Schumacher - dont write off Renault 26 Sep 2006
Michael Schumacher believes Ferrari still have their work cut out if they are to beat Renault to this years constructors title. With just three 2006 rounds remaining, the Italian team head to this weekends Chinese Grand Prix with a narrow advantage over their rivals.
Ferrari have won five of the last six races and seized a three-point lead in the standings at the last round in Monza. However, with Renault having withstood a similar, late-season surge by McLaren last year, Schumacher knows the champions could still have plenty in reserve.
We should not underestimate Renault and will be focusing solely on our strengths, said Schumacher ahead of Shanghai. We will be going all out in the final races and we will see what the season has in store for us.
We have every chance of taking the title though, in my opinion, it will be tough.
Having said this, I have to repeat that the squad and I think we have a good chance, above all in the constructors' championship where we are in a good position. Felipe's (Massas) input has proved decisive here, especially in the last three races."
Schumacher has never scored in China - he finished 12th in the inaugural race and then spun out in the early stages last season. Despite this, he is keen to stress that Shanghai is not his bogey circuit, as some would like to believe, and instead points to Ferraris 2004 victory as proof of the teams potential.
"It is true that this race has never gone particularly well, said the German. However, Rubens (Barrichello) won the first ever race and this means that our car should do well. I am sure things will go well this time.
With Schumachers retirement announcement now safely out of the way, the seven-time champion is free to concentrate on achieving a record-extending eighth drivers title. And with some fruitful testing for Ferrari since Monza, he is in optimistic mood.
As I have already said, it will not be easy but it will be exciting and unpredictable until the end, he added. I am pleased that we have it all to play for in the last few races. I feel that I can make up the two-point gap."