European GP: Winners' press conference

1. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1h35m07.426s 2. Michael SCHUMACHER( FERRARI), 1h35m07.720s (+ 0.294s) 3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLAREN), 1h35m53.861s (+ 46.435s) Q: Talk us through your race. Rubens Barrichello: It was a fantastic race. Obviously...

1. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1h35m07.426s
2. Michael SCHUMACHER( FERRARI), 1h35m07.720s (+ 0.294s)
3. Kimi RAIKKONEN (McLAREN), 1h35m53.861s (+ 46.435s)

Q: Talk us through your race.

Rubens Barrichello: It was a fantastic race. Obviously we were so close at the start. We were looking for no mistakes. I was behind, I didn't really want to put Michael into a difficult situation but then on the inside, I backed off a little bit and I saw a McLaren going by on the outside, so I just came off the brakes. It was very risky because it's very tight. So I had a good line out of one, and then I saw both the Williams fighting so I saw a gap again and I went for it. And because our car was so good on the first lap I had a chance to quite quickly overtake Ralf, which made my race really.

Q: After your second pit stop, how confident were you that you could still be in front when you got the chequered flag?

RB: Obviously myself, Ross and the engineers were talking all through the race. My car was really good for the whole race. There was nothing wrong so they let us push for a very long period and some ten laps from the end they told us to concentrate on bringing the car home. But it was a fantastic race in terms oyf pushing and performance and I want to thank everyone at the Ferrari because the car was really good.

Q: Michael, you caught Rubens and then had a spin. Was that because you got too close to his wing? Do you think that cost you the race?

Michael Schumacher: In answer to the first question, I think so, although Rubens was saying that he had some difficulties on the same lap at the same corner, so he was suggesting that there might have been some dust or oil or whatever. I felt I was just too close but I knew I had to be close because it was close to pit stop time. I knew that I would stay out for one lap longer, so I had to be close and then use the one lap more to my advantage. I just was a little bit too close and I lost control of it.

Q: After the second stops you then caught up Rubens for the second time. How much of a risk were you prepared to take to try and get past Rubens?

MS: I was giving it everything, obviously, but after the pit stop I ran into quite a group of backmarkers, which cost me a little bit of time. I don't know whether this would have been enough to catch up, because by the time I went to my pit stop I was behind by about two seconds...I don't know how much it really cost me at this moment. He did a superb race, he didn't make a mistake, so he deserves to be the winner and I deserve to be second.

Q: Kimi, are we going to see you on the rostrum more often?

Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, I hope so. I think I would have been here more often this year but I've had quite a lot of bad luck. I haven't finished too many races. The first race was good on the podium, and this was a good race for us today.

Q: What did you see of the accident between your team-mate David Coulthard and Juan Pablo Montoya at the first turn?

KR: I think Montoya was just defending the line on the inside and David tried to go around the outside and then I don't really know what happened but Montoya got a bit sideways and he hit David and that was the end of the race for them. For me, I was quite lucky. I got past both of them and then I caught up with Ralf. I was trying to overtake him but then the team told me that he was coming in on the same lap so I just stayed behind him and pushed after that.

Q: Rubens, what chance a second win in a row at Silverstone, a circuit you know very well?

RB: Well, I've been testing there. I enjoy the circuit very much, I enjoy the atmosphere there. For me it's like a home as well because I've been testing there for so long and I hope that the weather is OK. It's going to be a good race.

Q: What did you think of that then, Rubens?

RB: Great. I was telling Michael that Germany seems to be so great for me because it's the second win in Germany and the only difference to the first one is that I haven't cried as much! I'm very happy. I'm actually delighted because Friday wasn't such a good day. Saturday morning was a bit of a struggle again. This time I had a good set-up but the tyres were a bit difficult and Michael seemed to be very happy and this time I chose the tyres he was using and it was definitely the right choice. I want to thank him and the team for letting me have the data and support because otherwise I think I would have struggled a little bit because the tyres would have been really good in comparison to our competitor. But I think the choice we had for the race was definitely the best one.

Q: The opening lap was really the decider, wasn't it?

RB: It was fantastic. It was really good because, as I said, I had a good jump and tried to get a bit of a tow on everyone. I saw a McLaren coming here and because of the new shape of the corner I didn't know where to brake. I was really finding out. All of a sudden, I backed off and it was in the region of 130 meters or something like this and I saw everyone room and then I had to back off the brakes again and try to get a run. I saw David going on the outside and I tried to keep my line without putting him off, with full throttle, but then things happened so fast because then I saw the two Williams going side by side, I said 'ooh, there is a gap here and I'm going for it' and another three corners there was a gap inside Ralf, so I had to take it. Of course, by that time the tyres were working fantastically already and, as I said, I didn't have any major problems in terms of car because the performance was really good and I was able to push the whole time and be conservative when I had to.

Q: Was there every any chance that you were going to have to do the same thing as in Austria?

RB: Of course people will be saying many things about that, but let's just enjoy this one. It's been a fantastic run. From third on the grid to finish first is a fantastic feeling. My whole family is here, my son, my wife is here, so let's just enjoy it. I don't want to talk about Austria.

Q: Michael, you were so confident of being on the right side of the grid at the start, and yet it didn't quite work in your favour?

