Schumacher set for Italian GP

The Italian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday and Michael Schumacher says defeat at their home Grand Prix is almost unthinkable.

updated: February 25, 2007 10:08 IST
  • Total Shares


There are still plenty of issues to be settled with four rounds of the 2004 Formula One season to come, despite Michael Schumacher having clinched his seventh drivers' title and fifth in succession last time out in Spa. Ferrari secured their sixth straight constructors' title the race before in Hungary, but both the team and the drivers cannot rest on their laurels. The Italian Grand Prix takes place on Sunday and defeat at their home Grand Prix is almost unthinkable. "There's always a certain extra pressure at races which you call your home Grand Prix, and they are in my home country and in Italy, but it is as well extra motivation," says Schumacher. Raring to go Schumacher's preparations for Monza were thrown off course when the German crashed heavily in testing last week, but he appears to be fully recovered and raring to go. "We're going to have big opposition from coming from McLaren and Renault in my view," adds Schumacher. Kimi Raikkonen's win for McLaren in Spa has been seen by some as the beginning of the end of Schumacher's domination over F1 in recent years, but the champion is not about to stand down. "There is a new generation of Kimi (Raikkonen), (Fernando) Alonso, (Juan Pablo) Montoya, (Mark) Webber. Those guys, they look very strong and they are to be watched," he says. Second place It's not the perfect season for Ferrari yet. Rubens Barrichello has still to secure second place in the drivers' standings, despite seven second places and four thirds. "I'm very happy with the overall performance, although I must say that I have the points I never had before but I didn't win a race yet. That's a little bit of a delusion, but I have four races to go," says Barrichello. Barrichello needs BAR's Jensen Button to be out of the points on Sunday, and to score heavily himself, to make sure of second place. Then, assuming the all-conquering Schumacher can complete his 13th win of the season, Ferrari's fanatical 'Tifosi' really will be celebrating. (AP)