Schumacher still Hungry for Success

Seven-times World Champion Michael Schumacher said on Thursday that his competitive instinct was as sharp as ever despite a disappointing year

The 36-year-old German has been overshadowed by Renault's World Champion Fernando Alonso and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen but fully intends to challenge the new leading lights of Formula One next season.

"Those two guys are showing most clearly their potential but there are other very good guys around," Schumacher told reporters before Sunday's season-ending race in Shanghai.

"At the end of the day we are there to challenge for victories. It doesn't necessarily have to be a win. I just want to be in position and whoever it is I don't care."

Schumacher has had his worst year since joining Ferrari, his only win coming at the controversial U.S. Grand Prix where Michelin-supplied teams did not run for safety reasons.

His manager Willi Weber said in an interview this week that the Ferrari driver is likely to retire after the 2008 season. Schumacher said nothing had been decided.

"First of all I don't know what he said," shrugged Schumacher, whose five-year reign as World Champion was ended by Alonso in Brazil last month.

"You read something from somebody and I have been through this many times. Nothing has changed. Next year we talk."

Ferrari are third in the Constructors' Championship with Schumacher third in the drivers' standings, two points ahead of McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya going into Sunday's finale.

Schumacher, who has won a record 84 Grands Prix, acknowledged that his run as champion could not last forever.

"(The end) would come sooner or later," he said. "To come with that effect was obviously not foreseen so some races were not as nice as others.

"Nevertheless, if you look at the end result and see we finished third in the constructors' and third in the Drivers' Championship, it tells you something.

"I'm always optimistic for the future."

Previous article Ferrari to Ignore Winter Testing Ban
Next article De la Rosa Fastest in Practice 1 - China