Brawn worries for tough Suzuka

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn could be forgiven for feeling comfortable heading to Suzuka, where Michael Schumacher only needs to score a single point to claim his sixth title. However, Brawn thinks the pressure to score that one point in...

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn could be forgiven for feeling comfortable heading to Suzuka, where Michael Schumacher only needs to score a single point to claim his sixth title. However, Brawn thinks the pressure to score that one point in the final race of the 2003 season is perhaps worse than being on an equal footing with competitors.

Brawn remembers only too well, when he was with Williams back in 1986, Nigel Mansell losing the title due to a tyre failure in the last race at Adelaide. "We've all got memories of Nigel in 1986," he said. "It would be a tragedy for us if we got that close and didn't win it. In many ways there is more pressure just to score one point than going into a championship when it is pretty equal."

Schumacher's only challenger for the Driver's title -- since Juan Pablo Montoya dropped out of the fight after Indianapolis -- is McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen, who is nine points behind the German. To win the championship, Raikkonen needs to win Suzuka and Schumacher not score a point at all. It sounds unlikely but, as we saw at Indy, nothing is guaranteed: Schumacher could have taken the title there but Raikkonen clawed his way up to second to keep the fight open.

"It's going to be quite tough," said Brawn, of the final race. "To go in needing one point is actually sometimes tougher than knowing you have to win it because there are so many things that can happen."

"It is going to be a very hard two weeks between now and Suzuka and we've got the constructors to try and win so we have to take our normal approach. To try and do anything different would be a mistake so I just hope the weather gods shine on us in Suzuka."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Nigel Mansell , Ross Brawn
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams