First race of 2004 and a first one-two for Ferrari, the sixty second in its history and the sixteenth for the current driver pairing. This is the sixth victory in the Australian Grand Prix, win 168 from 687 races. Today's win was Schumacher's ...
First race of 2004 and a first one-two for Ferrari, the sixty second in its history and the sixteenth for the current driver pairing. This is the sixth victory in the Australian Grand Prix, win 168 from 687 races. Today's win was Schumacher's seventy first, the fifty second with Ferrari.
"It was a grandiose performance from Ferrari, crowned with an equally grandiose result. The championship has got underway with a dream event. After several years of success obtained after so many battles, to start the season with such a clear superiority, I have above all to thank everyone at Ferrari, from President Montezemolo to every last one of them who has worked hard for this result. Next, I wish to thank our technical partners - first and foremost Bridgestone and Shell - and the Fiat Group, which through Magneti Marelli and the Research Centre plays an important role in producing our cars. This one-two is the result of the ultimate effort in our own work, the cohesion, stability and determination of our team."
"However, we must not think it will always go this way in such a long season. We know we are up against the giants of the motor industry and we are well aware how quickly they can react. Finally, the drivers: both of them drove a fantastic race and there is not much else to add. As we have said already over the winter, we don't like to say much, preferring our actions to speak for themselves. Next week, while Michael stays away from Europe, Badoer, who was here today will return to base with Barrichello for a week's testing in Mugello and Valencia. The effort put in by our drivers and the whole team is no doubt one of the keys to our success."
"A perfect race but a tough one in the early stages, when Rubens was pushing me hard. That made it exciting and I could not afford to make a mistake. The car was going well, it's a step forward and more consistent to drive. It is great to leave Australia with 2 more points than I had after the first three races last year. After the last test at Imola and knowing the characteristics of this track, I was sure we would be competitive but I did not expect such a performance."
"The backmarkers were well behaved, but two guys tried to do me a favour by braking early which caused me a slight problem. But I am keeping my feet on the ground, because this race and the weather conditions suited us perhaps better than the others. We will have to wait and see what happens in Malaysia where it will be much hotter. I do not want to predict the season based on just one race."
"I was happy with my start and it gave me a chance to run deep into the first corner and try and pass Michael, but I decided the move was too risky. Then I tried again at Turn 3, but there was no way round. I kept on pushing him hard and closed up when he got delayed a bit in traffic. But by then, I started having brake problems, although I kept pushing and trying to pass him up to the point of the second pit stop. But after the stop, the brakes did not seem to have cooled very much and I had a very long pedal. Combined with the extra fuel load I was worried that I might crash if I pushed too hard, so from then on I backed off. Apart from that, the car was very good and Bridgestone has done a fantastic job with the tyres."
"We are delighted with this great start to the season. It is a fantastic result, which is down to the work everyone has done. The team is getting even stronger, with everyone working even harder than ever. Having partners like Bridgestone and Shell is a great help. Before the first race, one never knows just how competitive one will be. Despite all our success over the past few years, there is always a little bit of doubt. This win will certainly give us a further incentive to do even better in the forthcoming races."
Michael Schumacher: 1st
1:24.15.757 58 laps
Rubens Barrichello: 2nd
+13.605 58 laps