Ferrari number one Michael Schumacher has called for the support of the tifosi this weekend, as the Scuderia heads to Monza for what looks set to be a highly significant Italian Grand Prix.

Schumacher, currently leads the drivers' championship by just one point, with Juan Pablo Montoya second and Kimi Raikkonen third only one more point adrift, and anything less than a win this weekend could well cost the German his lead.

Ferrari meanwhile trail Williams-BMW in the Constructors' by 8 points and the Maranello squad will be keen to put themselves back on top, with only two rounds remaining post-Monza.

"After almost four days of testing at Monza, I am confident about this weekend's race," commented Michael, "Last week's testing was very promising and I think I can fight for the win.

"The layout is very similar to Montreal, where we won and also the F2003-GA goes very well on high speed circuits. Obviously, we cannot promise anything and given the competitiveness of our rivals the race is bound to be very close. But I can say that we will do our utmost so that our fans can celebrate with us."

"Obviously, this is a special event for us. The Monza circuit represents the temple of Italian motor sport and all of us consider the Italian Grand Prix to be a tough challenge," added the German. "We are determined to perform really well, especially for the tifosi, even though, unlike the past couple of years, we will not be able to celebrate winning the title with them. But this time, we need their support, just as we did in 2000, when we were in a similar situation as regards the championship. And we all remember how that turned out..."

 

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