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Ferrari back in title hunt: Schumacher
Alan Baldwin | April 27, 2005 02:07 IST
Michael Schumacher says Ferrari are back in the Formula One title hunt after narrowly missing out on victory in Sunday's San Marino Grand Prix.
"We're back on top of things. Our performance at Imola gives us strength and hope for the next races -- we're back fighting for the championship title," the seven times champion said on his personal website.
Schumacher finished second to Renault's Fernando Alonso in champions Ferrari's home race, slicing past Briton Jenson Button's BAR before harrying the Spaniard to the finish line.
"I was surprised myself at how quickly I managed to catch up with Jenson," said the German.
"If I had been able to overtake him even sooner I might have had a chance to win the race because I could have caught up the three seconds Fernando was ahead of me after my second pitstop with no-one in front of me.
"That means that our car was fantastic, too. And the discussion about our tyres will surely come to an end now after our performance at Imola -- we're all set to do really well at the next races."
Tyre supplier Bridgestone looked uncompetitive in the first three races of the season, also won by Michelin-shod Renault, but came back strongly at Imola with Schumacher lapping up to two seconds faster than rivals towards the end.
"Bridgestone screwed up in Bahrain but here they are definitely back in business," said Michelin motorsport head Pierre Dupasquier at Imola.
"We didn't have competition before. We like it. We'll see what happens in Barcelona, that's a completely different perspective."
The next race is the Spanish Grand Prix at the Circuit de Catalunya on May 8.
"Barcelona is a different situation," said Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn at Imola. "In Barcelona the front left tyre takes an awful lot of work because of the long, fast corners and that will be critical, making that last.
"Here it was both rear tyres that were the most heavily loaded; in Barcelona it will be the front and it will be the first time we've seen that this year.
"The car is very good in fast corners, a good step over what we have, a great car and as part of the tyre war we hope we can fight as well in Barcelona."
Formula One: The Complete Coverage