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Racing: Schumacher Downplays Rivalry with Montoya - 2002-04-08


Reigning Formula One driving champion Michael Schumacher of Germany says his contentious rivalry with Williams-BMW driver Juan Pablo Montoya of Spain is not as heated as fans may think.

Schumacher and Montoya have tangled in two first-lap crashes this season. The two drivers collided at last week's Brazilian Grand Prix, which Schumacher won, and in the previous race at Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia with some aggressive driving out of the starting grid.

Schumacher, driving the new Ferrari F-2002, overtook Montoya at the grid in Sao Paulo, with the collision knocking off the Williams driver's front wing. Schumacher then went on to win the title, giving him two victories and a third-place finish this season. Montoya settled for fifth.