Here, watch how it's done
Ever wonder how professional race-car drivers behave when they're at the controls of their own vehicles? Or someone else's? Well, consider the story that taxi driver Tuncer Yilmaz tells.
At the airport in Coburg, southern Germany, one day earlier this month, he picked up the legendary Michael Schumacher who'd flown in to buy a pedigreed puppy from a nearby breeder. All was going well until the seven-time Formula One champion and his party had to leave for their return flight. The airport was 19 miles away, time was growing short, and Schumacher was becoming more impatient by the minute. Finally, Yilmaz said, he proposed to take over the driving.
Although sensing that he probably was in for the ride of his life, the cabbie agreed. "It was incredible," he told reporters. "[Schumacher] took the curves at full throttle. But you couldn't even notice; he just knows how to do it." When they came upon slower-moving traffic, "he overtook [it] in some unbelievable places." And this was with his wife and two children – and the puppy – in the back seat.
The cab, an Opel minivan, has a top speed of 100 m.p.h., and Schumacher milked it for every one of them, Yilmaz said. His only regret: They weren't caught on radar, so he has no ticket for a moving violation to save as a souvenir. The cabbie said he'd gladly have paid the fine. And he could have afforded to. On top of the $88 fare, Schumacher tipped him almost $150. A cute story, but is it true? According to Schumacher's spokeswoman, yes.