Rubens Barrichello arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya this morning to start a three day test programme, prior to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 20th July. Before getting down to work, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver reflected on...
Rubens Barrichello arrived at the Circuit de Catalunya this morning to start a three day test programme, prior to the British Grand Prix at Silverstone on 20th July. Before getting down to work, the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver reflected on last weekend's French Grand Prix, where he salvaged a couple of valuable world championship points, coming home seventh.
From then on, it was a case of making up as many places as possible. "I just thought I would try and get some points." The race itself was dull in terms of on-track action, and Rubens' charge up the order was one of the highlights. "I could see myself on the giant screens around the track and I could see replays of me overtaking other drivers, so I guessed there was not much going on at the front of the field!" said the Brazilian with a smile.
On the media's view that the Scuderia is now facing a crisis, Barrichello shares the same opinion as Michael Schumacher. "It is not a crisis," he insisted. "We had two tough races, with Williams and its tyre supplier doing a good job. If you compare the situation to 2002, then it might look bad, but the reality is that we are just going through a performance dip. I am sure we will get back out of it soon. The team is so used to winning that everyone is extremely motivated to get on top again."
The current situation shows that in F1 things can change very quickly. "After Monaco, where Williams won, it looked like a one-off, but it was not and they have made a step forward. Now it is up to us to improve."
The Barcelona test will be a very busy time. "A three day test usually involves three or four times more work than a grand prix weekend," reckoned Barrichello. "It is much tougher, because apart from a one hour break in the middle of the day, you are working on the car all day long and then you have meetings with the engineers in the evenings. But as long as it is productive work, which allows you to try a variety of solutions, then it can be very effective. Barcelona is a good track for testing, as long as it is not too windy."
Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is running simultaneous programmes at Mugello and Fiorano this week, which is an added benefit. "We work on our own programmes, but at the end of the day, we will be kept informed of what the others have done. It is useful to check if they have come up with similar results. Or if something new being tested at another track has produced some interesting data then that is important for us to know."