It's not over until it's over, as they say, but while Michael Schumacher could still win the drivers' title in Brazil he feels his chances are unrealistic and is now focused on the constructors' championship. Rival Fernando Alonso took advantage...
It's not over until it's over, as they say, but while Michael Schumacher could still win the drivers' title in Brazil he feels his chances are unrealistic and is now focused on the constructors' championship. Rival Fernando Alonso took advantage of Schumacher's engine failure at Suzuka and won the race, putting a 10 point gap between himself and the German and an equal number of race wins.
For Schumacher to claim his eighth title he has to win in Brazil and have Alonso not score. It could happen -- Alonso had an engine failure at Monza and Schumacher went on to take the victory but even if Schumacher wins at Interlagos, Alonso just needs one point to retain his crown. Both Ferrari and Renault have suffered failures but in general they are very reliable so the ball seems to be in Alonso's court.
Schumacher weathered the premature end of his race at Suzuka with notable grace. "Defeats like this are part of Formula One as in life," he said. "It is no-one's fault. We have all worked incredibly hard over the past months. We managed to turn around a championship that seemed hopeless, especially in the light of the poor 2005 season."
"So, only a superficial view would be to be one of disappointment. We should be proud of the result even if there will be no happy ending. Our attitude and the quality of our work have been decisive and we have nothing to be unhappy about. One cannot always win and things do not always goes as planned. Consequently, we have to accept the Suzuka result in a positive way."
If ones rivals have misfortune that is just the nature of racing -- both Schumacher and Alonso have been hit with grid demotion penalties and engine woes this season but bad luck for one is good luck for another. Schumacher knows that in order for himself to triumph in Brazil Alonso needs some problems, but he doesn't wish it on the Spaniard.
"It is not the way I would like to win the title. I want it to come as a result of my efforts. Also, it is unrealistic hoping to make up ten points." However, between Renault and Ferrari the constructors' is still wide open. "In that series we have a nine point gap but we still have a chance, however small," Schumacher added. "Now we will be concentrating mainly on this championship."
In the run up to Interlagos the German will be on the test track at Jerez, working with his team to prepare for the last race. "There is one test session and one race left before the end of the season and this is what we will be concentrating our efforts on," he commented. "Despite the gap, I want to go all out in Brazil and win another title."
Although the advantage is in his favour, Alonso is not about to relax. He may only need one point in Brazil but there's any amount of things that could go wrong. "We need to finish the race, and it will not necessarily be easy," he said. "Anything can happen: a mechanical failure, going off track, an accident… We need to stay focused."