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JUNE 29, 2001

Schumacher plays down record and plays up Coulthard

MICHAEL SCHUMACHER has indicated that beating Alain Prost's all-time race wins record this season is not at the top of his agenda as he focuses on trying to win his fourth world title.

Ferrari driver Schumacher is just two victories away from equalling Prost's total of 51 career wins, but speaking at the Magny Cours circuit on Thursday ahead of the French Grand Prix, the German driver said the title is his main priority and not the record.

"When I was a young chap I didn't know Alain was driving races, honestly," said Schumacher. "Many people know that my career didn't start with the focus on Formula One, so I wasn't aware until quite late that Formula One existed.

"I just drove go-karts and that was my world. I didn't have this Daddy taking me along and making me aware of all motor sport activities.

"The record will be nice when I retire, but we have another focus in front of us and that's the main target."

Schumacher is 24 points clear of McLaren's David Coulthard in the title race at the moment, and despite the recent resurgence of the Williams team, Schumacher sees Coulthard as his main rival still.

He added: "Look at the points and it will come from there. There are still eight races to go and David has the main opportunity for the championship."