An unusually subdued Michael Schumacher is not optimistic for his home race at Hockenheim on Sunday and is not even thinking about challenging for the victory. Ferrari has been hard at work on the test track but Schumacher is not expecting a big...
An unusually subdued Michael Schumacher is not optimistic for his home race at Hockenheim on Sunday and is not even thinking about challenging for the victory. Ferrari has been hard at work on the test track but Schumacher is not expecting a big step forward; the best he believes he can aim for is a podium finish.
"I don't feel like promising big things to my fans," he commented. "I'm not thinking about victory at all but I'll do my best to get on the podium at least. I must admit I feel fairly pessimistic. To be honest it wasn't a lot of work, just improvements for the next races."
Ferrari is lacking in grip but it's hard to say there is any specific problem that is causing the overall lack of competitiveness. "Everyone at Ferrari struggles to understand why we are so slow," Schumacher said. "If we managed to understand it, the problem would be solved."
"In Formula One there's never just one reason, it's the combination of the various elements of the package that doesn't work, and we are constantly wondering why, without being able to find an answer. In the last few races it was clear to see that we weren't fast enough."
"We are facing a situation but we don't know if we'll change it. But that's no reason to have doubts over yourself. We'll always carry on working -- in our team there's always hope after each test. But no matter how big my hope is, I absolutely don't want to make predictions."
Schumacher's hopes will not be buoyed by finishing 10th overall in Friday's second practice session at Hockenheim. The reining champion was two and a half seconds slower than McLaren third driver Alex Wurz, who topped the times, and nearly two second down on Kimi Raikkonen, who was the fastest race driver.
Inevitably, Ferrari's lack of performance this season has again led to suggestions of Schumacher heading for retirement. As usual, he dismisses the idea. "In sport it's normal to have difficult spells," he said. "Sometimes it happens that someone works better than you and gets better results. But I can't really imagine my life without Formula One."