Ferrari is undoubtedly on a roll at the moment and Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa's one-two finish in Germany has given the team another morale booster ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. Schumacher and Massa were in a race of their...
Ferrari is undoubtedly on a roll at the moment and Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa's one-two finish in Germany has given the team another morale booster ahead of this weekend's Hungarian Grand Prix. Schumacher and Massa were in a race of their own at Hockeheim and with only a few days until the next event, would anyone bet against the reds?
"I have to say that a one-two at Hockenheim has helped us very much," Schumacher remarked in regard to team morale. "Ferrari dominated as it did on its best days from the past. It is a result that, obviously, impressed the fans. Above all, it is a win that reopens a championship race that everyone had already given up as lost."
Renault stumbled in Germany and championship leader Fernando Alonso could only manage fifth, leaving the gap between himself and Schumacher in the standings at 11 points. "The drivers' title is up for grabs," Schumacher stated. "The great thing is that I now have the mathematical chance to win it without having to depend on the actions of anyone else."
Prior to Hockenheim the situation was that even if Schumacher won every remaining race, Alonso only had to finish second to claim the title. But now, with Massa's strong back-up drives and Renault's drop in form in Germany, Alonso will have to beat Schumacher at least once in the remaining six races -- and that's barring any other random factors.
"(Sunday's) performance was phenomenal, especially given the position we were in last year," said Schumacher. "This result is the fruit of many months of work and many more to come. Now, it is clear that we all want the title back and a result like that at Hockenheim only increases this feeling. The win makes us not want to give up. The fact that the next race comes up so quickly is an advantage for us."
There would seem no logical reason why Ferrari's competitiveness won't continue in Hungary, although, of course, nothing is 100% guaranteed. The question is more if Renault can bounce back from its struggles of last weekend -- there was much talk about the French squad's blistering tyres and the lack of the mass damper system, which looks set to return in Budapest, and Renault cannot afford another poor race.
But Schumacher is not getting over-confident about Ferrari's chances. "Sure it (Hockenheim) was great but it will not be easy doing it again right away. Saying this, a win is vital if we are to keep up the chase. We have to score more points rather than pushing things and trying to dominate the race. We will have to maintain a high tempo and be focused throughout. In modern day Formula One, nothing is a certainty."
However, with the summer testing ban coming up after Hungary, it appears that Ferrari has the edge for the foreseeable suture. "Thanks to the pause in testing that will last until the race in Turkey, this advantage should last two races," said Schumacher. "This is why we think we could have some influence on the destination of the title. There are six races left and we will be going for it."