Schumacher: Ferrari will be Strong in Imola

World Champion Michael Schumacher is confident Ferrari will bounce back from their performance slump and warned that Renault and Fernando Alonso may not be leading the 2005 Championship standings for long

Schumacher: Ferrari will be Strong in Imola

Schumacher has endured the worst start to a season in his entire Formula One career, having scored only two points in three races. Furthermore, the German retired from the last race at Bahrain with a mechanical failure - the first he has suffered in some 98 Grands Prix.

Ferrari's troubled debut to their F2005 was further underlined when teammate Rubens Barrichello just barely made it to the end of the race, after his tyres deteriorated badly in the final laps of the Grand Prix.

But the reigning World Champion said the Bahrain race - arguably the hottest of the year and the toughest on their Bridgestone tyres - gave the Italian team confidence for the remaining 16 races of the season.

"I'm not going through this slump worried," Schumacher told Italy's Gazzetta dello Sport. "We won so much and for so long that a difficult time was to be expected. The important thing is to get over it soon and to show what we are made of.

"We got on the right track in Bahrain already. Rubens had trouble with the tyres, but he had to catch up and fight for the entire race. Maybe my tyres would have been in better conditions. If we were competitive there, then we should be even more in Imola."

Schumacher, currently 24 points behind Championship leader Alonso, added: "There's no reason to believe Renault are unbeatable. Even if Alonso is first in the Championship, I don't know whether he'll stay there all the way to the end."

The San Marino Grand Prix will be held on April 24.

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