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Last Updated: Thursday, 7 September 2006, 15:44 GMT 16:44 UK
Schumi is fully focused - Alonso
Italian GP, 10 September, 1300 BST

Fernando Alonso (L) and Michael Schumacher
Alonso and Schumacher are battling it out for the 2006 title
Fernando Alonso says Michael Schumacher will be fully focused for this weekend's Italian Grand Prix as he has already decided his retirement date.

Schumacher, who trails world champion Alonso by 12 points, has been dogged by the question of retirement all season.

And Schumacher's Ferrari team will announce their 2007 driver line-up after the race at Monza.

"Michael is concentrating on the race, he has already made the decision to stay or to continue," said Alonso.

"He will say on Sunday afternoon and it will not change his motivation or performance this weekend or over the rest of the year - the same for Ferrari.

"We all want to win, Renault, Ferrari and Michael want to win. It will not change anything."

It is a kind of a crucial Grand Prix for us - as are all of the last four in terms of the championship

Michael Schumacher
Schumacher, who is chasing a record eighth world title, is out of contract at the end of the season and there is increased speculation that he will retire.

And Alonso, who says no driver is likely to beat Schumacher's record of seven world titles and 89 wins so far, added that there will be no sentiment when he does decide to quit.

"It's always good to race with great champions and people with a lot of wins, pole positions, fastest laps and all the records Michael had," added Alonso.

"It's always good to beat him, better than the other ones.

"But if he goes there are still another 21 fantastic drivers to challenge next year and beat. I think it is not necessary to miss anyone."

Schumacher, who on Thursday again refused to comment in any way on his future, admitted that Monza was a vital race for Ferrari's title chances.

"Obviously I am looking forward to this Grand Prix very much," he said.

"It is a kind of a crucial Grand Prix for us - as are all of the last four in terms of the championship.

"We had a very good test here, we had three good days, but knowing all those days we saw that the competition is very fierce and ready for a fight.

"It will be down to who gets their car sorted out for the conditions. If we can do that, then we have a great opportunity and a great chance. If we cannot, then we might not have that chance.

"It is going to be tight, but we are looking forward to it."



SEE ALSO
Ferrari set to name new line-up
01 Sep 06 |  Formula One
Schumacher: I can still win title
27 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Massa wins Turkish GP from Alonso
27 Aug 06 |  Formula One
Villeneuve slates Schumi 'lies'
18 Aug 06 |  Formula One


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