Schumacher: the Championship has been Fair

World Champion Michael Schumacher believes the Championship has been fairly contested this season, contradicting claims by his own team that Michelin-shod rivals have had an illegal advantage.

Schumacher: the Championship has been Fair

World Champion Michael Schumacher believes the Championship has been fairly contested this season, contradicting claims by his own team that Michelin-shod rivals have had an illegal advantage.

Asked whether he believes the Championship has been fair this year in light of the Michelin tyres controversy, Schumacher told Gazzetta dello Sport: "Yes, in my opinion it has been a fair season. Also, as I've said in other times, the gap to Williams and McLaren in the last two Grands Prix cannot be explained only by the tyres, even if that can have an influence."

Schumacher added that he doesn't expect the new instructions by the FIA to hurt Michelin's performance. "I have no doubt that Michelin will adapt, and I don't think that conforming to the parameters will really damage them," Schumacher said.

The five time World Champion ended a four day testing session at Monza today, having set the fastest time of the week. Schumacher told the Italian newspaper he was encouraged by the testing and predicted a close battle for the title, down to the wire.

"We are now in the same situation as three years ago - just on the eve of the Italian Grand Prix. And you all know how it ended," Schumacher said, referring to the 2000 Italian Grand Prix, which saw him regain the Championship lead from rival Mika Hakkinen with an emotional win that saw him equal Ayrton Senna's race win record.

"We have the opportunity to go to the Grand Prix with a good car," Schumacher continued, "but we are all so close to each other [in the WC battle] that the difference will be in the details. The secret in such a close battle is to optimize what we have in hand. This is why this testing session was so important.

"The results of this test are fairly encouraging, but I won't deny that we are facing a difficult race, just as the season has been. It will be an interesting, unpredictable finale."

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