Schumacher not optimistic

Michael Schumacher may have to wait longer to equal the record for most wins at the Monaco Grand Prix.

updated: February 25, 2007 11:34 IST
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Monte Carlo:

Michael Schumacher has been waiting five years to equal the record for most wins at the Monaco Grand Prix. The seven-time Formula One world champion may have to wait a little longer. Friday is traditionally a non-racing day in Monaco, with drivers practicing on Saturday morning and then qualifying in the afternoon. The 78-lap race is then held on Sunday. Schumacher has not won at Monte Carlo since 2001 and remains on five victories. Another win will bring him level with the late Ayrton Senna. However, Schumacher was fourth in the first practice and 15th in the second practice as Ferrari experimented with settings and tires on Thursday. Defending champion Fernando Alonso led the morning practice in his Renault and was fourth in the second session. "There is work to do but we have enough experience to get out of this situation," Schumacher said. "Obviously we cannot be too happy with what we have seen so far, although the results can partly be explained by the fact we used just one set of tires. "But I'm not trying to hide the fact that the situation is not looking that good. At the moment we are too slow and have to study the data to find out why." When Ferrari dominated the season in 2002 and '04, Schumacher still lost at Monaco. "We at least understand why in the past there were circumstances why we did not win," Schumacher said. "There were some teams that were specifically prepared themselves for circuits like Monaco and Hungary, which was then not working in the normal character of circuits." Alonso has won three of the six races this season, with two victories for Schumacher and one for Alonso's teammate, Giancarlo Fisichella. Alonso leads the season's standings with 54 points to Schumacher's 39. The pair have taken the first two places in the last three races. Schumacher knows what it will take to win again. "The match winner is to have a competitive car, to be in a good position after qualifying, and then if you have a good strategy to make use of it and you still win the race," he said. (AP)