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No formula for success says Schumacher

Published on 18/03/2004

18 March 2004

KUALA LUMPUR – There is no magic formula for success, the six time-World Champion Michael Schumacher said Thursday ahead of the Malaysian Grand Prix in Sepang.

After convincingly winning the season-opener in Australia, the Ferrari driver said he hoped to be stronger in Malaysia than in the two previous years, when he finished third (2002) and sixth (2003).

“I havent looked competitive here for the last two years, but I hope to be stronger this time. Its one of my favourite tracks, I would give it between 9 and 10 out of 10. Spa and Suzuka are my favourites, but this comes quite close.”

Schumacher said that his main rival could be Ferrari team mate Rubens Barrichello, who finished second in Melbourne. “I think Rubens is doing a fantastic job and hes proved to be performing consistently.

“I hope that continues for this year, because if not, we will both struggle. Its going to be a long season and I think he will be tough competition,” he said.

Most experts say that the high temperatures and humidity in Malaysia, usually the hottest on the calendar, can give cause for concern because of the effect on the cars.

“All of us have to worry about reliability, you can never be sure,” adding though that he was not too worried about the weather. “Im confident we can finish races even in hot temperatures and I believe that side of our package is strong. We have simulated grand prix distances and I am not worried about it.”

He also said that personally, he did not worry too much about the heat. “I am not too badly affected by the heat and my physiology means I do not sweat very much. Of course, being fit is important and before this race, I always go somewhere with similar weather to do my training.

“Normally, I do not drink very much during a race. In fact for some races, I do not even have a bottle in the car. But in Malaysia, I make a special point of drinking a lot of electrolyte drinks during the week and make a conscious effort to remember to drink from my bottle during the race.”

Ferrari technical director, Ross Brawn, said that the conditions in Malaysia were one of the reasons why the team had decided to start the season with the new car.

“High temperatures, both ambient and on the track, are one of the main features of the Malaysian Grand Prix and in fact, this was one of the factors that influenced our decision to start this season with the new car.

“The new car has much better cooling than its predecessor. We realised, looking at last year as a whole, bearing in mind we had a particularly hot summer in Europe, that too often we were having to run our cars in an inefficient way because we had to have all our cooling ducts fully open in order to apply maximum cooling to the car.”

He said that as a result, they had decided to improve the cooling characteristics of the car, which in turn had a positive influence on other aspects, like the tyres.

All of that, of course, does not auger well for the challenging teams and there is much to suggest that, once again, Ferrari will be the team to beat.



Subject: German News