The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Even Schumacher needs a competitive car: Fisichella

Montreal: Renault’s Giancarlo Fisichella says Michael Schumacher can forget about winning Sunday’s Canadian Grand Prix.

Asked on Friday whether he thought Ferrari’s world champion could win at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, where the German has triumphed for the last three seasons and a record seven times, Fisichella shook his head.

“I don’t think so, honestly,” replied the Italian, who once yearned to drive for what amounts to his national team and who won the season-opening Australian Grand Prix.

“I was behind him on the long runs, I was catching him and I was about a second quicker a lap,” he said after the day’s second practice session.

“When I was behind him, he was struggling with the grip on the rear end, in braking he was not so aggressive and even into the corner wasn’t quick enough.

“So I think Ferrari are still struggling here. That’s not bad news for us.

“Even a seven-time world champion like Michael, who is a great driver, if he hasn’t got a competitive car cannot fight for the podium,” said Fisichella, who predicted another Renault-McLaren battle.

Renault have won five races this year, McLaren the other two with Finland’s Kimi Raikkonen.

Ferrari have an eight-race losing streak going into the weekend with Schumacher’s dreams of a record eighth Formula One title looking increasingly fanciful.

The team, champions for the past six years, have just 31 points to Renault’s 76 with 12 races remaining. The German is in eighth place with 16 points from seven races, 43 points adrift of Fisichella’s Spanish teammate Fernando Alonso.

“We are not looking too competitive here, looking at the lap times,” said Schumacher after ending the second hour-long session in 16th place. Teammate Rubens Barrichello was 10th. (Reuters)

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