Mr Schumacher, you yourself are a father of two children. Is that the main reason you have got involved with a children’s charity?
Yes and no. I have always found children quite amazing, even before we had any of our own. Children are really very special. They are so vulnerable. They have the whole of their lives in front of them. And if you can instil good values in them, this works to the benefit of everyone. Most problems in adults can be traced back to their childhood. That’s when they didn’t get enough love or the right sort of upbringing. Children are not in a position to help themselves; they are dependent on the help of others.
You lead something of a charmed life. Do you feel that charitable work is an obligation for a celebrity such as yourself?
It’s not really for me to say. I think you either have this feeling within you or you don’t.
When did you first become aware of this urge to help children?
The idea began to germinate before I even got involved in Formula One. When I was driving in Formula 3, I competed in two races, one in Macao and the other in Fuji, Japan. There was a £20,000 prize for the winner of both races. It became clear to me that this was an opportunity to help. Before then, I was cash strapped. From the moment I started to earn more money than I could ever have hoped for, I began to feel this urge.
You have been honoured by UNESCO for your work in aid of children in need. How do you convey these values to children?
I think the fact that both Corinna and I come from normal family backgrounds makes things a little easier for us. We live a relatively normal life and we try to teach our children that you can’t have everything.