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Schuey says cream will still rise to the top with TC

Formula 1 World Champion Michael Schumacher believes that the return of traction control at this weekend's Spanish Grand Prix will not level the Grand Prix playing field by detracting from the skill of the sport's top drivers

Many think that traction control will allow less talented drivers to go quicker, but Schumacher believes the driver aid, which was outlawed in 1993, will require drivers to go closer to the limit to get the best out of their cars.

"I am in favour of it," said Schumacher. "We can go faster with it and drive more extremely on the limit. You don't have to take care of any power peaks of the engine. You don't lose anything - I even would say that from my experiences that the difference to my team mate would get bigger.

"I have never taken time from any of my team mates from acceleration out of a corner. I see it like this: It gives us more freedom to drive a bit faster. And the ability to take the car permanently to the limit is what a makes a good driver. It will increase the whole level [of the grid], but at this new higher level, you will see the good drivers remaining the good ones."

Motorsport's governing body, the FIA has allowed traction control to return to the F1 pitlane in return for certain safety measures which are yet to be announced and are expected to be introduced within the next few seasons. The complexity of the electronics involved in traction control also makes the systems very difficult to police.

Schumacher believes that the driver gizmo, which reduces wheelspin when accelerating, will likely serve to increase the disparity between the haves and have-nots along the pit lane. Better technical resources will enable F1's top teams, such as the Schumacher's Ferrari squad and main rival's McLaren, to develop better systems faster.

"You can have a technical advantage," said Schumacher, "that is possible. We are working very hard and we felt at the beginning of the season that we were not ready with all the components, because it's not just traction control, it's also gear shifts and other areas. It's actually many things that you can change from Barcelona onwards. I think the good teams will have further advantage."

Teams completed their final test last week before Sunday's Spanish GP at the Circuit de Catalunya. Last minute adjustments were made to the team's traction control systems with McLaren at Silverstone while Ferrari completed three days of running at Mugello.

While much of the weekend's focus will be on lap times, Schumacher says that reducing the amount of wheelspin will also help with safety, particularly in the wet.

"The main benefit is that the wheels will not spin," he said. "In the rain the whole thing is safer, as the cars go faster out of control in the rain, especially when the wheels are spinning."

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