Ferrari Back on Top, Says Schumacher

Michael Schumacher is adamant that Ferrari are now back in the hunt for the World Championship - even though some of his rivals believe the World Champion's pace at Imola could have been a one-off

Ferrari Back on Top, Says Schumacher

Schumacher's Ferrari was able to run up to two seconds per lap faster than every other car at times during the San Marino Grand Prix, a factor that has left some teams believing that his tyre supplier Bridgestone simply got it right at the same time that Michelin got it wrong.

But Schumacher is confident that Ferrari's form at Imola was absolute proof that the team have put their early season problems behind them - and that they can now expect to be in the regular hunt for wins.

"We're back on top of things," said Schumacher, reflecting on his run to second place last weekend. "Our performance at Imola gives us strength and hope for the next races - we're back fighting for the Championship title."

Although Schumacher's chances of grabbing victory were badly hurt by him running off the track on his qualifying lap, which left him down in 13th on the grid, the German believes he could still have won the race if he had not lost a few valuable laps stuck behind Jenson Button's BAR.

"I was surprised myself at how quickly I managed to catch up with Jenson," explained Schumacher. "If I had been able to overtake him even sooner I might have had a chance to win the race, because I could have caught up the three seconds Fernando was ahead of me after my second pit stop with no-one in front of me.

"That means that our car was fantastic, too. And the discussion about our tyres will surely come to an end now after our performance at Imola - we're all set to do really well at the next races. The fight against Fernando was a lot of fun and I'm looking forward to the next ones.

"It's always great to see how difficult situations are handled at Ferrari: remain calm, focus on the important factors, be creative, work hard. Our team's work in the last three weeks is absolutely incredible.

"They worked day and night and put in loads of overtime to make this success at Imola possible - I would like to thank them all. And I'm glad I was able to give them something in return by achieving a good result. We have to continue working hard now, and then hopefully the first wins will come around soon."

Schumacher is due to begin two days of testing at Mugello in Italy from Wednesday, before appearing at a promotional day for Vodafone on Friday.

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