At the European Grand Prix there was a Ferrari driver on the podium for only the third time this season, an unusual state of affairs compared to the team's successes of last year. Rubens Barrichello finished third at the Nurburgring after starting...
At the European Grand Prix there was a Ferrari driver on the podium for only the third time this season, an unusual state of affairs compared to the team's successes of last year. Rubens Barrichello finished third at the Nurburgring after starting seventh, while teammate Michael Schumacher claimed fifth place from 10th on the grid.
There has been much talk about Ferrari's difficulties getting the Bridgestone tyres up to speed over a single fast lap. Team principal Jean Todt said they had taken a "conservative" approach to the rule that permits only one set of tyres for qualifying and the race, which has made qualifying difficult.
Schumacher conceded that good grid positions are currently hard to find. "At the moment this is our weak point," he said after the Nurburgring. "We have lagged behind a little in qualifying over the past few GPs but have had a high tempo in the race, even quicker than our adversaries on some occasions. We were slow in qualifying last time out too and not fast enough in the race."
Despite this, Barrichello's third place last Sunday has given Ferrari encouragement. "Rubens finished in third and this shows that we are taking strides in the right direction," Schumacher added. "The podium finish has done the team good as it gives us more stimulus."
Ferrari will be testing at Monza and Silverstone this week in preparation for the next set of back-to-back races, the Canadian and US Grands Prix. Tyres and new components will be the focus of the work as the team seeks to solve the problem areas ready for North America.
Schumacher is taking a few days off but knows there's still a lot of work to be done, and not just in regard to qualifying. "We have to go on working on every detail in every sector," he said. "F1 is so complex that there is never one single element that leads to victory or defeat."
As for the friction between the teammates after Barrichello took issue with Schumacher's driving in the Monaco GP, Michael denied there was any problems within the team. "Having different points of view can be constructive," he remarked. "Our team is as united as ever. We have to stay calm to get back to being on top."
So does Barrichello's podium at the Nurburgring herald the start of the Ferrari revival that many have been expecting? Only time will tell but Rubens is confident. "I feel we are coming back to where we should be and hopefully we can start winning races soon," said the Brazilian.