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Home > Sports > Formula One > Reuters > Report


Button tips Schumacher to win title

Alan Baldwin | September 28, 2006 13:03 IST

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Jenson Button is tipping Ferrari's Michael Schumacher to win the remaining three races of the season and walk away from Formula One as an eight-times world champion.

"I think the Ferrari is very strong," the Briton, a first-time winner for Honda in Hungary last August, told Reuters at the Chinese Grand Prix on Thursday.

"These three circuits are the sort that might suit them well, and if Bridgestone have got their act together they will be very quick.

"There is a very good chance that he (Schumacher) could win three in a row.

"This isn't his favourite circuit, looking at past races, but he's quick in Suzuka (Japan) and Brazil and I think the car will work well at those two and also here," added Button.

If his prediction proves correct, the Briton would be Michelin's last race winner before the French tyre manufacturer departs the sport and leaves Ferrari's partners Bridgestone as sole supplier in 2007.

Schumacher, retiring at the end of the season after the most successful career in Formula One history, is two points adrift of Renault's Fernando Alonso with three races remaining.

Ferrari are three points clear of Renault in the constructors' standings.

While the 37-year-old German has won four of the last six races, and Ferrari five in all, champion Alonso has not been victorious since Canada in June after leading since the start of the season.

However, Schumacher has a woeful record in China, failing to score a point in his two appearances since Shanghai's debut on the calendar in 2004.

BET ON

Asked whether he would bet on Schumacher winning the championship, Button replied: "I probably would. I think a lot of people would as well, looking at the pace of the Ferrari at the moment.

"People used to say (McLaren's) Kimi (Raikkonen) was not very quick in Japan and he won last year. I really don't think it's going to be a problem for Michael here," he added.

"He might have had two bad years, for whatever reason, but he should be able to be quick here and he's got the championship at stake."

Button, who finished second in Shanghai in 2004 and eighth last year, hoped also that he could play a part in deciding the championship outcome.

"It's a fun circuit and we've just got to see how quick we are. What our pace is like here will determine our pace for the last two races," he said.

"Hopefully, we are going to get in the way (of the title contenders). I'm not going to purposefully get in the way of the championship but we want to get the best results we can."

© Copyright 2006 Reuters Limited. All rights reserved. Republication or redistribution of Reuters content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Reuters. Reuters shall not be liable for any errors or delays in the content, or for any actions taken in reliance thereon.
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