Ralf happy with 'disastrous' second

Ralf Schumacher said he was lucky to finish second to his brother Michael in the French Grand Prix

Ralf happy with 'disastrous' second

The pole-sitter struggled against brake balance problems in the early laps, plus a slow pit stop and a faulty set of Michelins to claim six points for Williams-BMW.

But after wresting third in the drivers' championship from his brother's Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello, he faces a tough time bridging the 16-point gap to David Coulthard in the remaining seven races.

"Everything is possible, but whether you are second or third does not change a lot," he said. "The main thing that counts is to win [the championship] and obviously Michael has that this year and I try next year."

But he said he would nevertheless be trying to make it a Schumacher one-two in the championship at the end of this year.

"It would be nice if it is possible, but McLaren seem to have closed the gap on us in performance terms," he mused. "They had a bit of bad luck with the penalty today, so I am sure it is going to be difficult to close the gap to DC."

Schumacher's race was hi-jacked in his first stop when one of his wheels did not locate cleanly and he lost four seconds as a result.

"I could see in my mirror the right rear wheel didn't get on and I lost position," he said.

"In the first stint I was surprised how good the car was, but after the stop I had understeer and oversteer everywhere.

"It was incredibly hard to drive and that was why I was so slow, almost parking around the lap, and I came into the pits earlier than expected.

"Even if I had come out in front of Michael after the first stop it would have been difficult to hold him behind me. I should be happy to sit here second because it was really a disaster and difficult to drive."

Even so he is now third in the title chase on 31 points, with Coulthard on 47 and Schumacher Sr on 78.

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