Barrichello on the podium, Michael raises his leadership Jean Todt: "We expected a close and tough fight and that is what we got. Third and fifth places for Rubens and Michael respectively have brought us some valuable points for both ...
Barrichello on the podium, Michael raises his leadership
"We expected a close and tough fight and that is what we got. Third and fifth places for Rubens and Michael respectively have brought us some valuable points for both championships. A first analysis of the race reveals that our chassis, engine, tyre package was not the quickest out on the track, but its reliability allowed us to get both cars home in the points. Michael was fighting for second place, when he spun after a collision with Montoya who was trying to pass him."
"Thanks to the track marshals who pushed him out of the gravel, he managed to continue, going on to score very important points in terms of the championship. Rubens drove a very solid race to get to the third step of the podium, which was the best we could do today.'
"You are never really happy with third, but considering the difficulties I had with the balance of the car, this is a fairly good result. I had a good start and managed to pass Juan Pablo. After that in the first stint, I could match the pace of those ahead, but could not catch them and I was also conserving fuel a bit at that point. It was disappointing that Montoya got past me in the pit stop."
"However, after the pit stops, the balance of the car was not as good with the full fuel load, and it improved a bit as the car got lighter. I was a bit happier on the second set of tyres and was catching Michael quite rapidly. Basically, I was fighting the balance of the car all the time and we tried fixing it by changing tyre pressures and the front wing settings. Now, I am hoping we can go better at Magny-Cours, although it should be another tough weekend."
"Considering that my lead in the world championship has now increased to seven points, I cannot really complain about the result of this race. Especially as with the new points system it takes longer to catch up, except in the case of a non-finish. As for the collision with Juan Pablo, in my opinion it was a straightforward racing incident. He was faster than me, tried to pass, gave me just enough room to survive. Maybe I could have wished for a little bit more space, but I have no problem with Juan Pablo over this. No one was to blame. Of course, I am happy for Ralf, keeping it in the family at our home race."
"It was a difficult race for us. Our rivals proved to be clearly more competitive and there was not much we could do to change that situation. I don't think there is one specific area that was to blame today. We must work on the whole package to improve our performance level. It was our reliability which meant we got both cars home in the points, thus extending our lead in both championships."
Rubens Barrichello 3rd
+ 39.673 60 laps
Michael Schumacher 5th
+ 66.162 60 laps