During winter testing there have been a few teams that look strong but there's rarely been a Ferrari at the top of the times. However, winter times are not necessarily an indicator of competitiveness and Michael Schumacher isn't worried about ...
During winter testing there have been a few teams that look strong but there's rarely been a Ferrari at the top of the times. However, winter times are not necessarily an indicator of competitiveness and Michael Schumacher isn't worried about Ferrari's performance. The reigning champion remembered that it was a similar story prior to the start of the 2004 season.
"Our competition is very strong right now," said Schumacher, according to RTL. "But I can only point to last year: back then, we weren't that strong in Valencia, or here at Jerez either. And then, during the race in Melbourne it was a completely different story. So I'm hoping that it will be similar this time and I don't have too much to worry about."
As for the competition, Schumacher is keeping an eye on who's looking good. "At this time, McLaren Mercedes and Renault stand out the most, if you look at the past two weeks," he said. "They have steadily been going strong, so those two teams will most probably be our toughest competition. But of course it also has to be mentioned that the season is going to be a very long one."
"Last year some of the teams, for instance BAR Honda, weren't that strong to begin with, but then started to catch up rapidly and as we all know ended up leaving the others behind towards the end. I think what we're seeing now indicates a strong performance, but doesn't guarantee it."
Ferrari will be back testing next week at Valencia and tyres will be one of the main focuses of the work. "Two more hard weeks of testing, and then we're off to Melbourne," Schumacher commented. "Up until then, our main objective is gathering information on the durability of the tyres."
"The temperatures we have found in Spain are very good but no comparison at all to Australia and especially Malaysia. The next part in question is the durability of the engines, which will have to last for two races this season. I haven't been able to see which teams are up to the mark regarding this yet."
Ferrari will start this season with the interim F2004M, with the 2005 chassis due to make its debut after the first few races. The team will launch the new car at Maranello on February 25th.