Rainy day delights Schumacher

Michael Schumacher had hoped for a rainy German Grand Prix and must have been delighted to see a violent storm break over the track here yesterday.

Michael Schumacher had hoped for a rainy German Grand Prix and must have been delighted to see a violent storm break over the track here yesterday.

A torrential downpour arrived shortly after the end of the day's free practice, bringing utter chaos and forcing the organisers to postpone Formula 3000 qualifying.

Tens of thousands of fans raced for cover, tyres were seen floating outside the team's garages and the official news conference was cancelled because of the deafening noise made by heavy rain hammering down on the press tent.

Alarmingly, there was also a strong smell of sewage around the circuit's high-tech digital television centre. Disruption did not stop there and the shuttle service to the car parks was interrupted because a tunnel under the track was flooded.

Schumacher, the Championship leader, who was fastest in his Ferrari in yesterday's practice, said he felt rain could help him win before his home supporters tomorrow. "I really hope the weather stays like that until Sunday," he said. "A wet race would not be bad for me."

The German excels in rainy weather and is eager to return to form following crashes that have put him out of the last two races and resulted in his lead over McLare-Mercedes's David Coulthard whittled down to six points.

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