Schumacher: Ferrari Must Raise Game

Michael Schumacher said on Sunday that his World Championship winning Ferrari team have to up their game to get their season back on track after a disappointing showing in the Malaysian Grand Prix

Schumacher: Ferrari Must Raise Game

German Schumacher, who won 12 of the first 13 races of the season last year, failed to finish in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix and only finished seventh in Malaysia to open his Championship account.

The team are still using their old car but there appears to be many areas where they are suffering in relation to their competitors and he called for his team to solve the problems in all areas.

"Obviously the other teams were doing a better job in several areas," said Schumacher. "We have to improve in all those different areas. We can see that in comparison with the other teams our car is not the best.

"There's different areas in which we have to work, we know that, and we will do it successfully. When I came here I didn't expect a very strong race but Friday and Saturday morning it didn't look too bad.

"At the moment it does not look very good. It's clear we all have to work together to raise our game. There was a lot of work behind me today - we had a lot of hard work for two points."

The German driver is not used to being forced to work hard for points having dominated from the front in 2004 but this weekend he spent much of his time in the middle order.

Renault have stolen a march in the Championship after winning both races so far while Toyota and Red Bull are both ahead of the Italian team in the Constructors' Championship.

Ferrari's tyre suppliers Bridgestone have been singled out for criticism but Schumacher insisted: "I think it's extremely wrong to concentrate on just one factor. We have won together and we lose together."

But he also insisted that the true competitiveness of the team is yet to be seen because a topsy-turvy grid made for a confusing race in Australia and the Malaysian race has never been one of Ferrari's strong points.

"Don't forget that Sepang has always been a very difficult race for us, if not to say the most difficult," said Schumacher, who now has just two points compared to Championship leader Fernando Alonso's 16.

"I can see it is hard to understand that we win 16 races in a season then coming here we are fighting for seventh position. But if you look back I always said things can turn around very fast and it's not down to one track at all."

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