Haug Not Ruling Ferrari Out for Sunday

Mercedes Motorsport boss Norbert Haug has predicted that this weekend's European Grand Prix could witness the beginning of a Ferrari fightback after his driver, Kimi Raikkonen, has taken pole position at the last three races, winning Barcelona and Monaco back-to-back

The Nurburgring race sees the abandonment of the aggregate qualifying system introduced this year.

With Ferrari having a problem bringing its Bridgestone tyres up to temperature quickly enough to generate strong 'one-lap' performance, it is generally agreed that the loss of the empty tank session - without the benefit of fuel weight to help heat the tyres quicker --will work in Ferrari's favour. 

"I think we will see higher fuel loads and race wins not coming from pole position," said Haug. "You are never quite sure what the race will bring.

"One has to realise that there are now five or six strong competitors, whereas when we won the Championship in 1998 the only real opposition was Ferrari. We need to keep our act together even if we have a better package now. We need to be 100% focused and concentrated.

"I wouldn't say it was impossible that Ferrari and Bridgestone will come back on Sunday. It will be a different story soon and I can only say positive things about both Bridgestone and Michelin."

Michael Schumacher missed most of today's second free practice session with an electrical problem but Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said: "The car is well balanced. The Bridgestones are consistent and the first lap doesn't seem too bad."

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