Ferrari Endure Painful Day at Home

Michael Schumacher apologised to Ferrari's fans after a dismal display from the Italian squad at their home Grand Prix

Ferrari's seven times champion failed to score a point for the second race in a row and was mathematically ruled out of title contention for the first time since 1999, ending Formula One's longest reign.

The German, a sad 10th in front of a far smaller crowd than usual at Ferrari's home circuit, has been champion since 2000.

His teammate Rubens Barrichello completed a painful day for Ferrari after coming home in 12th position.

Schumacher had to admit Ferrari simply lacked pace, and said the Italian squad are in for another tough weekend at Spa.

"Clearly, our race did not go well and we were much too slow," said Schumacher. "We are nowhere near where we want to be but we have to live with it. You could say we were a bit better than in Turkey, but that is still not good enough.

"Running ninth, I was prepared to take some risks to get a point, but I risked a bit too much and went off the track, which lost me a place. There is no point in getting angry about our situation, we must simply try and improve, maybe in time for Spa, although that is unlikely, but possibly before the end of the season.

"The Championship was obviously lost a while ago, but we have had a lot of good years before this one. There is no need to give up because this is all part of competition. I feel sorry for the tifosi and thank them for their support, even though we were not able to deliver them a good result."

Team boss Jean Todt pointed out once more that a lack of grip was to blame for Ferrari's lack of pace.

"We are very disappointed for our fans and our staff who were here in the grandstand at Monza," he said. "The main problem afflicting us is, as everyone knows, a lack of grip and all we can do is continue to work with our partners at Bridgestone to fix it.

"Next weekend we can once again expect a difficult weekend. But hopefully we can show that this current situation can be turned around in the final three rounds of the championship. Despite the fact that we are going through very difficult times, the team and the drivers have once again worked very hard.

"We have shown that we are really determined to get the most out of the package we have at our disposal."

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