Ralf: Brother Michael Now in Contention

Ralf Schumacher has had a rethink after writing off older brother Michael's chances of winning the Formula One title for the sixth year in a row

Ralf: Brother Michael Now in Contention

The Toyota driver said at the French Grand Prix he believed the Ferrari ace could still take a record eighth crown after last month's U.S. Grand Prix tyre crisis played straight into the 36-year-old's hands.

Schumacher took 18 points from Canada and Indianapolis while Renault's Championship leader Fernando Alonso did not score in either race.

After the seven Michelin teams withdrew before the start of the U.S. Grand Prix due to tyre safety concerns, Schumacher won a six-car 'race' while all of his Championship rivals were sidelined.

The Champion is now third overall with 34 points to Spaniard Alonso's 59. There are 10 races remaining.

"It's great for him, it puts him back into the possibility of going for the Championship again if the next few races run well," said Ralf, whose crash in practice in Indianapolis triggered the Michelin furore.

Events at Magny-Cours on Friday also favoured Schumacher, with McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen picking up a 10-place penalty on the starting grid after suffering an engine failure in practice.

Nearest Rival

The Finn is Alonso's nearest rival and has won three races so far.

"Kimi had an engine problem so that's going to help him (Schumacher) as well," said Ralf, eighth in the standings with 20 points.

"I didn't think (Michael could win the Championship) but in the given circumstances, especially when nobody else scores, it's a totally different issue, isn't it?

"I still think under normal circumstances it's going to be difficult but who knows how many technical problems another guy might have," added the German.

Ferrari's Schumacher has won the French Grand Prix seven times and said on Friday he believed he had a chance of victory again on Sunday.

In May, when Schumacher was 34 points behind Alonso, Ralf told Bild newspaper: "Ferrari can forget about this World Championship.

"As much as I would delight in an eighth family title -- it will no longer be."

 

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