Schumacher Aims to Fight for Pole

World Champion Michael Schumacher claimed Ferrari were far from unhappy with their third spot in first qualifying for the San Marino Grand Prix - even though the team are in need of a victory this weekend to kick-start their title campaign

Schumacher Aims to Fight for Pole

The German had been quickest in the morning's first free practice session and was expected to be a serious threat for provisional pole position, but in the end was outpaced by both Kimi Raikkonen and Fernando Alonso to end up third overall.

Although the near three-tenths deficit to the front of the grid was probably not want Schumacher wanted to see, he claimed he was generally upbeat about the overall performance of the F2005.

"I am indeed (happy)," he said. "We have been showing pretty consistently strong performance over the weekend and with qualifying overall it was a bit of a weak spot after seeing all the races. We also had a weak spot at the end of races, but we have worked well on that so I am pretty happy."

When asked whether he believed he had a car capable of fighting for pole position and victory, he said: "I think we will be there. It is going to be tight and tough but I think we have an opportunity."

Schumacher's troubled start to the campaign has left him 24 points behind Alonso in the title chase but, despite the results, the seven-times Champion is still confident that Ferrari have shown signs of promise.

"After this particular start (to the season) everybody was extremely motivated to see the performance possibility with the new car in Bahrain," he said. "We have worked hard and pushed extremely hard and the result we can see here. So we are in a good mood and qualifying confirms what we have done so far."

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