Title rivals ready for final fight

Title rivals ready for final fight

The final battle of the season is to be fought very soon and while many think Michael Schumacher is guaranteed to win his sixth title in three days time at Suzuka, it's not over yet. Schumacher needs one point and challenger Kimi Raikkonen needs...

The final battle of the season is to be fought very soon and while many think Michael Schumacher is guaranteed to win his sixth title in three days time at Suzuka, it's not over yet. Schumacher needs one point and challenger Kimi Raikkonen needs the race win and Michael not to score -- but the rivals are keeping calm ahead of the showdown.

Thursday FIA press conference: Michael Schumacher and Kimi Raikkonen.
Photo by Brousseau Photo.
Raikkonen isn't feeling any extra pressure: "Not really," he replied, when asked if he was approaching this weekend any differently. "Because we can only gain. I don't mind because if we don't win the championship then I don't really mind if we lose the second place to third place. It doesn't really make much difference if you finish third or second. Only first place is really worth winning."

"(I will) drive as hard as I can and hopefully it will be enough. I guess we are doing exactly the same things as in all the other races this year, and it's difficult to say if we are quick enough or not. But I think what we did in the last race seemed enough to be quite competitive and hopefully this is the same here."

Schumacher, who is an old hand at the title-winning business, also has the constructors' championship to consider but he too is not getting too worked up. "We still have to win the Constructors' championship and accept the typical approach where we have to be very careful not to retire which we have been in the last few races as well," said the German.

"We obviously have more to lose than to gain in a way, as I said before, but in the end, as you sit in the car, you just do what you naturally do. There's not much about it. It depends a little bit on the situation you're in after qualifying, how the start will go, but I will just enjoy racing and that's what I'm here for."

Meanwhile, Williams man Juan Pablo Monotya, who lost his title hopes at Indianapolis, is still gunning for second in the drivers' standings and isn't about to do Raikkonen any favours. "I need to beat Raikkonen to be second in the championship," said the Colombian. "And we need to win the constructors' championship so we've got to take every point we can. If Kimi wants to try to win it, he's going to have a hard race in front of him. I'm not his team-mate."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Kimi Raikkonen
Teams Williams