Schumacher's team challenge

Motor racing
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The Independent Online
Michael Schumacher, the Formula One world champion poised to reclaim his title this week, said yesterday he also wanted to steer the Benetton- Renault team to the constructors' title before departing for Ferrari.

"I believe we are going to win the championship this year. We won it last year, and I hope I can secure the constructor's championship as well this year," said Schumacher, who leads the drivers' championship by an almost unassailable 27 points.

The German driver, on a two-day visit to Thailand to promote Formula One, needs just three more points to clinch the title, while the Benetton team lead Williams by 20 points in the constructors' table. Schumacher, who recently signed a multi-million dollar deal with Ferrari for two seasons, said that he decided to leave Benetton after nearly five years because he needed a fresh challenge.

"Life changes and I'm looking for a new challenge," he said. "When we've done this [the drivers' championship], we've done everything you can... in Formula One together. That is the reason I've decided to look for a new challenge which hopefully is going to be successful."

After his visit to Thailand, Schumacher heads to Japan for the Pacific Grand Prix and the Japanese Grand Prix in successive weeks. Those races will be followed by the Australian Grand Prix in Adelaide on 12 November, the final race of the Formula One season.