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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report

Schumacher promises Suzuka fightback

Alastair Himmer | October 07, 2004 18:35 IST

World champion Michael Schumacher is hoping for better luck in Japan this weekend after finishing 12th in last month's Chinese Grand Prix.

The German has failed to win in his last three races after 12 victories in the season's first 13 Grands Prix for Ferrari -- a barren spell by Schumacher's impeccable standards.

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In Shanghai, Schumacher suffered an early collision, a spin and a puncture on his way to his first non-scoring finish since March 1999.

Schumacher has won five times at Suzuka but was eighth in last year's race, which was won by Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello.

"I don't have anything to prove anyway," Schumacher said. "I don't worry about it too much. It's important that Ferrari wins and I'd like it to be me."

Schumacher, who clinched his seventh world title in August, put his Chinese slip-up down to bad luck.

"There was a problem between the steering wheel and the seat," joked the 35-year-old, who also spun out during qualifying in Shanghai.

"I'm glad all the bad things happened in one weekend. I don't think I should think about it too much because it was just one of those races you have."


Schumacher, woken by an earthquake in Tokyo on Wednesday night, dismissed concerns over typhoon warnings for Japan this weekend.

"I don't remember having a race under typhoon conditions," he said. "There is a first time for everything.

"I don't know how heavy or difficult it will be. We'll just have to face it -- we can't change it anyway."

Williams rival Juan Pablo Montoya sounded a cautious note, saying that qualifying could even be cancelled if the wind and rain make the going too treacherous.

"If the typhoon comes I would be surprised if we go out, to be honest," said the Colombian.

"It might be crazy but I believe if it gets to the point that it is dangerous to drive, the FIA (Formula One's governing body) will stop it."

Montoya advocated using the finishing positions from Chinese Grand Prix to make up the Suzuka grid if qualifying was scrapped.

"That would be good," he said. "Fifth last race, I would go for that. Michael starts 12th or so. Let's do that!"

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