The first victory for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team since the partnership began: Ralf Schumacher today won the San Marino GP in Imola, his first Grand Prix win in the seventieth F1 race of the German driver's career. The last victory for WilliamsF1 was...
The first victory for the BMW WilliamsF1 Team since the partnership began: Ralf Schumacher today won the San Marino GP in Imola, his first Grand Prix win in the seventieth F1 race of the German driver's career. The last victory for WilliamsF1 was three years and seven months ago (28th September 1997, Jacques Villeneuve, Nurburgring) and this is the British marque's 104th Grand Prix success. The last victory for BMW in F1 was almost 14-and-a-half years ago, when Gerhard Berger (Benetton BMW) won the Mexican Grand Prix (12th October 1986).
Ralf led from the first corner to the chequered flag. Staying about 10 seconds ahead of McLaren's David Coulthard throughout.
Ralf Schumacher - Position: 1st
"I've been waiting for this moment for five years. It is a great experience and the result of all of the hard work that the team has done and it has paid off. At the start I also had a bit of luck because David missed his start and I did the same move that I did last year, but this time there was space enough. We had the strongest car today. I would have liked my brother to have been on the podium with me. We won thanks to a great package of engine, car and tyre, which were all very good, especially in race conditions."
Juan Pablo Montoya - DNF (stop on lap 49)
"Again I could not finish the race and again I am disappointed. When I stopped for my second pit-stop I had a problem with the clutch and I could not get anymore gears. I went out of the pits but I was stuck in first gear and all I could do was drive back into the garage. We've been quite unlucky so far but these things happen. I am very pleased for Ralf's victory, anyway."
"It is a great day for everybody - for WilliamsF1, for BMW and of course also for Michelin. Everybody in the team has worked really hard and has thoroughly deserved this success."
"Ralf benefited from a very good start and David Coulthard did not leave the door wide open but did not push him off as others might have done. They had a good fight and Ralf was able to stretch the gap to make the first pit stop a safe one. I think we did not manage to set up Juan's car quite as well after we missed some practice time on Friday. But still he was heading for fifth position. Then a clutch problem arose and caused him to retire. the reason is not analysed yet."
"This is the biggest day in our F1 project. I am particularly happy because we lead from the start and we dominated the race. I thank the whole BMW WilliamsF1 Team, especially the BMW team in Munich that have made possible this fast success with a big effort in the last months."
"Ralf has driven a great race leading from the front for all to see and proving exactly what the team already knew about him. It's a dream day for us! Everything ran according to plan. I can only congratulate the whole team. The BMW group, that has, in only the 21st race, put together a winning engine; Michelin, whose strength I didn't really expect quite so soon and Frank and Patrick who always had and still have a winning team."
Silverstone: Tuesday 17th of April Ralf Schumacher only. Wednesday 18th and Thursday 19th Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.
- BMW Williams