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Schumacher has no chance: Fisichella

Alan Baldwin | June 11, 2005 12:13 IST

Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella says Michael Schumacher can forget about winning Sunday's Canadian Grand Prix.

Asked on Friday whether he thought Ferrari's world champion could win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where the German has triumphed for the last three seasons and a record seven times, Fisichella shook his head.

"I don't think so, honestly," replied the Italian, who once yearned to drive for what amounts to his national team and who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

"I was behind him on the long runs, I was catching him and I was about a second quicker a lap," he said after the day's second practice session.

"When I was behind him he was struggling with the grip on the rear end, in braking he was not so aggressive and even into the corner wasn't quick enough.

"So I think Ferrari are still struggling here. That's not bad news for us.

"Even a seven-times world champion like Michael, who is a great driver, if he hasn't got a competitive car cannot fight for the podium," said Fisichella, who predicted another Renault-McLaren battle.

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Renault have won five races this year, McLaren the other two with Finland's Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari, without a win since the penultimate race of 2004, have an eight-race losing streak going into the weekend with Schumacher's dreams of a record eighth Formula One title looking increasingly fanciful.

The team, champions for the past six years, have just 31 points to Renault's 76 with 12 races remaining.

The German is in eighth place with 16 points from seven races, 43 points adrift of Fisichella's Spanish team mate Fernando Alonso.

"We are not looking too competitive here, looking at the lap times," said Schumacher after ending the second hour-long session in 16th place. Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello was 10th.

"I did not get the best out of my new set of tyres this afternoon as I went out early when the track was not yet at its best," he added.

"But if you look at Rubens' time, which he set on the same tyres much later in the session, it looks a bit better."

Team boss Jean Todt confirmed the sense of disappointment.

"Although we have to take into account the unknown factor of what fuel load everyone is running, it is clear we were expecting better," he said.


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