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AUGUST 9, 2000

Schumacher in cautious mood ahead of Hungarian Grand Prix

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER is in cautious mood ahead of Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix at the Hungaroring -- insisting his main objective is to pass the first corner.

The German, who has endured two successive first-corner exits in the last two races, admitted that his main aim was to get amongst the points again after a nightmare run.

Schumacher has failed to finish in four of his last five races, his worst run since joining Ferrari four years ago, and admitted that it is now time to get his championship ambitions back on track.

"Thanks to Rubens' (Barrichello) great win at Hockenheim, I am still leading the championship chase," Schumacher said.

"But I am now only two points ahead of the two McLaren drivers. My number one priority in Hungary will be to get through the first lap without a problem and finish the race in the points."

Schumacher added that pole position would be vital in Sunday's race with overtaking opportunities at a bare minimum on the twisty track.

He added: "It's a track which can be great fun to drive when you are at the front of the pack and really frustrating when you are trying to overtake another car with similar performance.

"This race is a tricky one. The track surface itself does not have a great deal of grip, which means that a well-balanced car for the race is essential.

"Also the grip improves dramatically on the racing line as the rubber goes down throughout the weekend. It's a situation which adds to the problems of overtaking because any maneuver off the line means there is very little grip and it is very easy to spin or slide off the road."