Schumacher Plays Down his Chances

World Champion Michael Schumacher says it would be unrealistic to believe Ferrari can fight at the top in tomorrow's German Grand Prix

Schumacher Plays Down his Chances

Schumacher has been playing down his chances of success at his home race since the start of the weekend, but a strong performance in today's qualifying raised the German fans' hopes of a strong result.

Schumacher will start from fifth place.

The Ferrari driver, however, believes the Renaults and the McLarens will be out of reach in the race, and he is hoping to be able to beat BAR's Jenson Button, starting from second place.

"I had a clean lap and I think I got the most out of the car, which behaved well," he said. "I don't think we ran with a particularly light fuel load compared with the other cars. It is clear that the two top teams are quicker than us, as can be seen from our performance in free practice.

"As for the race, maybe I can battle with Button, but aiming for the top is unrealistic. At least I am starting from the clean side of the grid and I hope to put on a good show for all the fans here."

Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello opted to go out with a big amount of fuel onboard of his car and paid the price in terms of pace. The Brazilian finished down in a disappointing 15th position, and was left hoping his race strategy will pay off.

"We had two options for this session: to go really quickly in qualifying and try for a good grid position, or to think more in terms of the race," said Barrichello, who used a different type of tyre than Schumacher in qualifying.

"I chose the second of those options, partly because this morning I did not feel the car was perfectly balanced and also I was bearing in mind that tomorrow could be very tough on the tyres.

"Of course, we will now have to wait until tomorrow afternoon to see if I have made the right decision."

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