Schumacher eyes bounce back

Disappointed world champion Michael Schumacher has promised not to let his Chinese Grand Prix nightmare get to him - and has vowed to put all his efforts into making amends with victory in Japan in a fortnight's time

Schumacher eyes bounce back

The Ferrari ace started from the pit-lane after a spin in qualifying and could only finish 12th after a collision with Christian Klien's Jaguar, a mid-race spin and a puncture. It was his worst weekend of the season and marked the first time in 2004 that he had finished off the podium.

But rather than get depressed about a grand prix where nothing seemed to go right, Schumacher is keeping his fingers crossed that all his bad luck has come on the same weekend - and that things can only get better in Suzuka.

Speaking about whether he was upset at what happened, he said: "Well, we won the race, so it would be odd not to be happy about that and Rubens drove a superb race.

"We have had both titles in the pocket already, so an odd race such as this one does not hurt as much as it would do otherwise. At the end of the day it might be positive that I had all sorts of negative things happening in one single race, so all should be cool in Japan."

He added: "It was a good result for Ferrari, since we won, but it was certainly not my weekend. I would have loved to win or to show a better result, but I bear in mind how many times I was lucky or had the opportunity to shine, so I certainly cannot complain now. I will try and win it in 2005!"

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt has also backed Schumacher to bounce back in style in Japan - claiming that the poor form suffered by the seven-times world champion was nothing out of the ordinary in F1.

"He did the quickest time in the first qualifying, which is not such bad luck," explained Todt. "He spun in the race, that doesn't happen to him often but he's a human being so he may spin. After that it was a succession of things. He started from the pit lane, overtaking wasn't easy.

"Then following cars he had the loss of downforce from the car in front of him so he lost grip. Behind Fernando Alonso he spun, so we changed his strategy. Then he had a problem with a puncture, a rear left, so all that put together didn't allow him to race where he could have finished in the points easily. But we know very well that if you're not in front or close to the front it's unpredictable."

Todt also dismissed any talk that Schumacher's lack of success since clinching the world championship in Hungary was evidence that the German was no longer pushing as hard as before.

"You know he finished second twice," responded Todt. "If you take Spa, he was beaten because they were better than us, simply because of that, the package was better. If you take Monza, he spun because of dry tyres on wet conditions and he finished on Rubens's gearbox."

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