Japanese GP Ferrari race notes

Michael Schumacher: "It's difficult to find the words to say how it feels. It is similar to Monza, but don't expect me to cry. I felt an oubreak of emotion as I crossed the line. The conditions were difficult today and the season has had its ups...

Michael Schumacher:
"It's difficult to find the words to say how it feels. It is similar to Monza, but don't expect me to cry. I felt an oubreak of emotion as I crossed the line. The conditions were difficult today and the season has had its ups and downs. It was great to finish with a win after a fight to the last corner, thanks to Mika. We have been working for this for five years and three times we got close. This is simply outstanding and special because it is with Ferrari and means much more to me than my other titles. Imagine what is happening in Italy right now. It must be fantastic. As for the start, Mika was very quick and there was nothing I could do. We made some adjustments at the first stop and they helped. Then we saw Mika going in for his second stop and I still had two laps to go. That was the crucial time, but I had some traffic and a Benetton had spun and was moving backwards in front of me as I came into the pits. I did not think I had done enough. But as I went down the pit lane, Ross Brawn was saying „it's looking good, it's looking good." Then he said „it's looking bloody good!" It was the most amazing moment of my racing career. Towards the end when I was out in front I was being careful not to go off and hoping nothing would break. We will have to improvise our celebration as I told everyone not to plan anything as I felt it would be unlucky."

Rubens Barrichello:
"I am happy to be here and to be part of such a special moment. I am happy for the team but the happiest man in the world right now must be Michael. I feel that with all the work I have done at the races and in testing and in collaborating with the engineers, I have contributed my part to this great day for Ferrari. Now I will concentrate on helping the team to win the Constructors' Championship in Malaysia. The start was the crucial moment of my race. I got away well, but then Coulthard blocked me which allowed the others to get past and so I lost precious places. Then traffic made my life difficult. When I had a clear road ahead of me, I was able to push harder but not enough to get to the podium."

Jean Todt:
"This is a joyous moment. This result was our objective from the start of the year, as it has also been in the past. I am happy and feel honoured to work with such a fantastic team and an exceptional driver like Michael. I am also very happy for the 550 people of the Gestione Sportiva who have worked intensively over the years to reach this goal. With all the attention focussed on Michael today, we must not forget the great contribution of Rubens Barrichello and Luca Badoer to the result. I thank President Montezemolo for having put the means at our disposal to achieve this result. Now we still need three points to win the Constructors' Championship again and that will be our target in two weeks time in Malaysia. Today's win came after an exciting fight with a worthy opponent. Hakkinen is a great driver and a champion, both as a man and as a professional. The race? After the start, Michael managed to make up ground on a track which was a bit slippery because of the light rain. At the second stop, we managed to get Michael out on the track ahead of Hakkinen, also making the most of the new set of tyres we had saved from yesterday's qualifying."

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Series Formula 1
Drivers Luca Badoer , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Ross Brawn , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari , Benetton