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Schumacher urges Massa to raise his game

Michael Schumacher has urged his Ferrari teammate Felipe Massa to raise his game and help the Italian team in their fight against Renault in the world championship.

Massa is currently sixth in the drivers standing, eight points behind Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella, while Schumacher stands second, 23 points behind reigning world champion Fernando Alonso.

And with the season about to reach the halfway point this weekend in the Canadian Grand Prix, Schumacher admits the Brazilian will need to join the championship battle if their Italian squad is to stand a chance against the dominant Renault team.

"It's not only me and Fernando fighting, hopefully Felipe can do a good job and take away points," Schumacher said at Montreal.

"It would be a much easier task for us if we can both beat the rest, because the points' difference would be more substantial."

The German further believes that Ferrari, who have brought a new engine and some aerodynamic changes to Canada, have a good chance of becoming the leading package in the remaining part of the season, beginning with this weekend's events.

"Montreal is a track that has a lot of braking, traction, riding kerbs - these three elements are pretty important, and we hope to have a good car for this weekend," the German said.

"[The new engine and aero] will be enough if we can stay in front of the rest, but it also depends on what improvements the other teams have made.

"We have been performing pretty well, but in some of the races - like Barcelona and Silverstone - we didn't get it together 100 per cent.

"We were too slow at Silverstone, but we believe that there are circuits coming up that will suit our tyre, so things can change and turn around.

"We just need some small steps of development to get us there. Here, we believe we'll be competitive, but we have to prove it."

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