Back in Brazil, for his final home break of the European part of the season, Rubens Barrichello was able to reflect on the outcome of the San Marino Grand Prix. "It was above all a sense of relief," he said, recalling his great second place and...
Back in Brazil, for his final home break of the European part of the season, Rubens Barrichello was able to reflect on the outcome of the San Marino Grand Prix. "It was above all a sense of relief," he said, recalling his great second place and the part he played in securing a historic one-two finish for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro; the first for the team at Imola since 1982. "When you go through a few races without scoring, you get this feeling that you really have got to score. But I was not worried, because apart from the fact the season up to then had been disappointing in terms of points, I have had a very good year. So far, I would say it is my best year since I joined Ferrari. I feel that I am very competitive and very calmly getting on with my job, while enjoying myself very much. It's just that, until Imola, I had nothing to show for it. I am very happy with the way things are going and the team is happy with my performance."
Certainly, having six points in the bag has been good for morale and Barrichello is even more optimistic for the rest of the year. "Imola was my first race weekend with F2002," he recalled. "From now on I am only thinking about improving. But we must not think the championship will be easy from now on. Imola was a very good race, because Bridgestone made a step forward with the tyres and the new car is excellent. I am driving the best car I have ever driven and I have never felt as happy with my car at Imola as I did this year. I could really push all the time. It was just a pity that I lost a place to Ralf Schumacher at the start."
Although admitting that the San Marino Grand Prix might not have been the most exciting race for the spectators, even it produced the result the tifosi had wanted, Rubens feels that over the course of the season, the tyre war should produce some interesting situations. "The tyre war will be good for the show, because there will be times when a car with a less good aerodynamic package might have the better tyre or vice versa and that will see closer racing. The problem in terms of the show is simply that we go to circuits that are great to drive, but where overtaking is difficult." Recalling the fact he felt he was delayed by a Jaguar during the San Marino GP, the Ferrari man added: "if the guy in front does not want you to overtake, then unless you are two seconds a lap quicker than him it is very difficult to get by."
This week, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro is testing at two circuits simultaneously, but in this instance, Barrichello is happy to let the team's official test drivers do the work. "Since January, I have been testing all the time, so the team said to me and Michael that we were going to have a break. It is for situations like this that the team took on an additional test driver this year. It is the right idea, because I have done four days of testing in Barcelona already, so I am prepared for the Spanish Grand Prix and at least I am getting a short break. The important thing is that the team is not stopping development work."