‘Monza not crucial’ says Schumacher

Michael Schumacher has denied Sunday's Italian Grand Prix is crucial to his title ambitions. The German is bidding to make up ground lost to championship leader Mika Hakkinen who has a six point advantage heading into the last four races of the season

‘Monza not crucial’ says Schumacher

The Ferrari ace denied that the Monza race is the make-or-break race for his championship campaign as he attempts to win for the third time in four years in front of the Tifosi.

"It is not really any different to any other race - mentally and physically no different at all," he said. "It is important for us but whatever happens on Sunday the championship is not finished. There are four races to go and this is one of them. If you look at the points it is tight but this is not really the crucial race for us. It is only important in that it can make the other races easy or harder."

Schumacher admitted that driving for Ferrari on Italian soil in front of home crowds was of course something special, but the German is not a huge fan of the Monza track.

"Tracks like Spa and Suzuka that are technically difficult are the ones that I like. Monaco and Hungary too," he said. "This one has long straights, hard braking and riding chicanes - nothing really challenging. Having the tifosi there is extra motivation which is nice."

The two-time world champion did not race at the 3.58-mile circuit last year due to injuries from his Silverstone accident, but he would like to carry on from where he left off.

"We have had great times here before last year, so it would be good to start where we finished last time - by winning."

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