Buoyed by Ferrari's recent pace and new qualifying rules that should suit the Bridgestone-shod team, Michael Schumacher believes he could win his home grand prix at the Nürburgring this weekend.

Buoyed by Ferrari's recent pace and new qualifying rules that should suit the Bridgestone-shod team, Michael Schumacher believes he could win his home grand prix at the Nürburgring this weekend.


"We haven't really had much luck lately, and so our very good race-pace never really paid off," Schumacher, who finished seventh in Monaco on Sunday, said. "Maybe that will change at the Nürburgring. The best thing we found out at Monaco was surely that we were absolutely competitive during the race. When I took to the track with a full load of fuel behind (race winner) Kimi (Raikkonen) I was able to keep up with him, and that's more than solid proof that we are right up there on top of things during races.


"The race at the Nürburgring is always nice anyway," the seven-time world champion added. "The circuit is so close to Kerpen, where I'm from, and that's why I'm even more motivated than I usual. Somehow that always makes me feel good, it doesn't create more pressure at all - as some may think.


"Of course, people love to think about the fascination surrounding the North Loop and the myth around the Nürburgring, but I like the currently used track as well. It calls for good balance and good mechanical grip. I want to be right up there fighting for the win during the race at the Nürburgring. Our recent performance gives us every reason to be optimistic for this race."


Meanwhile, Ferrari test driver Luca Badoer took to the track at Fiorano to conduct Bridgestone tyre development testing on Tuesday. The Italian covered a total of 79 laps (22 of them on the short version of the track,) setting a best time of 58,052.


Schumacher has also offered a resounding thumbs-up to the Nurburgring qualifying overhaul. According to , the German was "happy" the Sunday session, by which "aggregate" grid positions were set, had been scrapped.


"It is good for the fans," Schumacher said, "who won't now have to get their calculator out. But perhaps even more important is that we find a solution and then stick to it."


No doubt fuelling the 36-year-old's optimism, though, is the fact that doing away with the low fuel run will probably help Ferrari's F2005 - which has struggled over a single lap.


Schumacher said: "Now, we might have an opportunity to make up our disadvantage by going for a different fuel load."