Jean Todt: "This race was almost unreal. We took the start with Michael in second spot and Rubens in eighteenth place, but already at the first corner, Michael was out because of an accident. Given his grid position, we had planned a very ...
Jean Todt: "This race was almost unreal. We took the start with Michael in second spot and Rubens in eighteenth place, but already at the first corner, Michael was out because of an accident. Given his grid position, we had planned a very aggressive strategy for Rubens, based on two stops. When Barrichello made his first stop he was already third, and nine laps later when the safety car came out, we decided to bring him in for the second one. Then the rain gradually began to fall on parts of the track. The team and the driver took the decision to stay out, after Rubens informed us that the second sector was dry. All the decisions regarding Rubens'strategy proved to be the winning ones. I am extremely happy with Rubens's first win, all the more so because of the way in which it was achieved. The win means that the team continues to lead both championships. The team did a fantastic job, both in terms of the pit stops and the strategy. With six races to go the championship is very open."
Rubens Barrichello: "I still cannot believe it! I feel great. I had been told that when you are leading a race the last lap was the longest and it really felt like it. It was very tricky because the rain was falling on different parts of the track at the time. Regarding my decision to stay on dry tyres, I was told Hakkinen was coming in and I said I wanted to stay out one more lap. I saw it was only wet in the Motodrom and the team told me that if I kept doing the same lap times I would win, so I decided to stay out on the track. With seven laps to go, I flat spotted my left front tyre and I could not see so well after that. I had started with a light fuel load and that helped me pass a lot of cars. The other drivers were very fair. My car was not good in the warm-up but we made changes and it was great for the race. It was a great race from 18th place on the grid. I did not realise Michael was out until I was in fifth place, because I had been concentrating so hard in the early part. This win has been a long time coming. I dedicate it to Ayrton Senna who helped me so much in my life since 1984. I don't want to think about the championship, I just want to celebrate this win."
"I am disappointed for what happened to me, but I am very happy for Rubens, whom I have to thank for saving my first place in the Drivers' Championship. His win was a very emotional moment for me, after a great climb through the field which was unexpected from eighteenth place. As for what happened to me, it was a shame that yet again I was hit at the start and unable to get back in the race. It is very hard to accept something like this for a second race in a row. On top of that, this is my home grand prix and that makes it worse for me. All I can hope for is that things go better next time."