The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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F1 title-race down to wire
- US GRAND PRIX - Montoya says BMW has edge, Schumi doesn’t agree

Indianapolis: Michael Schumacher will attempt to capture a record sixth Formula One driving crown here Sunday at the US Grand Prix while Juan Pablo Montoya and Kimi Raikkonen try to deny the German star.

Schumacher’s September 14 triumph at Monza gave the Ferrari ace 82 points, three better than Colombia’s Montoya, driving for Williams BMW, and seven ahead of Finland’s Raikkonen, McLaren-Mercedes’ top man, with two races remaining.

“The success at Monza has motivated US even more, but we know we’re in a battle and we will not make the mistake of resting on our laurels,” Schumacher said. “We’re very well prepared and will show our fighting spirit again at Indianapolis.”

Even if Schumacher wins, a top-five finish by Montoya or a top-two showing by Raikkonen will ensure the title chase extends to the final race, the Japanese Grand Prix on October 12 at Suzuka.

Schumacher has won five times this season, but had lost five races in a row since Canada in June before finding winning form again at the Italian Grand Prix.

“Every tiny error can have serious consequences,” Schumacher said. “Whoever is able to exploit the resources during the weekend will come out on top. The competition is so tight that crossing the line first could depend on each day’s results. It is a great challenge that we take on without fear.”

Leading the challengers is Montoya, who has finished on the podium in the past eight F1 races. The South American star won the Indianapolis 500 in 2000 on the 2½-mile oval, part of which is used for the F1 road course.

“I have some great memories from the brickyard,” Montoya said. “The atmosphere is simply fantastic. I consider Indy to be a home race for me, so I feel I must give my supporters a good race.”

“Our car can definitely do well at the speedway as the power of the BMW engine suits the long straight, so I am anticipating a close fight with our immediate rivals,” Montoya said.

Schumacher refuses to concede any edge at Indy to Montoya or his BMW. “We’re geared up for Indianapolis,” Schumacher said. (AFP)

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