Despite constant badgering from the media about Ferrari's impending announcement, Michael Schumacher has made it clear that his attention will firmly be on track at this weekend's Italian Grad Prix. Ferrari is due to reveal its 2007 driver line up ...
Despite constant badgering from the media about Ferrari's impending announcement, Michael Schumacher has made it clear that his attention will firmly be on track at this weekend's Italian Grad Prix. Ferrari is due to reveal its 2007 driver line up after Sunday's race and the big question is if Schumacher will be named as one of those drivers or if he will retire at the end of this season.
Whatever the answer, Schumacher is not about to reveal anything before the allotted time. "We have organised everything so that we can just concentrate on this race," he told reporters at Monza on Thursday. "The main focus is to race and drive with nothing else to cause any extra disturbance and I think this situation is going to be more of a distraction for you than for me!"
Schumacher had to concede defeat last time out, not only to title rival Fernando Alonso but also to teammate Felipe Massa, who took his maiden win in Turkey. Alonso stretched his championship lead to 12 points but, after testing at Monza last week, Schumacher is optimistic that Ferrari can give Renault a run for their money this weekend.
"We had three good days here at the test, but we also saw that it is very close between the top teams," the German commented. "Now it will be a case of seeing which of us can make the best of the conditions as we find them this weekend, although I don't think it will be very different to when we tested. If we get it right, it will be a great opportunity for us."
The Monza track has been resurfaced and many teams noted last week that the grip level was different. "I don't know if this will be an advantage for us and our Bridgestone tyres," Schumacher said in regard to the fresh asphalt. "But the surface is now smoother and offers more grip and it makes Monza less of a compromise and more predictable to drive."
With four races to go this season the championship fights are far from over. Ferrari, two points behind Renault and arguably the stronger team at present, has a good chance of overhauling the French squad for the constructors' title. The situation between Alonso and Schumacher is not so close but still unpredictable.
Schumacher believes the battles will not be resolved until the final round in Brazil. "It will be very close and I expect the decision to go all the way to the last race of the season. In that time, both ourselves and our closest rivals will continue to improve our package so it will be a case of seeing who does the best job."
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