Schumacher Fears Ferrari Going Backwards

World Champion Michael Schumacher fears that Ferrari's mid-season recovery drive may have shifted into reverse after another disappointing performance in the British Grand Prix

Schumacher could manage no better than sixth place at Silverstone, more than one minute behind race winner Juan Pablo Montoya, and he was at a loss to explain just why the team are so slow.

"Of course, I cannot be happy to have finished sixth, especially looking at my lap times in the race," said Schumacher, who did lose a bit of time early in the race behind Jarno Trulli's Toyota.

"Clearly, we are simply not fast enough at the moment. If Trulli had not delayed me, I might have been able to fight with Button, but I am not keen on using the word 'if' as an excuse.

"If you compare our performance from the two North American races to these last two, we appear to be going backwards instead of forwards.  We are not up to the level of our competitors. 

"I am still looking forward to my home race in Hockenheim, but I wish I could promise the fans there a bit more than this."

Teammate Rubens Barrichello, who trailed Schumacher home in seventh, suffered minor brake problems again as his gamble on a three-stop strategy, failed to pay off.

"This was quite a difficult race," said the Brazilian. "Basically, we did not have the pace which we thought we might have. I made a good start and I knew I had to pass Trulli at this point if my race was going to go to plan. It was all going pretty smoothly apart from the fact I was held up by Button, which cost me time.

"This meant that the three stop strategy I had adopted did not work out the way it should have done. I had some brake problems, as at Magny-Cours.  But seeing how the race evolved, I don't think I could have done much better."

Sporting director Jean Todt believed that the team's Silverstone performance was probably a fair reflection of where the team stand in comparison to their opposition.

"We are not capable of matching the pace of the leaders and the final result is a reasonably accurate reflection of the current pecking order here at Silverstone today," he said.

"The only satisfying point to take away from here is the level of reliability we demonstrated this afternoon."

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