After its absence in 2003, Spa-Francorchamps makes its return to the Formula One calendar this coming weekend and Michael Schumacher is pleased to return to the circuit. Spa is a challenge and many drivers say that it is their favourite race; Schumacher won the last Belgian Grand Prix in 2002 and is eager to be back on the track.
"Spa has always been special for me," said the reigning champion. "I am very happy to see the Belgian GP back on the calendar. This race seems to be linked to my career in some way. I have enjoyed some fantastic moments here and so I can only express my delight that I can race on the track again."
"Spa preserves the features of the old style circuits, ones that are very different from modern tracks. Even if today's single-seaters have made the circuit a little easier, it is still a challenge. Driving the perfect line here, especially in some stretches, is just thrilling. It is not coincidental that generations of drivers have raved about Eau Rouge!"
If Schumacher wins the race in Belgium, he will also win the 2004 drivers' title. Only Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello can challenge for the championship now, but the odds are in Schumacher's favour. It will be Michael's seventh title and fifth with Ferrari, whether he does it this weekend or at Monza.
"I know that this will be one of the topics of conversation this weekend," Schumacher said about the championship. "However, I won't be approaching this race any differently than the others. The important thing is to race well and whatever happens, happens. It is great being in a position to win the title at this stage, but this is the fruit of an unexpected and superb season."
"Both have their attractions but the most important thing for me is to win the title; where I do it is secondary," he added in regard to Spa and Monza. "Rubens still has a mathematical chance of winning and I take his challenge seriously: until victory is secure, all the other factors are meaningless and so I don't even take them into consideration."