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Schumacher wins but doubts linger about Ferrari

Written by: Staff

IMOLA, Italy, Apr 24 (Reuters) Michael Schumacher believes he can fight for a record eighth Formula One title after taking Ferrari back to the top step of the podium at Imola.

''I think we should be pretty good from now on,'' the German said after celebrating his first victory in 13 races and ending Renault's run of four in a row yesterday.

''We should be competitive everywhere from now on,'' he added after his 85th career win and record 66th pole position.

Schumacher had promised to fire up Ferrari's championship challenge at the San Marino Grand Prix, his team's home race at the Enzo and Dino Ferrari circuit, and he was as good as his word.

The win moved him up to second place overall, 15 points adrift of Renault's world champion Fernando Alonso, who was runner-up yesterday.

Yet even last season, with just one hollow win in the six-car US Grand Prix at Indianapolis, Ferrari were quick at Imola with Schumacher clambering all over the back of Alonso's winning Renault.

Just as one swallow does not make a summer, one win does not make a championship and rivals kept an open mind about just how much of a threat the glamour team now posed.

The next few races, starting with the Nuerburgring next week, will be a better indication of where they are at.

''Ferrari historically seem to pull it out of the bag at Imola, regardless of what's happened in the first three races and we've seen that yet again,'' said Honda team boss Nick Fry.

''Clearly they've done a better job here and clearly the Bridgestone tyres have worked better here.

''The interesting thing will be -- is that sustained at Nuerburgring and beyond? We'll see.'' MORE REUTERS PM KP1549

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