"From what I have read, it will be difficult!" said Rubens Barrichello with a smile, when talking to the media this afternoon about what the next few days have in store for him. The Brazilian had not been part of the test team last week at the...
"From what I have read, it will be difficult!" said Rubens Barrichello with a smile, when talking to the media this afternoon about what the next few days have in store for him. The Brazilian had not been part of the test team last week at the Monza circuit, but had obviously been kept informed of its results.
"We all know we are not competitive enough, so I am not expecting to take pole and win from the start. Nevertheless, there is nothing to stop us from tackling the weekend with optimism. We are allowed to hope to do well."
This will be a special weekend for the winner of last year's race here. "Really, for the very last time I will race at Monza for Ferrari, I should be in a positive frame of mind and I am," said the Brazilian. "This will be a special time for me and only in a good way, because Monza has plenty of good memories for me with Ferrari, for example last year when I won here."
But there will also be a bit of sadness naturally, as this is the last time I race here with a team that has given me so much. In many ways though this will be a race like all the others, a race I would like to win. I am not here to make a point or to prove anything. I have already made my mark here. This team has always been good for me, so I am very happy to be here and to try and deliver the sort of result we have been looking for all season."
For F1 fans, Monza always presents the opportunity to see the cars running faster than at any other point of the season. Given that rules introduced for the start of this year were designed to slow the cars, did Barrichello not feel there was a greater than usual element of danger here?
"Of course the cars are very fast, because despite the rules, the engineers have not been sitting on their hands all year," he replied. "They are too clever not to have made improvements during the season and as this is one of the last races of the year, of course the cars have improved a lot. But just because the cars can do 370 km/h here, I don't think that means this is a dangerous track. It is just part of the nature of this circuit."
It seems the F1 press at least are already looking at 2006, even though we still have four rounds of this year's championship remaining and Barrichello was asked for his views on how the Prancing Horse will do next year, in the light of his leaving the team. "I am sure Ferrari will always be competitive," maintained Rubens.
"Of that I have no doubt. As to how the Schumacher -- Massa tandem will work, that is harder to predict, because it depends on so many things. But a change, in terms of me leaving and another driver coming could well bring some different motivation to the team."