Michael Schumacher arrived at the "Gilles Villeneuve" circuit at around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon. There was just time for a quick hello to Jean Todt and the whole team, before plunging into a full half hour with the F1 media. There was a...
Michael Schumacher arrived at the "Gilles Villeneuve" circuit at around 3 o'clock yesterday afternoon. There was just time for a quick hello to Jean Todt and the whole team, before plunging into a full half hour with the F1 media.
There was a big crowd of at least seventy made up of journalists, photographers, cameramen and the usual curious onlookers. They were all gathered outside the Ferrari pits to hear the thoughts of the World Champion. Naturally enough, the main theme of the day was the extension of the driver's contract to the end of 2006.Ferrari, the happier I am."
"We have won so much together and all our success has contributed to taking a lot of the pressure off and so makes this an ideal place to work. That could be seen at the start of this season, when outside the team there was talk of a crisis: the way in which we reacted shows how the team has drawn strength from the difficult experiences in the past. I really feel part of the team and part of Ferrari's history."
Asked if the fact that Todt and other senior personnel had also renewed their contracts had played an important part in his decision, Schumacher replied: "It was vital and as they say in football, 'never change a winning team.' The quality of each individual in Ferrari is very high, as can be seen for example in the F2003-GA. Looking at this car, you realise that behind it is a group of people who take pleasure from the work they do, who enjoy themselves and work well together."
"This is the spirit that reigns and I cannot see an end to all this. Maybe we will not win so often in the future but what is important is that we will always be capable of fighting for the title. There will be difficult years, just like this present one, but that is racinig. Rubens? Without a doubt, it would be great to stay together to the end of 2006. We get on really well together."
Finally, a question about this weekend's race in Montreal. "I think our main opposition will once again come from McLaren, although we should never underestimate Williams. As usual, tyre performance will be the key factor. We will get a better idea of the situation after tomorrow."