Michael Schumacher silenced some of Ferrari's critics with his victory at Imola, although doubters remain, and he is convinced that the team can keep the momentum going. The upcoming European Grand Prix at the NÃ¼rburgring is one of Schumacher's...
Michael Schumacher silenced some of Ferrari's critics with his victory at Imola, although doubters remain, and he is convinced that the team can keep the momentum going. The upcoming European Grand Prix at the N?rburgring is one of Schumacher's home races and he sees no reason why Ferrari shouldn't be competitive there as well.
"The win gave us that extra motivation," he said. "To be honest, it was a plus after the races in Malaysia and Australia -- ones that did not go as expected. It was great to see that everyone's hard work bore fruit and that we were right to believe we could be competitive at Imola. As we have often stated, I think that we can do just as well at N?rburgring"
Ferrari's difficult start to 2006 followed by a very strong performance at Imola echoed 2005, when it was a similar picture. Last year Imola proved to be something of a one-off for the Maranello squad but Schumacher is convinced that this year the competitiveness shown at San Marino will continue, despite the earlier problems.
"It is true that once or twice we were not at our best," he conceded in regard to the first three races of this season. "Once we got the tyre choice wrong. However, the Imola display proves that Ferrari is able to compete."
"I do not believe that things are as they were last year, where Imola was a ray of light, or like the year before that in which we dominated. I believe that we are able to perform like we did at Imola for the whole season, though this will naturally be influenced by the various types of circuit."
Obviously the former champion is aiming to put on a good show for the fans at his home race. "We should be competitive again and obviously I will do my best," he commented. "I hope to get a good result for our fans once again at the N?rburgring."
There is still controversy surrounding Ferrari's allegedly flexible rear wing, with Honda in particular making its disapproval be known, but so far the FIA has not seen any reason to take action. Ferrari is adamant that the wing is legal and reportedly claimed it would make a counter-protest if another team lodged an official objection.