Atlas F1 News Service

Schumacher Not to Drop his Guard

Thursday March 15th, 2001

Reigning champion Michael Schumacher is aware that he faces a tough task to secure his sixth straight win in the Malaysian Grand Prix this weekend, and said he will not ease to the championship.

"After Melbourne, of course it is dangerous for us to feel over-relaxed because we had such a dominant weekend there," said the German.

"Every year we say here at Ferrari that it is our best car ever and this time, like Rubens, I feel it is true.

"But we have experience and we know things can go up and down very quickly so we are not going to be complacent or over-confident. That is not our style."

Ferrari made it home first and third in the opening race of the season as Schumacher coasted to his fifth victory in a row, and the win showed Schumacher he has finally got what he wanted in his Ferrari car.

"The F2001 is an exceptionally good car," said the German. "It's a real racing car, a go kart of F1 because it handles so well.

"It is the first time since I have been at Ferrari that I have felt like this. It is something I have looked for - to have the best car in my hands - and so far it looks as if I have at last."

But the German is aware that Malaysia will provide his team with a more stringent test than the season-opener in Australia, and is ready for the challenge.

"I guess it will be the toughest race of the season both on the human and technical side," he said.

"Everybody warned me how hard it will be here at this time of the year, so I hope everyone is as well prepared as I am."

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