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Last Updated: Sunday, 2 January, 2005, 11:22 GMT
Schumacher shrugs off age concern
Michael Schumacher
Olivier Panis' retirement means Schumacher is F1's oldest driver
Michael Schumacher says he is not worried by going into the new season as the oldest driver on the grid.

The seven-times world champion celebrates his 36th birthday on Monday, but the German said he is confident of continued success.

"I have the odd small ache or pain every now and then but they are only small ones," he said.

"I am not getting worn out and especially not psychologically. I still enjoy what I do immensely."

Schumacher, with a record 83 wins from 212 races, will start his 15th season in F1 on 6 March in Australia.

"I'm starting off the new season just like all the others before, with a hunger, fully motivated and looking forward to the fights that lie ahead," he said.

"I have fun, I love my sport and I love being challenged. The things I've achieved so far have nothing to do with it.

"In sport, you can't rest on your past victories. You have to take the challenge again and again."

The German won 13 of last season's 18 races and Red Bull Racing boss Tony Purnell is already fearing a repeat.

"I think it will be much the same as last year," he said.

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