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
Load comments
The downside to F1's show and tell proposal Plus

The downside to F1's show and tell proposal

Technology lies at the heart of the F1 story and it fascinates fans, which is why the commercial rights holder plans to compel teams to show more of their ‘secrets’. STUART CODLING fears this will encourage techno-quackery…

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits Plus

How getting sacked gave Mercedes F1’s tech wizard lasting benefits

He’s had a hand in world championship-winning Formula 1 cars for Benetton, Renault and Mercedes, and was also a cog in the Schumacher-Ferrari axis. Having recently ‘moved upstairs’ as Mercedes chief technical officer, James Allison tells STUART CODLING about his career path and why being axed by Benetton was one of the best things that ever happened to him

Formula 1
Nov 28, 2021
The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback Plus

The remarkable qualities that propelled Kubica’s F1 comeback

It’s easy to look at
 Robert Kubica’s second Formula 1 career and feel a sense of sadness that he didn’t reach the heights for which he seemed destined. But as BEN ANDERSON discovered, performance and results are almost meaningless in this context – something more fundamental and incredible happened…

Formula 1
Nov 27, 2021
The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren  Plus

The humbling changes Ricciardo made to deliver the goods for McLaren 

From being lapped by his own team-mate in Monaco to winning at Monza, it’s been a tumultuous first season at McLaren for Daniel Ricciardo. But, as he tells STUART CODLING, there’s more to the story of his turnaround than having a lovely summer holiday during Formula 1's summer break...

Formula 1
Nov 26, 2021
The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title Plus

The potential benefits of losing the F1 constructors' title

As the battle continues to rage over the F1 2021 drivers' championship, teams up and down the grid are turning their attentions to the prize money attributed to each position in the constructors' standings. But F1's sliding scale rules governing windtunnel and CFD use will soften the blow for those who miss out on the top places

Formula 1
Nov 25, 2021
The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher Plus

The invisible enemy that’s made Hamilton’s title charge tougher

After winning his past few Formula 1 titles at a canter, Lewis Hamilton currently trails Max Verstappen by eight points heading into the final double-header of 2021. Although Red Bull has been his biggest on-track challenge, Hamilton feels that he has just as much to grapple with away from the circuit

Formula 1
Nov 24, 2021
Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay Plus

Why F1’s inconvenient penalties have to stay

OPINION: Quibbles over the length of time taken by Formula 1's stewards over decisions are entirely valid. But however inconvenient it is, there can be no questioning the importance of having clearly defined rules that everyone understands and can stick to. Recent events have shown that ambiguity could have big consequences

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021
The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax Plus

The mistakes Red Bull cannot afford to repeat in F1 2021’s title fight climax

OPINION: Red Bull has had Formula 1’s fastest package for most of 2021, but in several of the title run-in events it has wasted the RB16B’s potential. It cannot afford to do so again with Lewis Hamilton motoring back towards Max Verstappen in the drivers’ standings with two rounds remaining

Formula 1
Nov 23, 2021