Honda website
Honda website

OCTOBER 15, 2001

Schumacher 'can't see' a main challenger

FOUR-TIME world champion Michael Schumacher claims that he cannot see the man most likely to stand between him and Juan Manuel Fangio's record of five world titles when the new season gets underway.

"I expect, obviously, a big battle from the teams," said the 32-year-old German. "But I don't think it is possible to point at one driver and say, 'he's the one I'm going to face."

The fact that Schumacher is so intent ignoring and denying the efforts of Juan Pablo Montoya, however, is being read as a clear indicator that the Colombian has got the Schumacher clan rattled. Blighted by a fair degree of bad luck, such as being punted out of the lead in Brazil, blowing up in Germany and losing the transmission at Indianapolis, Montoya put in some astonishing performance in his rookie season and had the measure of team mate Ralf Schumacher by two thirds of the way through the year - although Michael is quick to deny that.

"Montoya drivers well, but my brother has twice as many points," Michael said. "Ralf has won three Grands Prix, Montoya one. The revelations of the season are Nick Heidfeld, Kimi Raikkonen and my brother. Not Montoya, he has not done enough. He has been very good, and was fast at Monza and Indianapolis. But think about Hungary - where was he?"