Michael Schumacher's victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix appeared to take little effort for the German and Ferrari, but the current champion refutes that it was an easy win. Schumacher led from pole to flag, aside from the usual pit stop reshuffles...
Michael Schumacher's victory at the Bahrain Grand Prix appeared to take little effort for the German and Ferrari, but the current champion refutes that it was an easy win. Schumacher led from pole to flag, aside from the usual pit stop reshuffles of the race order, and he and teammate Rubens Barrichello crossed the line nearly half a minute ahead of third-placed Jenson Button in the BAR.
However, according to Schumacher, he had enough to deal with to make it hard work. "I can understand how this race could have seemed all too easy from the outside, but let me say that we had to concentrate really hard because the brakes and tyres were at their limit," he said.
"We have to take into account that the correct racing line, a fast one here, was difficult to maintain. It was enough to get it wrong by a tiny degree, and when I say tiny I mean as little as a centimetre, to be slowed down considerably and with serious consequences for the car."
"In these conditions the smallest error did not only slow you down but it meant extra stress on the tyres and the brakes. Undoubtedly, the result shows that we managed to keep potential dangers under control but I can say that we really were on a razor's edge at times."
Ferrari obviously had the advantage over the rest of the field in Bahrain but Schumacher also had the advantage over Barrichello. Most of the race Michael was some ten seconds ahead of Rubens, something the Brazilian could do little about. Schumacher did back off at the end so the pair could cross the line in formation.
"My brakes didn't really start to work until the second lap and at that stage Michael already had a lead of 2.5s and he was going quite fast," said Barrichello. A problem in the first round of pit stops delayed him, opening the gap to Schumacher even further. "So for him, for a champion of his calibre, some ten seconds is too easy, because then he can just manage the gap in a way," Barrichello added.