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Last Updated: Wednesday, 12 July 2006, 14:38 GMT 15:38 UK
Schumacher bullish on title hopes
Fernando Alonso's Renault and Michael Schumacher's Ferrari
Can Schumacher (right) catch and pass Alonso?
Ferrari driver Michael Schumacher says he is "convinced" he can overhaul Fernando Alonso's 19-point lead at the top of the world championship.

But he said the importance of Ferrari's one-two finish in the last Grand Prix in the US should not be "overplayed".

"We will fight in the real sense of the word and each race will be a chance for us to come back," Schumacher said ahead of Sunday's French Grand Prix.

"Nineteen points can be bridged and I am convinced of this."

Ferrari dominated the race at Indianapolis on 2 July, with Alonso trailing home in fifth place after an uncharacteristically uncompetitive weekend.

"Indianapolis was an extremely exciting race but the result should not be overplayed," said Schumacher.

I think we will be able to keep on winning and increase the lead even more

Fernando Alonso
"The gap was too big and the standings did not accurately reflect the true balance of power."

Ferrari's pace in the US was largely due to their Bridgestone tyres having an advantage over the Michelins used by Renault.

Michelin took conservative tyres to Indy to avoid a repeat of last year's fiasco, when their teams had to pull out of the race following tyre failures.

Alonso also expects Renault to be back on the pace at their home race at Magny-Cours.

"I won four races in a row before Indy, but I always said that the championship was not over, and it sounded really pessimistic," he said.

"But a gap of 25 points before Indy didn't mean that we would be champions automatically, and now that the gap is 19 points, we cannot be pessimistic and think the advantage will disappear quickly.

"You have to look at the big picture for the championship. I was first or second at nine of the 10 races.

"I think we will be able to keep on winning and increase the lead even more."

SEE ALSO
Schumacher win pegs back Alonso
02 Jul 06 |  Formula One
Alonso unfazed by Schumacher win
02 Jul 06 |  Formula One


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