SPA-FRANCORCHAMPS, Belgium, Aug 28, 2011 (AFP) - He did not win, but on Sunday Michael Schumacher did the very next best thing when he drove from the back of the grid to finish fifth in the Belgian Grand Prix.
On the 20th anniversary of his F1 debut for the Jordan team at the 1991 Belgian Grand Prix, the 42-year-old seven-times champion proved yet again that he retains all the skills that once made him the 'king of Spa'.
As a six-times winner, he has a special affinity with the spectacular circuit where he made his name and that was reflected in the emotions he felt after his stirring drive for Mercedes.
"I'm happy about this result," he said. "It was a good battle with my team-mate Nico Rosberg at the end. "I was on the softer tyres while he was on the harder tyres and it gave me the chance to overtake him.
"This is a special weekend for me and although it wasn't too good yesterday, luckily it finished well. "I had a good feeling earlier in the day -- my wife is here and she said it would be a good race."
Mercedes team-mate and fellow-German Rosberg was also left feeling happy despite being pushed down to sixth in that finale. "I felt great early on when I led the race - to be out in front of everyone in the Silver Arrow here at Spa was a great feeling," he said.
"So I enjoyed that a lot and at the end I was told to be careful on fuel just when Michael came up behind me. There was not much I could really do."