Australian GP qualifying press conference

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1.26.892 Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) 1.27.263 Mika Hakkinen (McLaren) 1.27.461 Q: It's the first time the Ferrari's been so quick out of the box. You must be very happy? MS: I am... Thanks to my mechanics...

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) 1.26.892

Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) 1.27.263

Mika Hakkinen (McLaren) 1.27.461

Q: It's the first time the Ferrari's been so quick out of the box. You must be very happy?

MS: I am... Thanks to my mechanics who had a very late night or early morning due to my little problem or "off" yesterday. So we had to prepare and work very hard overnight. And that gave me a fantastic car again to work with and to qualify first. So, great job.

Q: Your qualifying session was quite unorthodox in that you started your session with a four lap run, with a slow-fast, slow-fast run. Why was that?

MS: I probably wanted to get used to the circuit (laughs).

Q: And then strangely again at the end you went out for less than a minute in the spare car?

MS: Obviously I knew that there wasn't any chance for Mika to improve his lap time, he didn't have enough laps left to go for another run. The time was almost over as well. So we haven't had any running with the T-car so far. So we just wanted to go for a run with the T-car to check for tomorrow, so if we need it, that its performing well.

Q: Rubens, excellent performance there in second, snatching it towards the end. How much were you hampered by the loss of so much of this morning's session after your engine problem?

RB: As you can see I was really happy with the car, and I think when you dominate the test like we did [in Friday practice], I think you feel very confident for the following day. So only doing a couple of quick laps this morning it didn't help, so I went into qualifying knowing the car I had the previous day, but not knowing the track [conditions] today. So at the end of the day I feel happy because [of the performance despite] of the lack of time on track and a bit of traffic on my last run. But apart from that, as Michael said, the guys did a fantastic job to produce a really good car. And here we are again fighting for pole.

Q: Now Ferrari is a team that has lost quite a lot of running due to various events so far this weekend. How has that affected your ability to get a good race set up, because we have been told that the new tyres are more critical to having very good balance for a race car?

RB: I don't think we lost a great percentage of time. I mean, Michael was unfortunate to go off the track yesterday, but I completed forty laps. So today he did the run I did yesterday, so we are pretty equal. So we are happy with the way things are going in terms of set up. We tested so long in Mugello in a way that we are familiar with the car on high fuel loads, so I am feeling optimistic for the race.

Q: Mika, quite a difficult session for both you and David. Do you think you got the best out of the car?

MH: Definitely not. It could have been better. I did four laps running late, and I was not able to get a complete good lap. I had all sorts of problems in certain sectors and then with the time. So I didn't get the best out of the car, but then again I am reasonably pleased.

Q: How do you feel the race set up for your team is?

MH: I'm confident. I'm confident we will have a consistent car for the race and a quick car. So I am really looking forward to finishing the Grand Prix tomorrow.

-FIA-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Mika Hakkinen
Teams Ferrari , McLaren