British GP: Winners' press conference

1. <B>Michael Schumacher</B> (Ferrari), 1h31m45.015s 2. <B>Rubens Barrichello</B> (Ferrari), 1h31m59.593s (+ 14.578s) 3. <B>Juan Pablo Montoya</B> (Williams), 1h32m16.676s (+31.661s) Q: Michael, you looked...

1. <B>Michael Schumacher</B> (Ferrari), 1h31m45.015s
2. <B>Rubens Barrichello</B> (Ferrari), 1h31m59.593s (+ 14.578s)
3. <B>Juan Pablo Montoya</B> (Williams), 1h32m16.676s (+31.661s)

Q: Michael, you looked like you really enjoyed that win - and so did the crowd.

Michael Schumacher: Yes, they haven't had many occasions to enjoy victories with me in my time at Silverstone. Obviously they do enjoy the few we had.

Q: Obviously a great car and a great drive, but also a very good tyre today.

MS: Yes, it's the package. We know we have a very good car, we know we have very good tyres, especially for the race, and we have worked for that very hard together with Bridgestone and the team. But I think today it was purely down to when to put on what tyres. I have to say thanks to Ross, he did a great job today because I wasn't sure. We had this drizzling rain and sure, on the lap that we came in there was a lot of water but it could well have stopped immediately and then we should have stayed out on slicks. I wasn't sure what sort of decision I should take and I was glad Ross took the decision for me and he took the right one.

Q: How much were conditions changing lap by lap?

MS: Quite a lot. It was almost dry and then it started raining again. It was very tricky even then because the intermediates were sort of worn down and they were almost slicks and then it started raining again and it was very tricky at certain moments.

Q: Rubens, one of your most remarkable races. You went from 21st to second in 19 laps. Talk us through it.

Rubens Barrichello: Yes, it was quite busy. It's been a fantastic race in terms of a result because I couldn't wish for more. I selected first gear on the formation lap and the engine turned itself off. It was a shame because I thought of Barcelona again, not having the ability to start. But when the car got going, as Michael said, we have a package and the tyres and everything so it seemed quite good. So I was coming quite quickly. On the intermediates, I think I pushed a little bit too hard on them and they were completely gone and I had a spin but I kept the engine running so I had quite a busy afternoon.

Q: And a nice scrap with Juan at the end.

<B>RB: It's good, because it's quite fair. We can fight forever. It's been quite good. We enjoyed it.

Q: Juan, it was all going so well while it was dry but once it rained, did you feel that there was nothing you could do?

Juan Pablo Montoya: As soon as it started drizzling, it looked like actually a slick tyre was better in the damp conditions and I was a bit quicker than Michael. As soon as it dried he would catch me again. He was a lot quicker at the time, you can see on the lap times, he was about two seconds quicker, his fastest lap, than mine. From then on, I really couldn't do anything. I came out of the pits with an eight second lead and it took him two laps. I was pushing really hard trying to do something but it was impossible.

Q: Did you have a slight problem towards the end?

JPM: No, not really. Right before we pitted my tyres seemed to hold out better than the Bridgestones. I think Michelin have done a lot of development on them and at least they are a bit more competitive. Rubens slipped through. I started to catch him a bit and as we went into Bridge, I looked at the other fast corners and thought he was going to lift a bit, and he left it wide open. I came out of the corner and I was ahead of him. It was pretty good. But then the tyres seemed to go off. I think it's a lot better than before, it's a big step forward but I think we still have to do quite a lot of work.

Q: Is your confidence sky-high going to Magny-Cours?

MS: Yes, naturally with the car we have, the package that we have we are feeling comfortable but then Magny-Cours is a very particular circuit where tyres, as we have seen, can play the opposite effect and what we have seen so far is more like a Canadian Grand Prix. Things will be a bit more tight, especially if we have very hot conditions, which we should expect there. So I'm looking forward to a very tight race where still we have the opportunity and chance to win it, but wait and see. First we have to do it.

Q: Michael, you seemed quite anxious at the start, why were you so worried?

MS: No. We were just discussing a couple of little issues I noticed during the outing and I checked with my engineers whether any fine-tuning was necessary and that's it. These discussions are obviously serious. I just dislike it when cameramen stay very close with their microphones and try to listen to what we say. It's not fair.

Q: You seemed so delighted at the end, almost as if this was one of the best wins ever.

MS: Yes, I am, because it is a very special race today for the circumstances, the conditions and so on. Number 60, and as you've mentioned a couple of times Silverstone hasn't seen so many victories for me and in terms of the championship, it's obviously ideal to finish again like that.

Q: Were you expecting it to rain?

MS: No, none of us were expecting it to rain. It was pretty unpredictable here.

Q: You had a problem with the balance of the car yesterday. Were you happier with it today?

MS: The car was handling good and well. In terms of real competition, I don't know. I probably should say that we were obviously faster than Juan, but I couldn't find a way by at the time. We sort of struggled whenever it got a bit wet because he seemed to have a little bit more of a problem whenever the circuit was dry, the tyres were starting to give, but they seemed to come back when it was getting wet. Whenever it started drizzling, with our dry tyres, I really got in trouble and he was able to pull away. So there was never a consistent moment to really find out how competitive, how good the balance actually was. In the end, it was just bringing it home.

Q: Your intermediates seemed to be fantastic in all kinds of conditions...

MS: Yeah, but that's something we have worked very hard on. We knew, we saw that already on Friday. We were about a good second faster than many others, so it wasn't a surprise honestly.

