what they do, what they judge us on, whatever,” he said.
“I control what I can control, and that’s driving this car as fast as I can. Every time I turn up to work, that’s my job.
“We’re race drivers. We all want to win. Any time you’re winning, everyone wants to drag you down somewhat and they’ll do whatever they can to do that.
“I’ve been surprised in what’s been said and what’s gone on, but that’s each to their own.
“Everyone conducts themselves in the way that they want to, whether that’s mature or professional, that begs to differ.”