The final race of the 2004 season is fast approaching and Michael Schumacher is aiming to keep Ferrari in front at the Brazilian Grand Prix. For the champion the important thing is to have a scarlet car win at Interlagos and claims that it doesn't matter which one. So, can Rubens Barrichello, who has failed to finish his home race for nine years, expect some help from his teammate if necessary?
"The important thing is that Ferrari is up front," said Schumacher. "Whoever wins is absolutely irrelevant for us. Rubens is a very good driver; that is beyond dispute. He doesn't need anyone's help. I am sure that he prefers not be given a helping hand."
"In this way, each of us will drive his own race and we will see how things turn out. This does not mean that I will not help Rubens whenever the situation arises, something I have said this many times before."
Barrichello has said he doesn't believe in luck but it seems to believe in him when he's racing at home -- bad luck, that is. A string of non-finishes, mostly technical failures, have seen nearly a decade pass since the Brazilian gave his fans something to cheer about.
But Barrichello heads to Interlagos with confidence: "With the speed of the car and so on we are going to Brazil with a good, realistic chance of winning the race," he said.
For Schumacher, it's been an amazing season. He's scored 13 victories in 2004, two second places and has only twice failed to finish on the podium -- Monaco and China where he did not score points at all.
He wrapped up the drivers' championship at the Belgian GP and Ferrari claimed the constructors' title in Hungary. The final thing that he hopes for is a good result to end the season. "We can safely say, even before the Brazilian race, that it has been a successful year and I couldn't ask for anything more," the German commented.
"I have already said so a couple of times: maybe we could have predicted that things would have gone well, but not so well. Naturally, we hope in San Paolo to have a final race that rounds off the season well!"