Schumacher brothers get in the ’Ring

The Schumacher brothers will go head-to-head in the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring as they bid to improve their Formula 1 World Championship title chances this weekend. Ralf goes for two in a row, as long as the notoriously fickle Eifel weather behaves itself

Schumacher brothers get in the ’Ring

Michael and Ralf seem set for a close encounter at the Nurburgring. Michael has set seven out of eight poles so far this year and recorded four victories, while Ralf's BMW-powered Williams has scored two wins, including the most recent race at Canada.

The weather forecast for the European Grand Prix gives a maximum of 23-degrees, with little chance of rain, but the weather is unpredictable at the Nurburgring, which is situated in the Eifel mountains. Should it rain this year, it could play into the hands of Michael, thanks to his renowned prowess in the rain, but Michelin's excellent wet weather tyres could help Ralf's cause.

The biggest cloud on Ralf's horizon is the suspect reliability of his Williams, as he has only finished three of the eight grands prix so far, while Michael has finished seven out of eight. In the last four years, Michael has finished two out of the three Nurburgring events he's competed in - he had a broken leg in 1999, and so didn't take part.

The only time that Michael didn't finish the event was when he was hit from behind by his younger brother's Jordan in 1997. Ralf has finished two out of his four European Grands Prix.

This year, the Ferrari team have suffered slightly as they possess a smaller fuel tank to their main rivals, so they haven't been able to run long stints such as the Williams or McLaren-Mercedes teams.

Despite this, Ralf is not overly confident of victory this weekend: "It would be nice to have similar success at home to Canada, but the Nurburgring will be more difficult for us than Montreal, so my realistic target is to collect as many points as possible."

Michael, meanwhile, said it's always special for the brothers to perform in front of their home crowd: "If I have a race with my brother like the one we had in Canada they certainly will not be disappointed."

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