Rubens Barrichello left Mugello, pleased with the two days of testing with the F2002. "I am happy with the work we did during this session," said Rubens. "Everything went in the right direction, with the F2002 and its new engine proving to be...
Rubens Barrichello left Mugello, pleased with the two days of testing with the F2002. "I am happy with the work we did during this session," said Rubens. "Everything went in the right direction, with the F2002 and its new engine proving to be quite a step forward for the team. Now I plan to take it easy for the weekend to be ready for the San Marino Grand Prix. I can't wait to race at Imola with the new car."
Before leaving, Rubens looked back over the Interlagos weekend: "The only thing I can say about Brazil is that I feel I did my best for the team," said Barrichello. "All weekend I was quite calm and I didn't feel under pressure in the way I used to feel at my home race. In the race, my two stop strategy was looking good and the car had felt competitive since the race morning warm-up. I knew something good would be possible and it was looking that way in the early stages."
Barrichello's climb through the field was definitely one of the most entertaining parts of the race. "Yes, I enjoyed the early part," agreed the Brazilian. "I was overtaking people without losing any time. Then eventually I caught up with Ralf and then Michael. I knew I had to get out in front early in the race to start building up a gap while the others were running more fuel, so I could not afford to waste time. I had to go for it. Everything was working fine."
"Then, all of a sudden, as I braked going into Turn 8, I felt something was wrong, because the back of the car stepped out on me. Then I went for the throttle and there was nothing there and the gears were not working. I radioed the pit and they told me I had lost hydraulic pressure. I tried to get it back to the pits, but the car was stuck in fifth gear and there was not enough power to get up the hill. It was really sad. A lot of people say Brazilians are unlucky in Brazil and I don't believe that. But if the car breaks what can you do? I think that, given the way the car was going, I could have easily been third and there was even a suggestion I could have done better than that."
Some of the Paulista's local media tried to make a big deal out of Barrichello not having the new F2002, but Rubens was not concerned. "I was under no illusions all weekend," he maintained. "I knew the new car was faster, but I never felt I should be driving that car. I just stuck with my car and made it work. So I was proud to see the car doing well. Obviously, I was a little disappointed after Saturday not to have qualified higher, but after the penalty and the gear selection problems it was the best I could do."
Barrichello was touched that the Ferrari President called him on Sunday afternoon. "Montezemolo spoke to me after the race," he said. "He was sorry I couldn't finish. It was nice to hear from him and it was also nice to hear from Jean Todt as well. He was really supportive because he thought I had driven a good race."