7 May 2004
BARCELONA – Statistics don’t interest six-time world champion Michael Schumacher, which is probably just as well for his ego considering the 35-year-old has broken virtually every record in Formula One in his incredible career.
The Ferrari driver will become only the sixth driver ever to compete in 200 F1 races when he lines up in the Spanish Grand Prix in Barcelona Sunday and with 58 pole position starts to date he is also closing in on one of the final milestones eluding him – motor racing legend Ayrton Senna’s mark of 65 pole starts.
The German already holds the record number of world championship titles, the record number of gp wins with 74, total number of points with 1078 and fastest laps with 59.
Schumacher will be looking for his fifth win out five so far this season at the Catalunya circuit where he has already won five times to date, including last year, but was surprised to hear he will be only racing in his 200th race.
“Number 200? That doesn’t seem that big a number to me,” said Schumacher on his homepage. “Just from the feeling I would have thought that I’d driven in many more races because I’ve been around for a long time. I would have thought the number was much higher.”
With a 16 point lead over teammate Rubens Barrichello and a 17 point lead over BAR’s Jenson Button, Schumacher is already 12/1 on to claim a seventh title with a massive 14 races remaining and he doesn’t seem to be losing any of his enthusiasm for the sport.
“If you have a lot of fun doing something with friends around you, what more motivation do you need,” said Schumacher.
Last year’s closest challenger to Schumacher – Kimi Raikkonen – doesn’t appear to be having much fun racing at the moment although the McLaren-Mercedes driver at least managed to finish his first race of the season, and claim his first championship point, two weeks ago at Imola.
With Williams-BMW’s Juan Pablo Montoya already 22 points adrift of the Ferrari man, Schumacher’s greatest challenge has instead come from Button and BAR.
The 24-year-old Briton took the first pole of his career at Imola, has finished on the podium in his last three races and will be hoping to take his first chequered flag in Barcelona.
It was also the first pole position for BAR as a whole and following good testing in Mugello since Imola, the team is confident of going one step further this weekend.
Subject: German news