Schumacher pleased with opening races

Schumacher pleased with opening races

Despite its engine woes of the Malaysian race weekend, Ferrari is confident after its performance in the first two races and is focused on more improvements in the weeks to come. Both Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa had to suffer the 10 place...

Despite its engine woes of the Malaysian race weekend, Ferrari is confident after its performance in the first two races and is focused on more improvements in the weeks to come. Both Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa had to suffer the 10 place grid demotion at Sepang due to engine changes but managed to score a double points finish.

Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa.
Photo by xpb.cc.

The engine problem was pinpointed to piston components and the team believes it has been rectified. Schumacher is now looking ahead to the next race, the Australian GP on April 2nd. "I am very pleased with the first two races of the season as they went as I thought they would. We should improve even more over the coming weeks," he said.

"We are focusing on the upcoming Grand Prix. We know that the Albert Park circuit tends to be more favourable to us than Sepang and so we are much more hopeful. In Malaysia we wanted to claim some points and this we did, so things did not go too badly. In Australia it should go even better."

Massa finished one place ahead of Schumacher in fifth at Sepang, something that raised a few eyebrows. Inevitably team principal Jean Todt was asked if Ferrari would have preferred Schumacher to be in front and the Frenchman replied that it was too early in the season to be deciding preferential driver treatment.

"After two races, it's too early," Todt said. "Felipe could not defend his chances in his first Grand Prix in Bahrain, so I think he did a pretty good job (in Malaysia.)… He's under a lot of pressure as well, so it's important that he can score points and he can demonstrate that he's a very good driver."

While Schumacher's penalty dropped him to 14th, Massa's put him all the way to the back row of the grid. The Brazilian impressed with a calm and confident drive that saw him score his first points for Ferrari. His one stop strategy paid off and he held Schumacher at bay in the closing stages.

"I think starting last and finishing fifth was a great result," Massa commented. "What was encouraging was our pace, because if we had been lighter on fuel I think we were on the same pace as the Renaults more or less. I would have to say we were competitive."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Felipe Massa , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari