Michael satisfied with Monaco pace

World champion Michael Schumacher has declared himself satisfied with third place after being beaten in the Monaco Grand Prix by Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen. The Finn's runner-up spot allowed the McLaren driver to increase his championship lead to four points over Schumacher

Michael satisfied with Monaco pace

Schumacher could only qualify fifth for the race, while he and his team-mate Rubens Barrichello were the only Bridgestone runners in the top ten. Towards the end of the race Schumacher was clearly fast enough to fight for the lead, but the nature of Monaco meant there was little opportunity to pass.

"All in all, I can be satisfied with third place," he said. "That might have been less the case if the race result was based on how we qualified on Thursday" (when Schumacher was fastest using Bridgetone's softer tyre compound). "But given how things went on Saturday afternoon," he said, "if you start from fifth place on the grid, it is difficult to ask for more, especially in Monaco.

"In fact, it could have ended up worse. I can therefore be happy not to have lost too much ground in the championship fight after a race where we experienced some difficulties. With Kimi (Raikkonen) finishing second, the gap is now up to four points and I have to say I am not too worried about this difference. I have said right from the start of the year that this season would be much more closely contested and that its outcome would not be decided so quickly.

"I was ready for this situation, so it has not come as a surprise. We must carry on working and stay focussed, which in fact has always been our way of doing things. On top of that, for me, this is one of the great things about racing; that nothing can be taken for granted."

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