SEPTEMBER 2, 2000
Schumacher unfazed by engine malfunction on final day of Monza testing
MICHAEL SCHUMACHER was unfazed by the engine malfunction that disabled his Ferrari in the final day of testing at Monza on Friday and insisted that he is satisfied with his car's performance ahead of the Italian Grand Prix.
Schumacher lost testing time on Friday when an engine problem developed and the power unit needed to be changed. But the German said there is nothing to worry about as he hopes to claim Ferrari's first world championship for 21 years over the last four races of this season.
"Just wait until qualifying at Monza on Saturday to judge," said Schumacher. "You can see that I'm not at all worried because of the results we've achieved in testing.
"The car went really well and the times were satisfactory. There is no reason not to be pleased and it's not even correct to say that I'm worried about the world title. The four rounds to go are still wide open."
Schumacher trails McLaren's Mika Hakkinen by six points in the drivers' championship with four races - in Italy, United States, Japan and Malaysia - remaining.
The German is hoping that the fanatical 'home' tifosi support for Ferrari at next Sunday's Italian Grand Prix will help him start to close the deficit on Hakkinen.
He added: "I hope that when my Ferrari goes past, the tifosi will all start blowing behind it to urge it on!"