After Michael Schumacher's second place in Hungary there was some hope for Ferrari that things were looking up, but the lack of performance in Istanbul was a sore disappointment. Still suffering from a lack of grip, Rubens Barrichello could only...
After Michael Schumacher's second place in Hungary there was some hope for Ferrari that things were looking up, but the lack of performance in Istanbul was a sore disappointment. Still suffering from a lack of grip, Rubens Barrichello could only manage 11th on the grid in qualifying and Schumacher spun off and had to start from the back.
They fared no better on race day; Schumacher was involved in an incident with the Williams of Mark Webber which eventually caused him to retire. Barrichello only moved up one place from his grid slot to finish 10th. Obviously the result was far from what the reigning champion had been aiming for.
"It's sad but true, at no time over the weekend were we competitive, not in qualifying, during the race nor even during free practice," Schumacher conceded. "Unfortunately, we could not continue the form we had shown at Hockenheim or Budapest. We have, instead, taken a step back."
After the contact with Webber, Schumacher's Ferrari had some quick repairs and he went back out on track in order to gain a better qualifying place for the next event, the Italian Grand Prix. Monza is Ferrari's home race and while Schumacher is not expecting any drastic change in performance, he and the team naturally want to do the best they can.
"We obviously wanted to do all we could to improve our position," he said. "It was down to the fine work of the team in substituting the parts damaged in the clash with Mark Webber. This is typical of the guys' skill. Owing to them I was about to go back out, something that allowed us to run more laps than those drivers who had retired."
"Overall, this was the best thing that happened all weekend. I think that it is comprehensible that in a situation like that you try all you can. For us Monza is very important and even though we are not as good as we were in the past, we want to do the best we can for our fans. We owe it to them and to ourselves".
Schumacher will be on track at Monza this week as Ferrari carries out an intensive testing programme. Future teammate Felipe Massa, who replaces Rubens Barrichello in 2006, will also be at work, as well as Barrichello and test driver Luca Badoer. It will be a busy week for everyone, as all ten teams are expected at Monza for various test schedules from Tuesday to Friday.