Schumacher confident ahead of Japanese F1

6th October 2004, Comments 0 comments

6 October 2004 , TOKYO - Michael Schumacher on Wednesday expressed confidence that he can rebound from his worst career finish at the weekend Japanese Formula One Grand Prix. "It's easy, I want to win," said Schumacher in the Japanese capital where he was engaged in a sponsor event of his Japanese tyre company Bridgestone. The Ferrari star Schumacher has not won a race since the 15 August Hungarian GP. He clinched his seventh world title two weeks later in Belgium, finishing second to McLaren-Mercedes driv

6 October 2004

TOKYO - Michael Schumacher on Wednesday expressed confidence that he can rebound from his worst career finish at the weekend Japanese Formula One Grand Prix.

"It's easy, I want to win," said Schumacher in the Japanese capital where he was engaged in a sponsor event of his Japanese tyre company Bridgestone.

The Ferrari star Schumacher has not won a race since the 15 August Hungarian GP.

He clinched his seventh world title two weeks later in Belgium, finishing second to McLaren-Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen, but also had to swallow his worst career finish in the last race, a 12- place result at the inaugural Chinese GP.

Now Schumacher returns to Suzuka where last year's edition was the season-ender and the German won his then sixth title from placing eighth.

"Suzuka is one of tracks you look forward to," said Schumacher in praise of the demanding 5.807 kilometres course.

Bridgestone would naturally delight in a victory on home ground but there are further Japanese elements in the penultimate season race.

Takuma Sato would love nothing more than to achieve his first career win in Suzuka while his BAR team's engine supplier Honda would likely also be happy if the team gets their first win from Jenson Button.

Button finished second in Shanghai while Sato was fifth and sixth, respectively, at the last two Suzuka races.

"We always want to win, but a place on the podium would be great. That is my (realistic) aim," said Sato.

Sunday's race is also a home event for the Toyota team and marks the debut of their new driver Jarno Trulli.

Trulli was originally set to join Toyota for the next season, but had to leave Renault three weeks ago and now makes an early debut for the Japanese team.

"I am delighted to make my debut at the Toyota home Grand Prix. Japan is special for me as well because I have a lot of loyal fans in the country," said Trulli.

Trulli will take the place of Ricardo Zonta in Japan and that of Olivier Panis at the season-ender in Brazil, meaning that Sunday will mark the last career race of Panis.

"I am always looking forward to driving in front of the Japanese Toyota fans. This time around it will be very emotional because it is my last race," said Panis, who ends his career after 11 years in the sport.

Ralf Schumacher will be Trulli's team-mate from next season on at Toyota, but first wants to make up for his Shanghai controversy when he refused to drive on for Williams after a delayed pit stop.

"I am fully motivated," insisted Ralf Schumacher.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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