BY CHERYL TAY
There was no public appearance made by Michael Schumacher in Singapore the first time he raced at the SingTel Singapore Grand Prix in 2010, much to fans' dismay.
Last year, to the delight of all his loyal supporters, the seven-time world champion made his first official public appearance with Mercedes-Benz Singapore at Paragon Shopping Centre.
He apparently drove himself to the event and although he arrived after the stated time, he was quickly forgiven, as heard by the loud cheers from the crowds. He left as briefly as he came, leaving fans wanting more.
This year, there was no public event but Schumacher did make an exclusive appearance at the Mercedes-Benz Singapore Centre to meet 300 guests of Mercedes-Benz on Thursday. Hosted by Paula Malai Ali, Schumacher told the audience what he thought about the night race and how he hopes to get a good result in Singapore, to get back on the podium.
Having been in a go-kart since the age of four, he has been driving practically all his life. He retired from F1 in 2006, though remaining as an advisor with Ferrari. He wanted to take over from Felipe Massa in 2009 when the latter met with a horrific accident during the Hungarian Grand Prix qualifying and had to stop racing for a while.
Schumacher's neck injury was not fully healed yet though, hence he could not replace Massa. The next thing we knew, he signed a three-year contract with Mercedes GP for 2010 to 2012.
It has not been too good a comeback so far, with only one podium finish he achieved at the European Grand Prix earlier this year.
With six more races to go after Singapore, his plans beyond 2012 have not been officially announced. Regardless, nobody can take away those seven titles from him.
Passionate about cars and motorsports, Cheryl Tay is a familiar face in prominent local, regional as well as international automotive titles. More of her at www.cheryl-tay.com.