Michel Schumacher put up a good fight in the Bahrain season-opener and his second place was a just reward for the German and Ferrari after the disappointments of last season. After winter testing, where it was hard to judge the form of the...
Michel Schumacher put up a good fight in the Bahrain season-opener and his second place was a just reward for the German and Ferrari after the disappointments of last season. After winter testing, where it was hard to judge the form of the Scuderia, the team made a strong start to 2006.
"I never thought that things would have gone so well from the very first race," said Schumacher. "If you consider how far behind we were at the end of last season, and how unlikely a win was, the Bahrain result seems phenomenal."
"We all know how difficult it is to make even the smallest progress in F1 and it is precisely for this reason that it is incredible to see what we were able to put together in order to bridge the gap. It is marvellous to see how the tiring and intense winter work has paid dividends and this, for me and for the entire team, is very pleasing."
"We couldn't have hoped for a better payback and greater encouragement ahead of the coming race. The motivation derived mainly from the fact that victory was well within our grasp. This was perhaps the only initial, though fleeting, reason to be downbeat."
Schumacher led the Bahrain race until Renault performed a very quick pit stop that put reigning champion Fernando Alonso out alongside the German. The resulting tussle saw Alonso snatch the first place and the top step of the podium from the Ferrari man.
Despite losing out to the Spaniard, Schumacher is raring to go for this coming weekend's Malaysian race. "I see no reason why things shouldn't go well," he commented. "We are all keen to kick on. I really cannot wait for this season's races. It will be a tight one but this is how it should be."
Teammate Felipe Massa lost out in the Bahrain race; a spin when running third was compounded by Ferrari fumbling with the tyres in his pit stop. A costly 45 second stop put the Brazilian out of the points. "I'm looking forward to get my own back because I know that we have everything it takes to perform well," Massa avowed.