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I can still win title: Schumacher
August 28, 2006 10:58 IST
Michael Schumacher's self-belief remained intact on Sunday despite the Ferrari driver falling 12 points behind Fernando Alonso in the Formula One title battle with four races remaining.
"Today I have lost two points in the drivers' championship, but I still believe I can win the title," said the seven times world champion after finishing third in a Turkish Grand Prix won by Brazilian team mate Felipe Massa.
Renault's Alonso, the world champion, was second to end a run of races that had seen Schumacher reduce the Spaniard's lead from 25 points.
Ferrari did close the gap to Renault in the constructors' championship to two points, however.
"We remain confident," said technical director Ross Brawn. "All the elements are in place for us to win both titles and we will fight right to the very end to achieve that."
The next race is Ferrari's home Italian Grand Prix at Monza on Sept. 10.
"In Monza, and at the three races outside Europe, we will have many changes on the car and thanks to the great work being done by our technical partners...we will be in the best possible shape to try and win both championships," added team boss Jean Todt.
Massa's victory was the first in Formula One for the driver whose usual role at the Italian team is to support Schumacher and contribute to the constructors' championship.
Had Schumacher been behind him for longer than the 13 laps before the safety car was called out, Massa would undoubtedly have let the German through to take the victory and the precious extra points.
Instead the key moment in the race was when both Ferrari drivers and Alonso pitted at the same time once the safety car was deployed on lap 14.
Schumacher had to wait behind Massa while Alonso was able to get out before him and build up enough of a buffer to stay ahead at the second pitstops.
Asked why Ferrari had not made Massa switch positions earlier, or stay out during the first pitstop, Todt was adamant that Ferrari had done the right thing.
"I think there would be five times more people tonight at this press meeting if I had asked Felipe to let Michael (through).
"That would be the event of this race weekend. Sorry for you, but we did not change the order at the pitstop.
Asked whether Ferrari would have ordered Massa to move aside had Schumacher got past Alonso in the final nose-to-tail laps, Todt replied simply: "You will never know".
Formula One: The Complete Coverage