Q. Congratulations, Michael, on your first victory of the season. Your start was a disappointment, though: what went wrong? MS: We just had too much wheelspin. I thought I had a good way of approaching my start, but it proved to be...
Q. Congratulations, Michael, on your first victory of the season. Your start was a disappointment, though: what went wrong?
MS: We just had too much wheelspin. I thought I had a good way of approaching my start, but it proved to be not that good. I don't know why and I shall be studying it: maybe it was similar to the problem I had in Brazil. But maybe it was my fault, I don't know yet.
Q. Your suspension was slightly damaged in the clash of wheels with David Coulthard. What effect did the damage have on the handling of your Ferrari?
MS: There was quite a lot of understeer in right hand corners which made it feel loose and difficult to handle. But it didn't feel too bad. And no, it didn't feel any better in left handers ...
Q. With just over ten laps to go it started to rain. How difficult did that make it for you?
MS: At one stage, particularly at the first corner, the rain was coming down quite heavily. It was also raining at at the second, third and fifth corners, and a little bit at the final corner, too. That is where it became just slippery enough for me to lose control.
Q. Was it to your advantage that the temperature today was comparatively low?
MS: I don't think it was either a help, or a disadvantage. Our tyre temperatures were quite low all weekend, in fact we felt the compound was too hard. Maybe it was even softer than what Bridgestone brought, but it was still too hard for us. As we expected, the new Goodyear was very consistent all through the race. But Goodyear already has a new 'family' of compounds on the way which is even more consistent.
Q. How well do you expect the Ferrari to perform at Imola?
MS: It is a different type of circuit and I am sure we will improve the car. After Brazil, which was very bad for us, the tyre situation is now closer to what we would normally expect. But I cannot say yet what Imola will be like from the point of view of the tyres. I believe we will have an opportunity to do a good job and to be up there again.
Q. Mika, has Ferrari got you worried?
MH: I have to admit that the performance they had this weekend was excellent ... particularly compared to me! David was also performing extremely well, so it is unfortunate what happened to him in the race. If I had chosen a two stop strategy I would have been able to push harder, and if I had been able to go quicker at the time of Michael's second pit stop I suppose I might have been able to stay ahead of him, although I believe he would still have overtaken me, probably quite easily. Considering that I had to start from third place on the grid, the one stop strategy was the right choice, and I don't think two stops would have made a big difference in the end.
Q. Around the time of your second pit stop you suddenly lost about four seconds in one lap. Were you in trouble?
MH: Only with the traffic, there was a lot of it in front of me and I was not able to overtake it comfortably. That is where I lost a lot of time. Four laps from the end, when it started raining again and the circuit got really slippery in certain places, I was in a situation where I knew I wouldn't be able to catch Michael by driving any faster. I didn't want to take any risks at all, so I just backed off.
Q. But Michael didn't seem to back off then, did he?
MH: I am sure he did some! (Schumacher nods in agreement)
Q. Eddie, it was around that point in the race when you and Alexander Wurz touched wheels. Was that because of the rain?
EI: Yes, when he got past me there were only a few spots of rain on my visor and I didn't think there was going to be any problem. Then I braked, immediately locked up my wheels and ran wide which allowed him to slip through. But then it rained a little more heavily and things evened themselves out again because he spun and I was able to re pass. At the end it was just a matter of stay6ing on the track and not pushing too hard. I still had this [leg brace which had come loose] between my legs. It was coming away from the bottom of the cockpit and I had to keep knocking it back into position with my knee. It had already caused me an incident at the hairpin, where I lost five seconds because it was just about to come undone and fall into the foot well among the pedals. I had to bang it with my knee, which caused me to miss my braking point and slide wide.
Q. Wurz passed you easily, it seemed. Was there any contact between you?
EI: Yes, he was a lot faster than me and he caught me very quickly. Coming into the chicane at first I half closed the door, which allowed him to get his nose half inside me. He touched my rear, but it didn't seem to have caused any damage to either car, so we set off again, back into battle.
Q. Michael, in two weeks you'll be back in Europe for the San Marino GP, on Ferrari's home ground at Imola. What are your thoughts about that?
MS: We have an extensive test programme next week, with a lot of work still to do. I am hoping this will put us another step up, if possible on the same level as this Finnish guy sitting next to me! I am pretty optimistic about this, because I know we can go faster. After that, from circuit to circuit it will depend on the tyres, and there will probably be variations when one or another is faster. It should make for an exciting championship.