Schumacher pragmatic over Suzuka chances

Hot title favourite Michael Schumacher is refusing to dream of world championship glory in Sunday's crucial Japanese Grand Prix, because he says he knows his hopes could easily be shattered

Schumacher pragmatic over Suzuka chances

The Ferrari ace has an eight point lead heading into the penultimate round of the Formula 1 World Championship and can afford to finish second to McLaren's Mika Hakkinen twice and still become champion. But he said the Finn's unexpected retirement in Indianapolis was a lesson in how easily things can change.

With that in mind, Schumacher arrived in Suzuka on Thursday admitting he is aiming to deliver the killer blow this weekend if he can.

"I'd rather finish things here rather than in Malaysia," he said. "Victory is needed to win the championship and that is all we are going for.

"I've got eight points and it's a nice cushion, but I'm not thinking like that," he added. "There's no point. You never know what will happen in the last race. I'll try my best here - if he brakes three metres later I'll brake five metres later.

"It's racing and anything can happen. I'm not stupid enough to believe I have the title until it's really done. Therefore we have to fight to the end. There is no reason to treat things differently because it is not finished yet."

The double champion said he was confident and bouyed by testing at Mugello last week, in which he set a new lap record on a circuit which is similar to Suzuka, Sunday's stage for the Japanese Grand Prix.

Schumacher has 88 points and Hakkinen 80. Their team mates Rubens Barrichello and David Coulthard, who will be expected to play a supporting role in the last two races, have 55 and 63 respectively.

shares
comments
Mercedes confident of engine reliability in Japan

Previous article

Mercedes confident of engine reliability in Japan

Next article

FIA Press Conference

FIA Press Conference
Load comments
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021
The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from Plus

The other notable Monza escape that F1 should learn from

OPINION: The headlines were dominated by the Italian Grand Prix crash between Max Verstappen and Lewis Hamilton, who had the halo to thank for avoiding potentially serious injury. But two days earlier, Formula 1 had a lucky escape with a Monza pitlane incident that could also have had grave consequences

Formula 1
Sep 17, 2021
How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum Plus

How Monza only added more questions to F1's sprint race conundrum

With two sprint races under its belt, Formula 1 must now consider its options for them going forward. While they've helped deliver exciting racing on Sundays, the sprints themselves have been somewhat lacking - creating yet another conundrum for F1 to solve...

Formula 1
Sep 16, 2021