Atlas F1 News Service

Work Needed to See Off McLaren, Says Schumacher

Wednesday May 9th, 2001

Michael Schumacher has said that his Ferrari team still have a lot of work to do to see off the challenge of McLaren for world championship success.

Schumacher moved into an outright lead in the standings after victory in Spain two weeks ago, but the German driver has said that he must keep his head down if he is to stave off the challenge of David Coulthard and Mika Hakkinen, who has made a poor start to the year.

"The result in Spain was certainly a welcome one, for the race showed that even with the change of regulations we had for Spain, it still looks like being a very close fight for the title between ourselves and McLaren," said Schumacher.

"I can also imagine BMW-Williams being back in the chase pretty soon as they develop their car in the coming races. If we are to maintain our chances of keeping both title for another year we have to work hard not to fall behind our opposition."

Schumacher, who leads the championship with an eight-poing advantage over Coulthard, has never won in Austria in his career but he is hopeful that his fortunes will change at the A1-Ring this year.

"Last year I got pushed out of the race at the first corner which was very disappointing," he added. "This year I hope things will go better for me. The car should be competitive, the track characteristics are similar to those of the last race in terms of performance.

"Even though I have not had a lot of luck in Austria, it's a race I enjoy going to with the spectacular scenery, fine food and a lot of support from all the Ferrari fans from over the nearby Italian border."

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