Q: Rubens, what sort of frame of mind were you in when you were sitting at the back of the grid?

<B>RB: S-t! Seriously, at that time, you have to be calm, be very calm, because you know that you have the car and you have every way of getting past people and at that moment you just wait and you want to get some points. But obviously I saw the car working well and I kept my attitude together. I was lucky not to crash with people, because the difference in terms of speed with some of our competitors is great, so it was difficult to keep the temper and say hold on and do it at the right time. But obviously everything worked fine. The tyres were working fantastically. It was just that spin, because I think I pushed a little bit too hard obviously, because I was catching up Michael, I thought I should give it a go to the last moment. Obviously the rear tyres on the intermediates...I was in difficulty and when I touched the kerb they spun me around.

Q: Then you had that battle with Juan Pablo.

<B>RB: It seems that they had a little bit more speed than us when the track was not wet but when there were some wet patches and they were on slicks, so I came out of Club, I had already lost a lot of time to him, but I wasn't expecting him to really go for it because Bridge was still damp. But when I saw him, I was more surprised than anything. I tried to get a run on him at the exit but I couldn't. Then, when everything settled down after three or four laps and the track was a little more dry, then the performance was there and I just had to go for it.

Q: And he gave you enough space, did he?

<B>RB: Well, I think we respect each other quite a lot. We have fun outside, we have fun inside, so it's quite good.

Q: Juan Pablo, I don't suppose you enjoyed it, going back to third.

JPM: I was really, being realistic, look at the warm-up, look at the race times, they are nearly two seconds quicker than me. I don't know. I haven't even looked, but it is probably around two seconds, their fastest lap compared with mine. So not a great deal you can do, you have got to try to defend yourself as hard as you can and in the dry we were doing quite well at the beginning but as soon as it rained we changed tyres and they just went. The tyre wear seemed to hold on really well in the dry, but we still had a second, one or two seconds on Rubens right before the pit stop. So we tried to get ahead of him and I did push as hard as I could, got ahead of him, but then I came out of the pits and the first few laps it was good, then their tyres seemed to hold on a lot more than ours and, better traction, he just drove by.

Q: And obviously you were losing about a second a lap to him in the closing stages.

JPM: At the end, after we passed Ralf, he was already pulling probably half a second and I said there is nothing you can do really. So I decided to call the team to just back off the shifting to save the engine a bit for the end and we just short shifted all the way to the end. They told me Ralf was trying to catch Fisichella I think it was and I told them, you know, to let him by so that is why I backed off on the straight.

Q: Were you on wets or intermediates?

JPM: Wets, I think.

Q: Do you think intermediates, in retrospect, would have been a better idea?

JPM: No. I don't think so. I think the tyre we picked was the best tyre we could put on the car. It is the best tyre we have found at the moment in any of the conditions and it is getting better, but it is not there yet.

Q: Is there a certain amount of relief because you have got some points?

JPM: Yeah, it's good l got on the podium again. Yesterday's qualifying was a bit of a surprise for everybody including myself, I didn't really mind actually, but, you know, I couldn't hope for anything more.

QUESTIONS FROM THE FLOOR

Q: Michael, had you planned to have a two-stop strategy in the dry?

MS: Yes

Q: Rubens, was the problem before the formation lap a similar one to the one in Barcelona?

<B>RB: I don't think so. In actual fact I still don't know because I asked Ross but the car has to come back for them to collect all the data so I couldn't see what actually happened, but it is definitely not the same as Barcelona.

Q: Juan Pablo, you only stopped twice and Ferrari stopped three times. Were you on a one stop and they were on a two stop or did it just work out that way because of the conditions?

JPM: I think it worked out really well because when Ralf came in they had a problem with the rig and they told me I was about to pit and we were both probably going to put on the same tyres and we were discussing what tyre to put on and we had a problem with the rig and then suddenly it started drizzling and I said just stayed out and then it drizzled and went dry, and it was quite good fun.

Q: Ferrari made all the choices at the right time and so did you. But the other Michelin drivers were struggling with their choice of tyres in the changing weather conditions. Did you get that impression?

JPM: If you look at the top six the only guy on Michelins is myself. The next Michelin is Ralf, and that is P8. It is not easy, you know. The team has done a big step forward this weekend with the new aero package and to finish 15 seconds behind it is not that bad now. We have made a big step forward, I think we still need to be there to get a bit more in every single way. I think we have got a really good engine, the chassis works well but we need a little bit more downforce. I think the biggest issue at the moment is the tyres.

Q: Michael, has it crossed your mind you can win the championship at the next round?

MS: Can I? I don't know. I haven't calculated my points yet.

Q: You are 54 ahead and if you win the next one you will be 64 ahead with six races to go.

MS: That's possible. If I am now 54 ahead and I win...

Q: But it hasn't crossed your mind. You are not thinking about the championship...

JPM: He doesn't really have to think about it. He's got it in his pocket already.

MS: Thank you. Wait and see.

Q: Have you given no thought to the fact that yours, possibly, could be the fastest championship in history?

MS: If it happens, fine. But it matters much more to have the fifth championship and to have maybe another victory.

Q: Michael, you seem to have a lot of friends out there in the stands. Do you ever get that impression in England, that you have this huge following here?

MS: We are pretty much aware of this. Ferrari in particular, together with me obviously, driving, we have always had a lot of reception here in England. It is nice to be here and to do well for them because I haven't had a lot of Ferrari victories (here) in the recent years.

-fis-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams