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09 Sep 2004 00:00
Although he is not allowed to wear a cap with seven stars—depicting seven world championships—quite yet, Michael Schumacher is planning to get back to his winning ways at Ferrari’s home Grand Prix on Sunday.
Formula One supremo Bernie Ecclestone earlier this week told Schumacher that he could not wear a cap with seven stars as he had not yet been officially declared the world champion by the governing body.
The German though is unphased.
“Obviously, it can’t get any better for us than the weekend we have coming up: the Italian Grand Prix.
“It is our home race and we have already won both world titles. What we would like is a huge Ferrari party.
We want to celebrate with our fans; the ideal thing would be to do it with a good race and a good result.
“In any case, it will be an exciting weekend.
Two weeks ago, Schumacher finished second behind McLaren’s Kimi Raikkonen and the Finn is hoping to again give Schumacher a run for his money.
“I am really looking forward to racing again at Monza this weekend following the result at Spa. The car was running really well, as the win and fastest race lap demonstrated, and hopefully we will be up there at the front again.
“Monza has seen some real battles in the past and it would be nice to continue that trend this weekend.”
As both championship titles (driver—Schumacher and constructors—Ferrari) have already been decided ahead of the 15th race of the season—a race over 53 laps of 5 793 kilometres for 306 720 kilometres—the focus turns to the race for the runners’ up spot.
Schumacher’s team-mate Rubens Barrichello is in a good position to pick up his second vice-championship after 2002. Although he is 40 points behind the German, he is 23 points ahead of BAR-Honda’s Jenson Button, who has 65 points.
Renaults’ Jarno Trulli (46) and Fernando Alonso (45), as well as Williams-BMW’s Juan-Pablo Montoya also still have a theoretical chance to take second place, but it seems unlikely that they will be able to mount a real challenge.
The race for second place in the constructor’s standings is much more open, with Renault (91 points) and Honda (83) only separated by eight points. Williams (54) and McLaren (49) seem too far behind. - Sapa-DPA
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