Schumacher extends reliability run

Michael Schumacher's Ferrari continued to prove its phenomenal durability after Sunday's European Grand Prix, after having completed 32 races without mechanical failure

Schumacher extends reliability run

When Schumacher joined Ferrari in 1996, the marque was suffering a run of worse than average reliability, but since then, the cars have become close to bulletproof. Schumacher's last mechanical failure was, astoundingly, the engine failure that put him out of the 1998 season opener in Melbourne.

The record has McLaren, whose cars tend to err on the side of fragility, worried but bullish. David Coulthard, third in Sunday's race, is counting on the law of averages to help the season back towards the Woking marque.

"Ferrari have been blessed with fantastic reliability and that is why they have such a points advantage," said the Scot, talking to Timothy Collings of the Telegraph.

"We just have to hope that they, and Michael in particular, have some problems later in the year so we can put some pressure on."

In fact, Ferrari have claimed some problems Schumacher has suffered have been reliability related - such as his crash in the British Grand Prix in 1999 and occasions he has stalled on the grid. However, the team has never been able to prove satisfactorily that these were not mistakes by the driver.

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