Motor racing: Schumacher sees no end to rift with Hill

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The Independent Online
Michael Schumacher has dashed hopes of an early end to his feud with Damon Hill, blaming his rival's "moody" personality. But Schumacher said that he hoped German fans would give Hill a good reception at this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim.

Schumacher said that there was little point in the two of them trying to settle their differences. He said: "We could sit down together if he was in the right mood. But often, five minutes later, he is a different person; everything is forgotten and he has turned everything around.

"It is difficult because he is too moody and I have problems with moody people. But I think it would be a great gesture for the German fans to be fair to Hill and to applaud him."

Schumacher repeated Benetton's claim that Frank Williams had apologised for the crash at Silverstone, something Williams has denied. He said: "He [Williams] apologised to me for the situation, and the unnecessary behaviour of his driver. But I thought it was amusing and nice to have the English press behind me after the race."

Speaking in his home town of Kerpen before travelling to Spain for two days of testing, Schumacher, whose contract with Benetton runs out at the end of the season, denied rumours that he was on the verge of a deal with Ferrari.

He said that he would be with one of four teams next season - Benetton, Ferrari, Williams or McLaren. "It is important that I have a car and a team that can win the world championship.

"I am happy at Benetton and many things will have to be right [with a new team] if I am going to change. I have had talks with Ferrari but there is no result yet."

Schumacher, who has yet to win a race on home soil, has two chances this season - the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim and the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring in October.

"I have a special motivation to win here," he said. "I have not done it yet and it is a great challenge. To win both races in front of my home public would surpass everything I have ever done."