French GP: Ferrari race notes

Michael Schumacher is world champion for the fifth time, his third title with Ferrari. The Maranello marque has now won 12 Drivers' titles. This win is Ferrari's ninth of the season and its thirteenth at the French Grand Prix. It is also victory...

Michael Schumacher is world champion for the fifth time, his third title with Ferrari. The Maranello marque has now won 12 Drivers' titles. This win is Ferrari's ninth of the season and its thirteenth at the French Grand Prix. It is also victory number 61 for Michael, his sixth at this circuit.

Jean Todt:

"Words cannot describe this result. To take the Drivers' Championship at the eleventh of the seventeen races on the calendar is fantastic. This victory is the result of all the work done by Ferrari. Everyone, drivers, engineers and mechanics have worked together, united by the same passion and determination. They have put their heart and soul into their work for Ferrari. A special mention must go to President Montezemolo for his continued support of our work. I would also like to thank our partners, like Bridgestone, without whose efforts we could not have achieved such a result and Shell, who have believed in us since 1996."

Michael Schumacher:

"Thank you is too small a word for what the team has done for me. I love and admire all of them for the work they do and for their motivation. I did not think about the championship this weekend, but then when I saw that Rubens was out and where Montoya was, I started to think about it. The start was very exciting. We were all faster than Montoya. I tried to go down the outside of him and Kimi went up the inside, so all three of us went down to the chicane together. It was very enjoyable."

"Then I made the mistake with the white line and I thought it was all over. After the second stop, I took it a bit easy and then started to push with ten laps to go. I don't think I would have passed Kimi if it had not been for the oil as he drove a fantastic race. Seeing him in trouble helped to warn me. At the time I was concerned I had passed under the yellow flag, but in fact it was after the incident and I was on the racing line and Kimi was off it. Once I was in the lead, it was really the worst five laps of my life as I realised the championship was again in my pocket. I had a weight on my shoulders and felt enormous pressure not too make a mistake. Those laps went on forever. As I took the flag I felt an outburst of emotion and realised how much it means and how I love the sport. All the titles have felt special in a different way, as in fact have the race wins. So you never get used to it. We can now concentrate on each event as it comes and hopefully have some exciting racing."

Rubens Barrichello:

"After what happened to me at the start, I had left the circuit. I was on the plane ready to go when I heard that Michael had won. I felt I had to return to the track, because we are a family and we stick together through thick and thin. As for my afternoon, I don't know what happened. The engine never fired up, even though we tried everything we could. We changed the steering wheel, tried all the buttons but there was nothing we could do. We will have to investigate the problem to find the cause, but in my opinion it was a different problem to the one I experienced at Silverstone. I am very disappointed because I was very confident in my car and was sure I could have a good race. Now, I am already thinking about the next grand prix."

-ferrari-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari