Reading, 28

You are going to read an article about a racing car driver. For questions 8 – 15, choose the answer A, B, CorD which you think fits best according to the text.



Formula 1. The roaring engines. Speeds of up to 200 miles an hour. Millions of dollars at stake. And it all takes place in front of millions of viewers, across five continents. Amidst this crazy motoring circus, world champion Michael Schumacher remains a stable, mysterious figure; keeping as low a profile as possible. He feels this is the only way to survive in a world where nerves must be made of steel and seconds count.

Formula 1 racing originated in 1950, but was a very different sport then to what we see nowadays. Talent and guts guaranteed a place at the top; the driver made all the difference. These days, Formula 1 is a million-dollar industry. The role of the driver has diminished substantially with the last decade’s rapid developments in technology. What you drive has become more important than how you drive.

Taking that into account, Benetton, the company for which Schumacher formerly raced, was perfect for him. At the time, they had the fastest cars, challenged only by the Williams on the very fast circuits with long straights and fast bends. But, despite the technical perfection that Benetton offered, Schumacher signed a contract with Ferrari last year, saying that it was ‘a dream contract’. So far it has been unproductive, but despite losing his world title this season to the UK driver Damon Hill, Schumacher’s legendary self-confidence has not been damaged.

What is remarkable about the 27-year-old German is that, even for a racing driver, he seems really dispassionate. He shows no signs of emotion and no signs of weakness. From the beginning of his career he has been called a variety of names: boring, arrogant, and even a robot. Yet Schumacher has never worried about this and has never made any attempt to change his image. He has simply gone on with the task of winning races, and has become the youngest ever world champion.

Born in 1969, Schumacher dreamed of becoming a policeman as a child. He fell in love with racing at a very early age when his father put him in a car at the age of four. By 1987 he had won the German and European championships. Mercedes trained him in their sportscar team, and he made his debut in the World Championships in 1991 when he put Bertrand Cachot’s Jordan Ford in the seventh position on the starting grid. Unfortunately, his debut performance was shortlived. After one lap he had to withdraw, but he had made his mark. Twelve months later he achieved his first victory. Within two years, he was world champion. His achievements began to attract attention from talent hunters for the big teams. Bennetton’s Flavio Briatore was particularly interested. A notorious name in Formula 1 racing, Briatore was the prototype of the modern team manager and has been quoted as saying: “To me Formula 1 is purely a marketing instrument. The sporting side is of minor importance.” Sports fans do not like this viewpoint, but, in some ways, he does have a point. The impact of the sport and the money it generates, grows by the day.

Many experts have tried to analyse Schumacher’s career success, but he has his own ideas about what has helped him achieve so much at a young age: “Working more and harder than the rest, always looking for something that can win you a hundredth-of-a-second, and if you cannot find anything, trying again. There are a lot of racers in the same league and level. The technical aspect is essential. ‘ Being an ex-mechanic, makes me good at that. I instinctively feel what the car needs. I can translate what I have felt through to my mechanics perfectly so they can adjust the car just right. You can always find me to be the first in and the last remaining in the garage.”

8.- What kind of person is Michael Schumacher according to the text?

A a person who likes money a lot

B a person who likes fame

C a person who does anything to survive

D a person who doesn’t like to show off

9.-In what way has Formula 1 changed nowadays?

A Drivers nowadays don’t have the talent they used to have.

B Drivers nowadays are paid millions of dollars.

C The car has become more important than the driver.

D The rules of the sport have changed.

10.-What information do we get about Benetton?

A It is the company Schumacher always dreamed of working for.

B Its cars are technically very good.

C It gave Schumacher to Williams.

D Its cars are especially good at fast bends.

11.-What has happened since Schumacher signed a contract with Ferrari?

A He has had great success.

B He has lost his self confidence. 

C He has lost the world title.

D He has been challenged by Williams.

12.-What is remarkable about Schumacher?

A He has no passion for racing.

B He has all the typical characteristics of a racing driver.

C He is not influenced by his emotions.

D He is a cruel person.

13.-What happened in the World Championships in 1991?

A He stopped early but he was noticed.

B He became the World Champion.

C He managed to finish the race in 7th position.

D He achieved his first victory.

14.-What do we learn about Flavia Briatore?

A He is Benetton’s racing driver.

B He strongly believes in the commercial side of Formula 1.

C He is very popular with Formula 1 fans.

D He believes that Formula 1 has become too commercial.

15.-Schumacher’s career has been so successful because

A he believes himself to be a better racer than the rest.

B he never interferes with the technical aspect.

C he understands what is needed to fix the car.

D he is always looking for more money.

Check your answers here


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