Last year Monaco was not the greatest of races for Ferrari; Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya took the win and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen second, leaving Michael Schumacher to settle for third. His teammate Rubens Barrichello could only manage eighth....
Last year Monaco was not the greatest of races for Ferrari; Williams' Juan Pablo Montoya took the win and McLaren's Kimi Raikkonen second, leaving Michael Schumacher to settle for third. His teammate Rubens Barrichello could only manage eighth. Most teams would be fairly pleased to have both cars finish in the points but for Ferrari it was less than satisfactory.
Schumacher is looking to make amends this weekend but is well aware of the threat from others. "Last year we didn't seem to have that spark about us and this time at Monaco we want to do better!" He said. "I see no reason why we shouldn't perform well in the Principality. However, I realise that, above all, BAR-Honda are in good shape. Monaco is little like Imola and I seem to recall that they did really well there. Renault will also be a threat at Monaco."
Although it hasn't made a difference to the outcome, the last couple of races Ferrari has been slightly on the back foot at the start. At Imola pole sitter Jenson Button kept his cool to lead the first stint of the race in the BAR and in Barcelona Renault's Jarno Trulli hurtled up from fourth on the grid to beat pole man Schumacher to the first corner.
The first pit stops put paid to those challenges and Schumacher took the victories, so the reigning champion is not too worried about the start at Monaco this weekend. "For sure, it is easier being first into turn one but I am not sure that this should be our tactic," he commented. "The risk of making a false start is too high. Anyway, we don't have any problems with starting."
"We have analysed all the starts of the first five races and come to the conclusion that they are as good as the other team's, even though they don't seem to be, so I am not really worried too much about Monaco. More than anything, the pole position is more important that it is elsewhere but thanks to a sound strategy, you can win even if you start further back."
Schumacher could break yet another record in Monaco -- that of winning the first six races in a season. But aside from records, taking victory at Monte Carlo is a prestigious prize many drivers would love to claim and the German is no different in that respect.
"We always want to win and this is particularly true at Monaco," Michael explained. "I like this race, as it is such a technically demanding one. It's the fact that it stimulates drivers that makes it such a challenge. It is a prestigious challenge and this is where the stimulation comes from. I am always motivated for Monaco and this time won't be any different."