Ferrari was dominant in 2004 but Michael Schumacher, who took his fifth consecutive title last year, expects this season to be tougher. Nobody knows quite what to expect with the new regulations but even without those changes Schumacher thinks ...
Ferrari was dominant in 2004 but Michael Schumacher, who took his fifth consecutive title last year, expects this season to be tougher. Nobody knows quite what to expect with the new regulations but even without those changes Schumacher thinks Ferrari's rivals will be closer in competition.
"I'm sure it will be a much more difficult year," he said, according to the Sunday Times. "It was unexpected for us to be much stronger than the others at the start of 2004, and whatever mistakes they made they probably won't repeat. At the same time, it has been very tough to get to where we are and we'd like to hold on. I believe we can."
In 2005 one set of tyres will have to last through qualifying and the race and Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn believes that Schumacher, who's driving is hard on tyres, will have to adapt his style a little. The reigning champion was testing at Barcelona last week and tyres were one of the focal points.
Ferrari is the only top team that runs on Bridgestone rubber but while Schumacher has been keeping an eye on the progress of the Michelin teams, he is confident Bridgestone can deliver. "McLaren Mercedes and Renault are very strong at this time, and Michelin is making a good impression as well," he told RTL.
"But of course we know Bridgestone: they are strong fighters, we can always rely on them when it comes to it and there are some new developments coming from their end for the start of the season as well. Our car is behaving as we had expected, so I would say that we are in a good position to go into the first two races."
Next week will be the last test session before the start of the season and Ferrari will be at work at Valencia from Monday. The team will launch its 2005 challenger on February 25th. "I'm looking forward to next week's tests and the information we will gather, then the presentation of our new car -- and after that we're off to Melbourne," said Schumacher.