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Schumacher in no mood to slow down

March 07, 2004 13:45 IST

Michael Schumacher sent an ominous warning to his rivals that he has no plans to slow down after his runaway victory in Sunday's season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

The world champion produced one of his most dominant performances, leading the race from start to finish on the way to a Ferrari one-two and his 71st Formula One win.

"I'm in the best team that's around, we have a fantastic atmosphere, it's Ferrari and I have nothing to win any more, to some degree -- but I just love the sport," the he said.

"I just love fighting on the circuit and it's natural to me and as long as I am competitive and the love is there....I'll enjoy it as long as I can."

At 35, the German is one of the elder statesmen of Formula One but has lost none of his motivation as he chases a seventh world title after what he described as a "perfect" start.

He smashed the lap record to qualify on pole, then turned the race into a virtual procession as he led for the entire 58 laps.

"It's great to leave Australia with two more points than I had after the first three races last year," he purred.

"I was sure we were going to be competitive but I did not expect such a performance."

Despite the relative ease of his win, Schumacher was quick to quash suggestions he was poised to walk away with the title.

He said the cooler conditions at Melbourne's Albert Park had suited the Ferrari but things would not be as easy at the next round in Malaysia when the temperature is sure to be hotter.

"I am keeping my feet on the ground because this race and the weather conditions suited us perhaps better than the others," he said.

"We will have to wait and see what happens in Malaysia. I do not want to predict the season based on just one race."


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