Michael Schumacher's seventh place in Japan may have sealed Ferrari's third position in the constructors' standings but, unsurprisingly, the German is hardly thrilled with the result. After five consecutive titles for himself and the team, ...
Michael Schumacher's seventh place in Japan may have sealed Ferrari's third position in the constructors' standings but, unsurprisingly, the German is hardly thrilled with the result. After five consecutive titles for himself and the team, Schumacher has had a difficult year with Ferrari in 2005 and readily admitted that they were never even in the title fight.
"We have to see things as they really are," he stated. "Our year has been anything other than good. We have never been competitive and never really been in a position to compete for the title, one that has been ours in recent times."
"In the end we will end the year with a third place and I am still in third place in the Drivers' standings. It has never been this bad. If we recognise that this is Ferrari's worst result for ten years then the criticism can be seen relatively."
"However, this should not be misinterpreted: we have never been in with a chance this year and we want to be competitive again next year but we shouldn't hide from reality. This shows the class of our team. Even when things don't go well we have to bring out the best. This I why I am not too happy to be in third in the Constructors' championship."
Ferrari hasn't been on the pace of the front runners all season and Schumacher had to suffer being overtaken twice at Suzuka by Renault's Fernando Alonso, the man who succeeded him as world champion. Michael sees no reason for improvement at Shanghai this weekend.
"A podium at the end of the season would be wonderful but we have to realise that the chances of obtaining that are not too high," he said. "We will not make any modifications before Japan and so I don't think things will go any differently."
"Our performance here was nothing too special and we cannot hope to make a forward step. But who knows? We have to wait until Friday even if we have already had some indication of our form from Shanghai. In any case, we will be trying our best to end the season in the best of ways."
Toyota could actually catch Ferrari in the standings with a one-two finish in China and Ferrari not score, which would give the teams a win apiece this season, but that seems like a highly unlikely result. Schumacher's third place is less definite, as McLaren's Juan Pablo Montoya is just two points behind.
Presuming Montoya doesn't fall out with anyone on track again and actually finishes this weekend's race, there's a good chance he will be ahead of Schumacher. However, due to his accident in Japan Montoya will be out early in qualifying so it's no certainty.