Schumi: Podium answers critics
German legend says result testament to team sticking together
Last Updated: June 26, 2012 9:03am
Michael Schumacher says his return to the Formula 1 podium serves as the perfect answer to the criticism he and his Mercedes team have received since the start of the season.
The 43-year-old took full advantage of a delayed second stop for fresh tyres in the closing stages of Sunday's Valencia race to storm through the field from 11th place inside the final 15 laps, ultimately benefiting from the penultimate-lap collision between Lewis Hamilton and Pastor Maldonado to pip Mark Webber to an unlikely third place.
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Although the 155th podium finish of his illustrious career, it was the first in his 46 races since his return to the sport in 2010 and in wake of a succession of reliability setbacks and collisions which have plagued his season. Schumacher says the result was therefore the perfect response to the naysayers.
Asked by Sky Sports F1's Natalie Pinkham if third place was music to his ears, Schumacher replied: "Indeed, yeah, it is. It's just very special, very exciting for all my boys.
"We have been criticised lately, it's just the best answer that you can give on the field - get on the podium."
Schumacher, who admitted in the post-race press conference that he didn't even realise he had made it all the way up to third prior to the chequered flag, says he and his side of the Mercedes garage never lost faith in each other and this result was testament to them sticking together.
"I never lost trust in my boys and so did they not in myself and that's what team effort and work is and that is what is so important to me to have this surrounding and this family that everybody pulls on one string," he said.
"The right answer is what we have shown today and I hope to enjoy many more moments together with my guys."