Schumacher Not Ruling Out Victory

World Champion Michael Schumacher believes Ferrari do have a serious chance of winning tomorrow's United States Grand Prix after he grabbed fifth place on the grid to continue the team's upturn in form

Schumacher Not Ruling Out Victory

With the Maranello-based team not having to worry about the kind of dramas faced by their rival Michelin runners, Schumacher appeared to be running a fairly heavy fuel load to grab a slot on the third row - two positions ahead of teammate Rubens Barrichello.

And with Ferrari's race pace appearing to be much better than their qualifying form, that has left Schumacher feeling pretty confident about his prospect for the race.

When asked whether he believed that this weekend could prove to be the breakthrough and see Ferrari win their first Grand Prix of the season, he said: "I think there is a possibility.

"But honestly, the breakthrough race should have been Imola. If we would have had the speed of Imola here, we would probably lap everybody. But at Imola we couldn't pass. Here we don't have that much speed in the race, but we could still be quick enough to win."

He added: "The third row is a good position particularly since I am on the clean side, and fifth position is good. All weekend long we have been more competitive than most of the races this year for qualifying purposes anyway - race pace is good."

Barrichello believed that his chances of matching Schumacher's time were hampered in part by a minor brake problem but he was equally upbeat about Ferrari's performance.

"I think we understand that we're not as fast as our competitors in qualifying, but we're very fast in the race.

"We make the points in the race not in qualifying. That's not an excuse. We need to find the performance in qualifying. But so far, I think we've done a good job. We're fifth and seventh.

"Obviously, I wish I could have been higher up, but I had some small problems under the braking. Apart from that, the car was good, and I think the race is the main important thing."

Neither of the Ferrari drivers said they were wasting any time worrying about the prospects for the Michelin runners, who are facing an anxious night deliberating about the safety of their tyres.

Schumacher said: "Check with the other guys. I'm not concerned."

Barrichello added: "Luckily we have no issues (with the tyres) this weekend. We have in the past, but we've sorted them out. With the rules like they are, there will be a time when you bring a couple types of tires for the track, there will be times you get it wrong."

 

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