MS: Basically I chose the wrong side on which to brake at the start. I didn't see an opportunity on the inside. When you're very close it's more difficult sometimes to chose than when you're further back when you can see what's going to happen, you have a better view. I sort of slipstreamed Ralf, Montoya was inside, almost side by side with Ralf so I thought I had better go to the outside and see what these guys do, maybe I can outbrake them or whatever.

But then, unfortunately, as it makes a sort of kink, the outside got tighter and tighter and I had to slow down early and then I saw Rubens and Coulthard flying by, so I thought 'well, could be the wrong choice' but luckily I caught up Coulthard again in the second corner and then it was quite an eventful first couple of laps to get by Juan, which was very close actually. It was a nice battle with Ralf, very fair and then it was my job to get close to Rubens and finally everybody has seen what I did.

Q: What are your feelings about Rubens's win here?

MS: Oh, very good. He has done a superb race, he hasn't made a mistake like me and that's why he deserves to win. I think if I could have stayed close during the pit stop, because we had one lap difference, maybe we had a chance. We had an open race, we tried and I lost out because I got too close and spun off.

Q: During the closing stages, the pace did slow to 1m 36s whereas Kimi was doing 1m 33s, so obviously the pace had been relaxed. When was it decided what the strategy was going to be?

MS: Basically after the second pit stop because then, as we saw in the first stint, there wasn't any chance to overtake on the circuit because we were too similar, and then the team came on the radio and said 'you have enough gap to the back so let's take it in a safe way and drive to the finish, because you guys can't do anything on the circuit anyway.'

Q: Kimi, your equal best result in Grand Prix racing but a long way back. What was the problem?

KR: I don't know. It just wasn't quick enough for Ferrari today. The tyres and everything worked well together today and I think our car was pretty good, sometimes a bit difficult to handle in the middle of the race. We were pretty much quicker than Williams. We caught up with them and were able to overtake them, so it was a good race for us.

Q: You had a couple of battles. Was the start lively?

KR: Yeah, I think so. I touched one of the Renaults on the side, just clipped a wheel and then touched him a little bit, and was quite a close call but enough space there.

Q: Michael, in Austria Jean decided to switch positions, it wasn't the case today. Why?

MS: I think the points situation was quite a different one in these days than it was in Austria because nobody sort of knew how the season would develop and we are obviously in a much more comfortable situation now whereas in Austria we weren't.

Q: Michael, what are your feelings about Wednesday?

MS: We will see on Wednesday.

Q: And about Tuesday, I think you said it will be a very special day too for you?

MS: On Tuesday I have two special events. One is going to be to go to open our exhibition in Kerpen, which my father sort of opened up and worked on for quite a while now. And afterwards, or the other way around probably, I will be at an FIA event to promote the safety developments for road cars (EuroNCAP launch in Cologne).

Q: Michael, the team decided today that you did not need four extra points. Is the championship now almost in the bag for you?

MS: Am I champion now? I wish to say that, but it is not. We go step by step closer to it, but until it is the case there is no point thinking too much about it.

Q: Rubens, after what happened in Austria, this race, wiping the slate clean, has everything gone back to the way it was before and do you think the hearing on Wednesday will take into consideration what happened today?

RB: It doesn't have anything to do, really, I think. There was no decision today. It was a fair and square race and Austria is part of the past already. All in all I agree with what happened in Austria. It is not that what happened here is paying for whatever race, it is what is done is done.

Q: To Michael. During the last part of the race on the pit wall there was a lot of talks and Jean Todt seemed more nervous than usual. Can you explain why?

MS: At one stage we were having a bit high oil temperature while I was following Rubens closely. Probably that is why.

Q: Michael, from the pits, did someone ask you to remain in your position, do not attack for the win?

MS: The point is that if we both pushed 100 percent, and we have seen this in the first stint, there is no chance to overtake, because as I said before it is too equal. And after the second pit stop the team said drive home the race, because they knew on the circuit there is no way to overtake, so why push and why stress the material and possibly risk stopping the race, so that was the order for both of us to just drive a safe race and drive it home. And naturally, as much as he had to slow down, I had to slow down, because it would be very unfair if he slowed down and I took the chance to overtake him. That's not fair.

Q: Was the order already planned before the race or after the stop?

MS: No, we had a free race.

Q: Michael, considering you were in a free race, if the team had asked you to let Rubens overtake you, how would you react?

MS: There was no sort of question about this. It was never the idea.

Q: You said at first that the situation is different to Austria and after that you said: 'Am I champion? Not yet.' The isn't the situation the same?

MS: We are slightly different in that the points difference is quite substantial now although the championship is not finished. I think in Austria it was race number five (six), and now we are in race number nine. I think that justifies the situation. People have sometimes certain ideas, but I think that we are simply not, and at the time, arrogant enough to think that it is so easy to win this championship. I don't want to say now we are arrogant, but we now we have quite a substantially more points difference. We saw what happened to Ralf, we saw what happened to Montoya, we took all this into consideration.

Q: Michael, are you that confident that on Wednesday they will not take any points away from you?

MS: I don't think it is right to get into this sort of story at all because it is a sort of court case and you have to understand that we don't want to talk about it.

Q: How difficult was it here in Germany not to fight for the win?

MS: I did fight, very hard. I fought so hard that I went off.

Q: Except the order after the second pit stop...

MS: There is no strong feeling about it because we could not overtake on the circuit, that's it, and after the second pit stop, when he came out in front of me, I knew that's it.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , McLaren , Williams