The design of the Williams FW26 drew a lot of attention when it was unveiled in January, while the Ferrari F2004 appeared much the same as its predecessor. Some may have been disappointed by the seeming lack of innovation by Ferrari but as Rubens...
The design of the Williams FW26 drew a lot of attention when it was unveiled in January, while the Ferrari F2004 appeared much the same as its predecessor. Some may have been disappointed by the seeming lack of innovation by Ferrari but as Rubens Barrichello pointed out, looks can be deceiving.
Ferrari spent much of its time over the winter in private testing while Williams and others grabbed the headlines with good test times. Barrichello agreed that some teams had lived up to the winter expectations but is happy to see that the critics' doubting predictions for Ferrari failed to be accurate.
"There had been a lot of speculation before the start of the season that teams like Renault and BAR-Honda had made a step forward and that seemed to be the case in Australia," he said. "In fact the only speculation that proved not to be true concerned Ferrari: we were faster than people had expected."
"In all the pre-season gossip, the F1 commentators appeared to be overwhelmed by the nose on the BMW-Williams, thinking that a car had to look different to be quick. At the launch of the F2004, observers seemed disappointed that it did not look so different to the 2003 car and therefore reached the wrong conclusion about our performance."
The new Saturday qualifying format has attracted a lot of criticism and it's speculated the system may well be changed within a few races. Barrichello agreed that it was not an ideal format this season and there's not really much point to the first session now that the second follows on immediately.
"With the new one-day format, the first half of the session is much less exciting," he commented. "I think there was no point to the first half, with no one taking any risks, so it is not so entertaining for the public. Personally, I would like to see the format changed, possibly back to last year's rules and I don't think I am alone in that."
The Brazilian is pleased to see other teams on the grid making challenges after progress over the winter but, naturally, is happiest about Ferrari's performance. "I predicted that Renault would be quick this year and they are," he said. "It is nice to see other teams like BAR-Honda challenging as it provides some variety. But I am more excited about the fact that our car seems to be going well."