Making the headlines 2001-03-22

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com Fisichella apologises for line-up mishap Giancarlo Fisichella's made a mistake during the line up after the formation lap, just seconds before the start of the Malaysian GP. Trying to correct his mistake, he ...

By Erica Southey - Motorsport.com

Fisichella apologises for line-up mishap
Giancarlo Fisichella's made a mistake during the line up after the formation lap, just seconds before the start of the Malaysian GP. Trying to correct his mistake, he ended up way off mark, which resulted in a second start and Heinz-Herald Frentzen regaining his ninth position. Frentzen's car misfired leaving him stranded on the grid.

Fisichella apologised:
"I immediately admitted to the mistake," he explained to Gazetto della Sport. "I apologised to the whole team on the radio. How did it happen? I was simply concentrating too hard on making sure that the car was set up right and I was only watching the car in front. When I realised the error it was too late to do any sort of manoeuvre."

Eddie Irvine: Rubens Barrichello should face reality
Rubens Barrichello is confident that he will win races and be stiff competition for team-mate Michael Schumacher this season. While Schumacher is testing for Ferrari, Barrichello is in Brazil mentally preparing for his home Grand Prix. He is confident in this year's Ferrari.

Barrichello:
"This year I am much closer to Michael's performance level than in 2000," he explained. "I know the team better after one year working with them adapting to the team. I feel extremely motivated and at the top of my game and the difference is that I am now consistently very close to Michael, while in the past that was not always the case. I am pretty much on his pace."

Eddie Irvine, ex team-mate of Schumacher, reckons that Rubens should wake up and smell the coffee. Eddie says he knows what it is like to partner Schumacher and also, that there is no hope of becoming driver number one or even competing with the triple World Champion unless he allows you to win or is absent from a race.

Eddie Irvine:
"You can only beat Michael when he's not there, or when he lets you win. To be honest, I'm amazed that Barrichello still doesn't understand this after one year with Ferrari," Irvine remarked. "When I was with Ferrari in 1999, I won in Australia because Michael retired, at Zeltweg and Hockenheim because his leg was in plaster and finally in Malaysia because he let me win. I doubt very much that I could have won anything in 1999 if Schumacher had been there fighting for the title."=20

Barrichello confident in Ferrari contract extension
Rubens Barrichello is confident that his contract with Ferrari will be renewed. Others however say, that the Italian team is waiting till the middle of the season to make a definite decision since there are quite a few new promising faces around.

The 28-yr old Barrichello wants to stay on and become the team's number one driver. This will only be possible once Michael Schumacher retires. The obvious replacement will be Jacques Villeneuve who has indicated in the past that he would like to drive for Ferrari, but not with Schumacher there. Villeneuve joining the team will pose a problem yet again for Barrichello. Who will be the number 1 and 1b driver?

Ralf: BMW Williams is stronger
Ralf Schumacher said that Williams will be Ferrari's closest contender having kicked McLaren off the ladder after Saturday's Malaysian GP qualifying rounds.

In an interview with ITV-F1 when asked if Williams is now on par with McLaren, Schumacher said: "Actually, it looks like we are a bit stronger. At the very least we are quicker on the straights."

"It is nice to beat Mika Hakkinen, and I do not mean this the wrong way, but at the moment its more important to beat the two Ferraris than Mika. McLaren seems to struggle a bit at the moment and obviously were looking forward to the next race."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Eddie Irvine , Giancarlo Fisichella , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mika Hakkinen , Jacques Villeneuve
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams