No Let-Up From Ferrari

Ferrari technical chief Ross Brawn has warned his McLaren rivals there will be no let-up in his team's bid to make Michael Schumacher their first drivers' world champion for 21 years.

No Let-Up From Ferrari

Ferrari technical chief Ross Brawn has warned his McLaren rivals there will be no let-up in his team's bid to make Michael Schumacher their first drivers' world champion for 21 years.

Schumacher led home Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello in Sunday's U.S. Grand Prix, opening an eight-point lead over McLaren's defending champion Mika Hakkinen.

With two races left in Japan and Malaysia, Schumacher is now the clear favourite to land Ferrari's first drivers' crown since South African Jody Scheckter in 1979.

The Italian team, who are also top of the constructors' championship, are on a record-breaking roll after going through a lean period this season.

Schumacher's win was Ferrari's eighth of the year and increased their points total to 143 -- both records for the Italian outfit.

His two wins in succession, at Monza and Indianapolis, have revived a title campaign after five races without a victory.

Now with seven wins to Hakkinen's four, he needs only to win in Suzuka or finish second twice behind Hakkinen to secure his third drivers' title after 1994 and 1995.

No Rest As Ferrari Keep Pushing

Ferrari are determined not to lower their guard. "We'll have no rest between now and Suzuka and Malaysia," said Brawn.

"We've got a very tough challenge ahead in Suzuka. I'd have liked to have been in this situation two races ago because, by Tuesday, they (McLaren) will be working even harder than ever.

"We would be delighted to be able to clinch the championship in Suzuka but we're going to have to work with the thought that it could still go down to the wire.

"We're going to keep pushing...Whoever is strongest in Suzuka will probably win the championship. McLaren were good there last year but we can do a great job and I am sure we can beat them.

"We beat them in Monza in a straight fight and that was a track on which they had previously looked invincible. Now we just need to keep our concentration and stay focused."

Schumacher was one of the calmest men around in the Ferrari garage after the race.

He also warned that the misfortune which befell Hakkinen -- it was McLaren's first retirement with mechanical problems since the Brazilian Grand Prix -- could hit anyone.

"We all know what can happen," he said. "Basically, you can have a retirement like Mika had quite easily and things will turn around.

"It is not over yet. I'd rather win the next race and not rely on any strategy about just trying to finish second or anything."

Dennis Defiant

Though the momentum is firmly with Ferrari, McLaren team chief Ron Dennis insisted on Monday that his team were still committed to becoming the 2000 world champions.

"Obviously, the outcome of the race is less than satisfactory but it is only one race in 17," he said.

"With two to go there are more than enough points available. Our commitment to winning the world championship is undiminished."

Hakkinen retired on Sunday after 15 laps with a spectacular blazing engine failure, while David Coulthard recovered to finish fifth after being penalised for jumping the start.

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