Schumacher admits best man won

Michael Schumacher lost the lead in the world championship for the first time this season at the Hungarian Grand Prix, and admitted he got what he deserved after being completely outclassed by Mika Hakkinen. The double champion raced home second, chased hard by David Coulthard, but was never able to match the world champion's pace.

Schumacher admits best man won

Afterwards Schumacher was lavish in his praise of the Finn. "He was the fastest man on the circuit today," he said. "We were just not fast enough to win. I was too careful at the start to be honest because I had spinning wheels at the last race and it cost me a little bit of momentum this time. I not only lost at the start which was a tight battle into the first bend with Mika but when you see his pace you can see I couldn't have fought with him.

Schumacher denied that Hakkinen had won the race in the first corner, suggesting that even if he had have led the first lap, Hakkinen's pace would have told. "If he hadn't overtaken me it at the start he would have done it in pit stops because he was the fastest man out there," admitted the German. "But I'm not too unhappy to be second because it was a tight battle with David just to keep my position and I could easily have been third.

Ferrari had been well ahead of McLaren in qualifying and Hakkinen did not appear to have got to grips with his car. The Finn qualified third and was 1.4 seconds behind his team-mate in morning practice. It was only some late, but spot-on, set-up work which leap-frogged Hakkinen ahead of his rivals. Schumacher was left trailing.

"Mika said he sorted out his car and I believe him because he didn't seem to be fast enough in qualifying," said Schumacher. But the German insisted the battle for the championship was not over even though he has slipped two points behind Hakkinen in a McLaren which appears to be getting faster with every race.

"There is reason to be concerned because the McLarens are better. But there are still areas we can work on and we have some good ideas about what to do - but everyone has those. Let's see what happens when we get to the end of the season." Hakkinen now has 64 points, Schumacher 62, having ended a three-race stint without a single finish, Coulthard 58 and Barrichello 49.

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