Fifteenth victory of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the thirteenth for Michael Schumacher, who thus takes his 83rd win, his sixth in the Japanese Grand Prix, from 212 grands prix starts, It is Ferrari's 182nd win from 703 Grands Prix ...
Fifteenth victory of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the thirteenth for Michael Schumacher, who thus takes his 83rd win, his sixth in the Japanese Grand Prix, from 212 grands prix starts, It is Ferrari's 182nd win from 703 Grands Prix starts. It is also the team's seventh win at Suzuka, the fifth in a row. In the morning, Michael recorded the Scuderia's 11th pole of the season and his eighth, making a career total of 63, including 8 at Suzuka. For Ferrari it is pole number 177.
"Fifteen wins, thirteen of them with Michael, from the seventeen races held so far. The numbers say it all. After taking a fantastic pole this morning, Michael dominated the race, leading from start to finish. The car was perfect, the Bridgestone tyres were perfect, and the team did a perfect job of handling this day which was different to any other, because of what happened yesterday."
"After qualifying, we knew Rubens would have to make his way through the field and despite having a very competitive car, it was hard for him to overtake. He fought for around half the race, making up several places before retiring with broken front suspension, following a collision with Coulthard. We were targeting the win here and we are happy to have succeeded. We were keen to do so for a variety of reasons, first of all because this is the home race for Bridgestone, a partner that plays a fundamental role in our success."
"It is good to see that our will to win is as strong as ever, even though we have hit all the targets we set ourselves quite a while ago and our team has set so many new records. Now we want to end the season on a high what has been the longest season in the history of Formula 1 with another win in Brazil.'
"This was a historic day for Formula 1, taking pole and the win on the same day. It was certainly exciting, but I think I prefer the old system! This one is quite stressful for the engineers and mechanics. We wanted to do well for Bridgestone in their home race to thank them for all their efforts."
"The fact that I did not do well in China, certainly helped my qualifying in terms of when I made my run in pre-qualifying. It was clear to us that we would have a strong race pace, but after the start, I had Ralf in my mirrors for quite a while and the gap between us was not growing as quickly as I had expected and he was certainly hanging on."
"Because there had been no running yesterday, it was hard to understand what the other teams' race strategies would be and before the race, I was concerned about this. But in the end, it all worked out fine and I had a trouble free race.'
"I was certainly penalised in qualifying by being first out in the wet pre-qualifying. It was a shame about the incident with Coulthard. I think I caught him by surprise, he didn't see me, closed the door and we touched. It was a racing incident. I was having a great race, the car was very good and I was doing excellent lap times. In the early stages, I got stuck behind Montoya and Trulli, but then I was able to push very hard. The set-up was really good and the team did a fantastic job of finding the right solution in a rush. Now, I head for Brazil, thinking only of the way things went in Monza and China."
"After China, Michael was determined to do well again and today, we saw him at his best. Everything worked very well and I must congratulate the whole team for putting the car together in a way that was pretty much spot-on for the race, with very little prior practice. Once we saw the others' pit stop strategies, it was just a case of controlling the race."
"Tyre choice was the proverbial educated guess and I don't know if it was the best choice, but the tyres were excellent, consistent and also quick on the first lap. They worked well with our aggressive strategy. We are so pleased to have won the race in Japan with Bridgestone, at their home grand prix. Rubens was having a good race, driving really quickly and his car was going well, so it was just a shame that he collided with Coulthard, but he had no option but to push hard."
1st 1:24.26.965 53 laps
Retired - 36 laps