Schumacher Praying for Rain at Spa

Ferrari's Michael Schumacher is praying for rain at his favourite Spa circuit after seeing his title hopes evaporate last weekend

Schumacher Praying for Rain at Spa

While Renault's Spaniard Fernando Alonso could become Formula One's youngest champion in Belgium on Sunday, Schumacher has had to re-assess his aims for the remaining four races of the season.

Keeping struggling Ferrari, champions for the past six years, among the top three teams is one challenge and trying to end the season with more than just one win is another.

Ferrari are just eight points ahead of fourth-placed Toyota.

Victory looks no more than a remote possibility at Spa however, with neither the seven times World Champion nor Brazilian teammate Rubens Barrichello scoring a point in last Sunday's Italian Grand Prix.

Only the capricious local weather gives Schumacher some hope as Formula One's master in the wet, when the unpredictable can happen.

"I am praying for it (the rain)," said the German, who celebrated his first Grand Prix win at the circuit in 1992 and his seventh title there last year.

No driver has won more times in Belgium than Schumacher, with six victories for Benetton and Ferrari since his race debut at Spa in 1991 with Jordan.

Formula One has not had a wet race this season but historic Spa, with its long and undulating track through the forests of the Ardennes, is the place to expect rain.

Heavy Showers

The skies obliged on Friday morning, with heavy showers soaking the circuit before the sun came out ahead of first practice for the last European race of the year.

Barrichello did not expect much of a change in Ferrari's performance from the Monza failure, however, and neither did team boss Jean Todt.

"There are no miracle cures in Formula One and therefore, with just a few days since the Italian Grand Prix, we cannot expect a turnaround in our fortunes here," said the Frenchman in a written preview of the race.

Ferrari, with chairman Luca di Montezemolo calling for a big push to turn around the situation before the end of the season in October, are pinning their hopes on the final three rounds in Brazil, Japan and China.

"We hope that, as a magic wand will not do the trick, all the work we are doing along with our (tyre) partners at Bridgestone will allow us to make a significant step forward in the final three races," said Todt.

"It will be important to succeed in this to lay the foundations for a change of fortune in 2006."

shares
comments
Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 1 - Belgium
Previous article

Raikkonen Fastest in Practice 1 - Belgium

Next article

Renault Won't Pay 'Big Money' for a Driver

Renault Won't Pay 'Big Money' for a Driver
How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future Plus

How departing F1 boss Brawn views F1’s new rules - and the future

Multiple-title-winning designer and team boss Ross Brawn is finally leaving Formula 1 after nearly 50 years in motorsport. But he still has plenty of insights on what’s working and what comes next, as he revealed to Autosport in a far-reaching exclusive interview in Abu Dhabi

Formula 1
Dec 2, 2022
The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat Plus

The key F1 management call Ferrari must make to avoid more defeat

OPINION: Mattia Binotto’s departure from Ferrari will naturally bring a range of changes across the Formula 1 team. But how the changes shape up and the impact they could have is set to be dictated by a key direction Ferrari’s top dogs will need to pick

Formula 1
Nov 30, 2022
The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants Plus

The difference between Mercedes’ stumble and the fall of F1 giants

OPINION: Mercedes endured its worst season of the hybrid Formula 1 era, but was mercifully spared its first winless campaign in over a decade late on. It has owned up to the mistakes it made which led to its troubled W13. And while its task to return to title-challenging contention is not small, its 2022 season seems more like a blip than the beginning of a downward spiral.

Formula 1
Nov 29, 2022
The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star Plus

The physical focus bringing out the best of an F1 midfield star

Esteban Ocon likes to point out he’s the first driver since Lewis Hamilton to emerge from a spell as Fernando Alonso’s team-mate with a superior overall points record. While some may disagree, as LUKE SMITH discovered, the 2021 Hungarian GP winner reckons it’s not just luck which has made him France’s pre-eminent Formula 1 driver of the moment…

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2022
How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy Plus

How Red Bull's dynamic leader shaped its F1 philosophy

The death of Dietrich Mateschitz last month has not only deprived Red Bull of its visionary founder, it has shorn Formula 1 of one of its most influential benefactors. Mateschitz himself was famously media-shy, preferring to let the brand do the talking on his behalf. And, while it’s now normal to speak of Red Bull F1 titles and champions made, Mateschitz never assumed it would be easy or even possible – as ANTHONY ROWLINSON discovered during this previously unpublished interview from 2006…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2022
Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom? Plus

Can Mercedes break Formula 1's cycle of doom?

OPINION: Teams that have dominated for long periods throughout Formula 1's history often take years to get back to the top of the tree once they've slipped down. But it remains to be seen whether the same will happen to Mercedes after a challenging 2022 season

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2022
What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi Plus

What hurt Perez most in his ill-fated fight for second in Abu Dhabi

Arguably the favourite in the battle to finish second best in 2022's Formula 1 standings, Sergio Perez's two-stop strategy at Abu Dhabi couldn't take him ahead of Charles Leclerc when the music stopped - and several key factors ultimately precluded him from the much-coveted runner-up spot

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2022
The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success Plus

The Abu Dhabi momentum that can propel Leclerc and Ferrari to F1 2023 success

OPINION: Charles Leclerc achieved his target of sealing runner-up in the 2022 world championship with a masterful drive behind Max Verstappen in Abu Dhabi. And that race contained key elements that may help him, and Ferrari, go one better in Formula 1 2023

Formula 1
Nov 22, 2022