Schumacher: 'We keep getting faster'
F1 star on the importance of technology in the sport
Michael Schumacher: "Every year we find something new, we go faster, and that's what Formula One is about ."
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(CNN) -- Despite a bad season this year, German Formula One driver Michael Schumacher, 36, is still the best in the sport, with 84 wins and seven world championships under his belt so far.
Here, the Ferrari star talks to CNN about what it takes to be at the front of the grid, and the technology that has helped him stay ahead of the competition.
CNN: As an F1 driver, how much interest do you take in the products that are a part of your car? Or is your focus strictly on driving?
Schumacher: Because competition is so extreme, every detail is important. Everything has to be on the edge of competition and you have to work with your partner, you have to understand the products. I wouldn't say I understand every detail to the extreme -- like exactly how they achieve it -- but we talk very often about the developments and what areas need improving. Those communications are happening all the time.
CNN: But you appreciate being able to understand part of the chemistry -- the technology -- of what goes on inside?
Schumacher: I do. I think it's very important to understand at least the basics, so you can communicate when you think there's a problem or something needs improving.
CNN: Would you like to see F1 incorporate speed and efficiency more closely?
Schumacher: Honestly we do, we just do it in a different way. We have to be very efficient in a lot of senses. Otherwise, we couldn't be competitive -- our aerodynamic, our fuel efficiency versus the power you get from it. It has all to be very high in efficiency in order to be competitive.
CNN: In your opinion, what's really the state of F1? And what do you make of fans complaining that it's become a predictable sport?
Schumacher: If you go back -- I don't know how many years -- you will always find fans, people, media, they will have something to complain (about). Our world exists full of complaints, that's where we sometimes look to try and improve. And F1 has -- in a way -- improved, has tried to adapt, but you will never find 100 percent satisfaction. It's impossible.
CNN: Where is F1 headed?
Schumacher: There's a limit, and we have had a peak in terms of the number of spectators but this is mainly European-concentrated.
If you look worldwide, F1 is exporting itself a lot more worldwide. We (have) actually increased numbers. One thing I've learned on the technical side is that development never stops. You'd think with all the knowledge, with all the technology we have been dealing with, we should have found a point where there's no further advances we could make in terms of how fast we can go. But that point of stopping doesn't exist.
Every year we find something new, we go faster, and that's what F1 is about and what fans and spectators appreciate.
CNN: When you talk about expanding abroad, do you think the U.S. is still a potential market?
Schumacher: Absolutely. If you look at the number of viewers we have in the States, it sounds a great number if you compare it to Europe, but it's a very minimum number compared to the total number of people who live in the States.
So I think we have a lot of potential to increase the rate of viewers and get people more excited about the sport.
"And in a way -- odd though it is -- (publicity about) what happened last time in Indianapolis (Full story) might actually help because a lot of people get confronted with the words "Formula One," which they have never heard before. I'm pretty sure some people would like to find out more."
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