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Schumacher: Something has gone wrong at Red Bull

Michael Schumacher, right, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ahead of October's inaugural South Korea Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher, right, with Red Bull's Sebastian Vettel ahead of October's inaugural South Korea Grand Prix.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • Michael Schumacher hints at problems in Red Bull camp ahead of title decider
  • Sebastian Vettel and Mark Webber battling to overtake F1 leader Fernando Alonso
  • Red Bull won constructors' title in penultimate race of season in Brazil
  • Seven-time world champion Schumacher looking forward to a better 2011 season

(CNN) -- Seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher has told CNN that the Red Bull team should have already tied up the Formula One drivers' title -- and can only blame themselves for not having done so.

Fernando Alonso is in pole position to win his third crown, this time for Schumacher's former team Ferrari, at the 2010 season finale in Abu Dhabi this weekend.

The Spaniard has an eight-point lead from Mark Webber, with the Australian's Red Bull teammate Sebastian Vettel another seven points off the pace.

The Austrian outfit has already clinched the constructors' title, but Schumacher claims the drivers' battle should not have gone to the final race -- hinting at the widespread reports of tension between Vettel and Webber.

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"I guess the main reason why the championship is still open is due to the fact that one particular team has made quite a few errors this year," he said.

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"And if you think out of 18 races they took 15 pole positions and still only being second and third in the drivers' championship -- they want to win the championship, yes.

"But that shows a little bit that something has gone wrong somewhere ... not wanting to go into the details. But it's been exciting, and lots of happenings even from other teams -- so let's see what the final race will bring to us."

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Schumacher's return to F1 may not have been quite as successful as he would have hoped, but the German believes his past success has helped his younger compatriots.

The main reason why the championship is still open is due to the fact that one particular team has made quite a few errors this year
--Michael Schumacher
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The 23-year-old Vettel has impressed as the best of a new line of German talent including Williams' Nico Hulkenberg and Schumacher's Mercedes teammate Nico Rosberg.

Add Virgin's Timo Glock and Force India's Adrian Sutil to the mix -- both of whom are still under 30 -- along with Sauber's comparative veteran Nick Heidfeld, and there will be seven Germans on the starting grid at Yas Marina.

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Schumacher, who dominated motorsport's elite class with Ferrari before retiring in late 2006, said he deserved some credit for raising F1's popularity in his home country.

"No doubt I did, yes -- I mean the reason me being successful initiated a lot of manufacturers that we do have in Germany," the 41-year-old said.

"I mean we are probably the biggest manufacturers of road cars in Germany, in terms of high-end cars, and having F1 to be so popular in Germany obviously triggered interest of all those manufacturers.

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"And on this principal they initiated young driver programs where Sebastian is a result out of this one, and I guess I can take some credit from that."

Schumacher is ninth in the drivers' standings, having been unable to add to his record 154 podium finishes this year, while Rosberg is seventh with three third-place finishes.

He is looking forward to the second year of his contract with Mercedes, which has struggled to build on the success of last year's world champion Brawn outfit since taking it over late last year.

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"Well the future is very clearly to make step by step the development that we really have initiated this year and take the fruits of it by starting [well] next year," Schumacher said.

"Who knows how quick we can recover from our slightly down performance this year ... whether we can immediately go back into the championship fight next year or it needs a little bit more build-up time and lead time until the year after.

"But I'm pretty sure next year we'll be much more competitive and we should be able to win races."