Schuey pushes for winning start

World champion Michael Schumacher has warned his rivals that Ferrari is not viewing the start of the season as merely a damage limitation exercise because it is using its old car - and has instead vowed to try and carry on the F2004's victory march from the off

Schuey pushes for winning start

Although Ferrari's rivals have admitted that the start of the season may provide their best chance to hobble the Maranello outfit, with its F2005 not being introduced until May's Spanish Grand Prix, Schumacher has declared that he sees no reason why his own ambitions will be compromised by using the old car

Speaking to autosport.com during testing at Valencia in Spain about his chances of winning the season-opening Australian Grand Prix , Schumacher said: "Who knows? Those who know us, know that we never drive defensively.

"There is no reason for us not to try to win in Australia and the other races. You don't get punished for making an attempt do you? So let's wait and see. But the opponents are strong for sure. Australia has been a good track for us in the past few years, the more difficult races for us are the ones which come after Melbourne."

Although Renault has continued to worry its rivals with more stunning pace from its R25 on Thursday, Schumacher explains that he has yet to see anything that specifically worries him from the opposition.

"There is nothing other than what I expected, to be honest," said Schumacher. "The ones who have been strong last year are strong again. Renault may be a bit stronger compared to last year, they have overcome the problem they had last year, but it is also the teams we always have in our minds...Mercedes-Benz, BMW and Honda."

Despite casting a glance at the pace of his rivals, Schumacher has declared himself fully relaxed about the development of the F2004M - and claims there is little pressure on the team before the start of the season because it knows the development car is reliable.

"In the end there was just a cosmetic change to last year's car," added Schumacher. "That means we do not have to work so much on reliability programmes, but we do have our programmes in terms of tyres and the engine of course.

"The rest is not a big topic for us, therefore we are not in any kind of pressure about the timing schedule. This is something that will start when we bring the new car to the track."

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