Mike Stevens | Apr 15, 2010

ROSS BRAWN on Wednesday contradicted reports that Mercedes may already be out of the hunt for the 2010 world championship.

In the Australian press this week, Mark Webber said it is now just Red Bull, Ferrari and McLaren who will fight one another for the title.

The 33-year-old said that going into this weekend in Shanghai, "clearly it's (down to) three teams already".

"Mercedes are doing ok but it's Ferrari, McLaren and Red Bull who are the most consistent at the moment in terms of pace," added Webber.

But even though Michael Schumacher's performances have disappointed some, his teammate Nico Rosberg qualified on the front row and raced to the podium two weeks ago in Malaysia.

Schumacher is 26 points adrift his young German teammate, but Rosberg is a mere 4 points off the drivers' championship lead.

Their team boss Brawn told Auto Motor und Sport: "The title fight is far from decided."

It was raining and hailing in Shanghai on Wednesday, and the Briton commented: "With the new scoring system, just one race weekend can have a dramatic impact on the (championship) standings.

"Nico is extremely fast and has run very good races, especially in Malaysia. But with every weekend Michael is gaining more and more momentum.

"Both will get good results when we give them a car that matches their talents. Then they will be right at the front," added Brawn.

(GMM)

 

Schu Still 'Serious Competitor' For 2010: Alonso

FERNANDO ALONSO on Wednesday said he expects Michael Schumacher to be back up to full speed before long.

With the seven time world champion outpaced so far by his Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg and 26 points behind the 24-year-old, some have written off Schumacher's ability to impress on his return to the sport.

But Alonso, who now drives for Ferrari, having beaten the 41-year-old to the last two championships of his original career in 2005 and 2006, is sure the German is still as competitive as before.

"He is still the Michael Schumacher that we know," the Spaniard told Germany's Sport Bild magazine, published on Wednesday.

"I respect him in the same way I did three years ago and am sure that he will show his true qualities when the car is better," Alonso, 28, added.

"I really believe Michael will be a serious competitor for the title this year," he insisted.

But Alonso also thinks Schumacher's records, including 91 wins and seven titles, are safe.

"Because the rules are now so tight, there will be no one who is far superior to the others, as Ferrari was in the past," he said.

"If you ask me, Michael's records are safe."

Alonso also said he feels more comfortable at Ferrari than ever before in formula one, predicting that the Maranello based team will be his last.

"It is the atmosphere in the team," said Alonso, who since 2001 has also driven for Minardi and Renault. "(At Ferrari it's) like you're among friends.

"When they say 'goodbye', it will be time to finish my formula one career," said Alonso.

(GMM)

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