It was not my weekend, says Schumi

PUBLISHED : Monday, 27 September, 2004, 12:00am
UPDATED : Monday, 27 September, 2004, 12:00am

Michael Schumacher has plenty of unfinished business in China. The German is arguably the greatest driver of all time, but even he could not climb the mountains that appeared before him yesterday.

The seven-time world champion spun out in qualifying on Saturday - the worst qualifying performance of his career - and Ferrari opted to start him in the pitlane, rather than at the back of the starting grid.

Schumacher quickly swallowed a couple of backmarkers but any chance he had of a miraculous victory was extinguished when he banged wheels with Jaguar's Christian Klien on lap 12. He launched another challenge but spun three laps later and his frustration was complete with a puncture 20 laps from the end.

And the final indignity? He was lapped for the first time since the 2003 Hungarian Grand Prix as he came home 12th. And the last time he finished a Grand Prix without scoring points was in 1999 in Australia.

'It was not my weekend,' he said. 'But at least all the unlucky things have come in just one race weekend. So hopefully I will have no more this season.'

Team boss Jean Todt said Schumacher had a laborious day, but he left his mark as a champion by setting the fastest lap of the day on the final lap.