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Determined Schumacher seeks victory
Spanish GP - Ferrari - Preview
Schumacher and Ferrari confident they will
challenge for victory in Barcelona
Michael Schumacher put in a stunning drive to haul in a 20 second disadvantage to Jenson Button and then catch race leader Fernando Alonso to press for the win in San Marino. Two weeks on and the seven times champion is looking for his first win of the season - this time in Barcelona and the Spanish Grand Prix.
Ferrari is not constrained by the self-imposed testing limits their rivals have opted to take and are therefore expected to get stronger as the season progresses. The new F2005 was only originally scheduled to make its debut in Barcelona but already the Italian Champions have hundreds of laps of testing under their belts as well as two full Grand Prix.
Ferrari dominated at Circuit de Catalunya last year with Schumacher taking the win with ease from team-mate Rubens Barrichello with the Renault's coming home in third and fourth. Barrichello has not had such good fortune in the F2005, scoring just a ninth position in Bahrain and retiring last time out with electrical problems. The Brazilian will be seeking a strong showing in Barcelona to get his championship back underway.
While the team will have modifications and refinements to its F2005 chassis, they will also be using a new oil - SL0907 - from sponsor and partner Shell.
"Our showing at Imola was really fantastic. It has given us great encouragement and now we cannot wait for Barcelona. I said it before the San Marino GP and it is the same this time around: the title race really has begun for us."
"Our car's performance and, above all, the whole team's and that of our partners, was more than encouraging. It is obvious that our fighting spirit has been reawakened. Our set up works well whichever way you look at it and the only necessary thing, as always in Formula One, is to look after the details."
"When it comes to Barcelona, everything depends on finding the right set up for the mix of slow and fast sections. This is not always easy to do as there is often a strong wind and this can play an important role. However, we know the track well as we test on it during winter and so I don't expect too many problems. I think that many teams will do well at Barcelona. Renault, given their performances up to now, will naturally start as favourites. However, McLaren Mercedes and BAR Honda have to be taken into consideration. The others will also have to keep an eye on us. I have high hopes that we can go for the win at Barcelona."
“We have seen in Barcelona testing that not just Renault, but McLaren and BAR have been very quick there and occasionally so has Toyota, so we can be sure it will be a very close weekend in terms of lap times. My goals are simple. I think this is a winnable weekend for me. Since finishing second in Melbourne, I have had some troubles at the races and I have yet to put together a strong weekend. I am hoping for a peaceful weekend where I can do a lot of work and concentrate on the car and try and win the thing!”
“As soon as we put the new car on the track, we knew it was faster and that is all the good news we need. If you know you have a fast car, it is easier to make it reliable. When you have a reliable but slow car, then you are in trouble. So there are plenty of reasons to be optimistic.”
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