Schumacher aims for next F1 milestone
11 June 2004, MONTREAL - World champion Michael Schumacher aims for another Formula One milestone on Sunday and there appears to be no one in sight to deny him a seventh victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.
11 June 2004
MONTREAL - World champion Michael Schumacher aims for another Formula One milestone on Sunday and there appears to be no one in sight to deny him a seventh victory at the Canadian Grand Prix.
Schumacher commands the world championship standings with 60 points after six victories in seven races ahead of his Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello, who has 46 points.
Unless there is an accident or a technical failure, Schumacher has a great chance to become the first driver in the sport to win one race seven times.
Coming into the weekend, Schumacher has six wins in Canada, France and Belgium. In comparison, the late Ayrton Senna chalked up six victories in Monaco, while Alain Prost triumphed six times in Brazil and France.
Schumacher has redefined the sport over the past decade. His large number of records include the amount of world titles (six), race wins (76) and world championship points in a season (144 in 2002).
Schumacher's earlier wins at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve were 1994, 1997, 1998, 2000, 2002 and 2003. He also has three second-place finishes there from 12 appearances overall.
"I have always done well in Canada and I hope for similar success this time around," said Schumacher, who arrived in Montreal Thursday after a short holiday in the Canadian wilderness.
Schumacher is highly confident ahead of the Montreal race and the United States Grand Prix in Indianapolis the following week as both tracks in the North American double-header suit Ferrari well.
"Montreal as well as Indianapolis should suit us from the track characteristics. I expect us to be very competitive," said Schumacher.
"I believe that we will drive for victory. That is definitely our aim, and we will do everything for it," he said.
Successful tests last week in Silverstone have only further bolstered Schumacher and Ferrari's morale.
"The tests were very constructive. We even managed to do more than we had originally planned," said Schumacher.
The German expects the main challenge to come from Jenson Button and his BAR team-mate Takuma Sato because the Montreal track is similar to Imola, where Button was second behind Schumacher.
"They were extremely strong there (in Imola). But so were we, so I expect a really good fight," said Schumacher.
Button, who ranks third in the standings with 38 points from five podium finishes, is confident that BAR can finally get their first race win during North American stint with the help of a new engine.
"We still want this first win. That is our aim. We don't want to be the best team on Michelin tyres, we want to beat Ferrari," said Button.
Two other teams, Williams-BMW and McLaren-Mercedes, by contrast, can currently only dream of topping the podium and are rather setting their sights on the second half of the season, starting with the French Grand Prix on 4 July.
Williams have not won in Montreal since Ralf Schumacher's 2001 success and the last McLaren victory dates back to Mika Hakkinen's in 1999.
The practice session on the 4.261-kilometre course is Friday, the qualifying on Saturday and the 70-lap race over 305.270 km on Sunday.
Subject: German news