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The dream is over, admits Michael

NEWS STORY
08/10/2006

Michael Schumacher has admitted that his hopes of an eighth World Championship crown lie in tatters, his hopes disappearing in a cloud of smoke on the thirty-sixth lap of today's Japanese Grand Prix.

"To be honest, I don't think there's any chance left for the championship," he told German broadcaster RTL following today's race, as rival Fernando Alonso sprayed his victory Champagne from atop the podium. "We've got to see that as clearly as it is, because we all know that Fernando only needs one point now That means it'll be more or less a walk in the park for him now and go easy on everything.

"To assume that someone will not finish, or to plan on winning on something like that, isn't a basis that I want to build upon," he admitted. I've digested it already. There aren't any more chances left. I've tried everything this year, we all tried everything we could, but it wasn't to be."

Although there remains the outside hope that Alonso and Renault will falter at the final hurdle, it is unlikely. However, Schumacher will surely rue a number of missed opportunities this season, a slow start to the championship by his team, and his own errors of judgement, particularly during qualifying for the Monaco GP, when he stopped on track and incurred a penalty which made victory in the race virtually impossible.

As he looks forward to Brazil, his final Grand Prix after an F1 career spanning 16 years, he said of his time with Ferrari, the team with which he has won seven titles: "We've accomplished so much together. I think we can be proud and satisfied and just because it didn't work out here it doesn't mean it's the end of the world. We brought back to life a championship that had somehow already seemed to be decided."

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