Sixth win of the season for Ferrari and for Michael Schumacher. It was the Scuderia's 141st victory, the twelfth in the French Grand Prix. For Michael, it was his 50th career win and the fifth at this track and his 31st with the Prancing ...
Sixth win of the season for Ferrari and for Michael Schumacher. It was the Scuderia's 141st victory, the twelfth in the French Grand Prix. For Michael, it was his 50th career win and the fifth at this track and his 31st with the Prancing Horse.
"I am very happy with the outcome of this race, as much for Michael's win as for Ruben’s really great drive. He started from the fourth row, made up two places at the start and one more on the first lap. Rubens got the most out of the change of strategy brought in at the first pit stop in order to gain him a few places. This result has further extended our lead over our closest rivals and it’s a nice way to celebrate my eighth anniversary with Ferrari. It goes without saying that the team will keep its feet on the ground and work with the utmost concentration right to the end of the championship. The whole team worked really well. Even though this is my home race, I was happy to ask Rubens’ race engineer, Carlo Cantoni to pick up the team prize in recognition of the great job done by his group of engineers, who brought a difficult weekend to a brilliant conclusion."
"I had a problem with the clutch at the start and nearly lost position to David and it was very close in the first corner. I had the inside line and he was on the outside but it was still close up to Turn 3. I knew I had to be ahead of him or it would compromise our strategy. I was alright being behind Ralf, who was very fast in the first stint. I think our strategy worked better as we went shorter than them. The fact Ralf had a problem in his first stop also helped. My second set of tyres was very good and I was flying, but then I had some problems with the third one. This is a great result and Rubens did a perfect job to make it a perfect day for Ferrari. I am too realistic to think about the championship. Until it is mathematically impossible for me to lose I will keep fighting, but this is a very comfortable lead. However, there are still seven races and 70 points available."
"I must admit I am a little surprised to be on the podium. This morning we sorted out my qualifying problems and the car was a lot better. During my first stint, I was going very well and saving fuel. Then the team came on the radio and suggested I switch to a three stop strategy. I asked if it would do more than get me ahead of the Jordans and then I agreed to try it. I must thank the team very much because it was a hell of a race. My only problem came on my last set of tyres, which blistered very early. This did not affect me in terms of putting the power down or changing direction, but it did affect my braking, especially at Turn 5. That his how David managed to come alongside me, once because I braked at my usual point and nearly went off and the second time when I got held up by a backmarker. It was a good battle, but from where I started I knew I would have to fight today. Eighth to third is a good achievement. I am very happy for the team, which thanks to Michael’s win leaves France with a first and third place."