Rubens Barrichello had a good start to the 2005 season when he bought his Ferrari home second in Melbourne, but the last two races he failed to score any points. Tyre problems in Malaysia forced the Brazilian to retire and in Bahrain he suffered...
Rubens Barrichello had a good start to the 2005 season when he bought his Ferrari home second in Melbourne, but the last two races he failed to score any points. Tyre problems in Malaysia forced the Brazilian to retire and in Bahrain he suffered first from gearbox troubles, then tyres again were the problem in the race and he finished ninth. Now, however, he is upbeat for Imola and believes the difficulties are behind him.
"Before Sunday in Bahrain, I had done one day's testing with the new car in Mugello and a handful of laps in qualifying," he told reporters at Imola. "Now, I have a far better understanding of the new car, after doing so many miles of testing over the past two weeks."
"Now, I understand how to do the set-up and I have a good feeling in the cockpit. The entire team has worked hard and we have made progress on all fronts, from the aerodynamics to the engine, which is very strong and reliable. We have also made a step forward on the tyre front. It has put me in a great mood!"
Tyres were very much a focus of Ferrari's testing programme since Bahrain and Barrichello explained a little about going through the process of developing the Bridgestone rubber. "It is not a simple procedure," he said. "You do not just test one set of each type of tyre. You might test ten or twelve."
"Then, once you are happy with the performance level, you then have to evaluate its durability over a race distance. The work we did before this race on the tyre front was exhaustive and produced good results in terms of durability and speed. But I am also pleased to say that we found time for me to work purely on improving the car set-up, to learn more about the chassis."
Barrichello is also confident everything will be in working order for this weekend as far as gearboxes are concerned. "Michael and I used the same gearbox during testing so we put a huge number of kilometres on it," he commented. "So, what I feel today is that even if the first three races were not so good, Imola will be a different story."
There has been a lot of comment on Ferrari's difficult start to the season but Barrichello, as many others have done, pointed out there is a long way to go. "We have not let the pressure get to us," he stated. "The team is strong and we know we cannot judge the year on the first three races, especially with such a long championship."