Rubens Barrichello: 2nd, + 15.889 s, 78 laps, chassis no. 202 Michael Schumacher: R, 55 laps, chassis no. 198 Temperatures: air 27-29 Â°C, track 40-44 Â°C Jean Todt: "Today we feel very disappointed about losing a race which we had dominated...
Rubens Barrichello: 2nd, + 15.889 s, 78 laps, chassis no. 202 Michael Schumacher: R, 55 laps, chassis no. 198 Temperatures: air 27-29 °C, track 40-44 °C
"Today we feel very disappointed about losing a race which we had dominated from the first lap. Around twenty five laps from the end, the left exhaust on Michael's car cracked. This caused the pushrod on the left rear suspension to overheat and break. On the positive side we got a great second place with Rubens. Despite starting lower down the grid and losing two places at the start, he managed to finish on the podium. We have given away five points in the Constructors's championship but we are still in the lead. I had said right from the beginning of this weekend that the start and reliability would be two important points. One of these factors did not work out in our favour. The team worked very well in the pit stops and it is worth noting this is the first time on Michael's car that we have recorded a retirement through mechanical failure this season. We must remain determined and concentrate immediately on the next race."
"My start was not too bad. In fact it was quite good, but Ralf (Schumacher) went down the outside and I had no option but to back off. I was unable to find the right set-up in qualifying and that was why my grid position was not so good. I spent a lot of the race conserving my tyres and fuel. I feel that if I had been able to stay out one more lap before my pit stop then I could have passed Frentzen. At one point I nearly went into the barrier before the tunnel and it took me two more laps to clean up my tyres. Basically having started from where I did, I spent the race catching up. Towards the end I backed off because I was told to drop my revs. It is good to be back on the podium again."
"I had a problem with an exhaust pipe which damaged the left rear suspension. I felt a few laps before that something was wrong but there was nothing I could do about it. Obviously I am disappointed but not too much. It's true I could have picked up ten points today but the driver I consider my main rival could also have done so."