F1: Ferrari prepares for Hockenheim

21st July 2004, Comments 0 comments

21 July 2004, HOCKENHEIM - The all-conquering Ferrari team heads into this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim with one eye on claiming the constructors' championship with six races remaining and the other on the challenge of a resurgent McLaren-Mercedes team.

21 July 2004

HOCKENHEIM - The all-conquering Ferrari team heads into this weekend's German Grand Prix at Hockenheim with one eye on claiming the constructors' championship with six races remaining and the other on the challenge of a resurgent McLaren-Mercedes team.

Ferrari currently lead the constructors' standings with 174 points from 11 races followed by Renault on 79 and BAR-Honda on 67 points.

A Ferrari 1-2 at Hockenheim, coupled with Renault collecting less than five points in Germany, would leave the Italian marque on an unassailable 192 points.

"Hockenheim is going to be especially fun. I'm sure of that, especially as, depending on how the points are shared, Ferrari has a chance of sealing the constructors' title," said Ferrari's Michael Schumacher, who has won an incredible 10 of 11 races so far this season.

"However, we don't feel any extra pressure because of it. We're so strong as a team this year that an awful lot would have to happen for the title to be taken away from us," added the six-time world champion in an interview on his website www.michael-schumacher.de.

"If we don't manage it this weekend, it will happen sometime later," concluded the 35-year-old German.

Meanwhile, McLaren will be hoping to build on the success of their new MP4-19B car at the British Grand Prix on 11 July when Kimi Raikkonen took the team's first pole of the season before finishing second behind Schumacher in the race itself.

"The result at Silverstone and the pace of the MP4-19B during the weekend was very positive for the whole team," said the 25-year-old Finn.

"We are bringing some additional aerodynamic modifications to the 19B on line at the race, which we tested after Britain and the results of which were encouraging and have shown that there is more to come from the car.

"Hockenheim is always fun to drive, with some real chances to overtake, particularly at the wide Parabolika hairpin, where stability under braking is key in order to pass, an area in which the 19B has improved."

Unfortunately for Raikkonen, Schumacher also appears to enjoy racing at Hockenheim although he has only won twice there.

"I reckon that we'll have something to say about who wins," said Schumacher. "But I also think that we'll have some strong competition. Whatever happens, I'm definitely going to try my best. We can look forward to a action-packed weekend."

The opposition have been warned: Schumacher's best is invariably streets better than what the rest can offer.

DPA

Subject: German news

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