Ferrari's rather surprising off-form performance at the Monaco Grand Prix has not fazed Michael Schumacher, who is content, if not exactly pleased, to have claimed third after qualifying fifth. Ferrari never really got itself up to speed at Monaco...
Ferrari's rather surprising off-form performance at the Monaco Grand Prix has not fazed Michael Schumacher, who is content, if not exactly pleased, to have claimed third after qualifying fifth. Ferrari never really got itself up to speed at Monaco but Schumacher believes it could have been worse; it was worse for teammate Rubens Barrichello who trailed home eighth.
Young McLaren star Kimi Raikkonen retained his lead in the championship standings with his second place but Schumacher had expected a harder fight in 2003. "With Kimi finishing second, the gap is now up to four points and I have to say I am not too worried about this difference," he explained.
"I have said right from the start of the year that this season would be much more closely contested and that its outcome would not be decided so quickly. I was ready for this situation, so it has not come as a surprise. We must carry on working and stay focussed, which in fact has always been our way of doing things. On top of that, for me, this is one of the great things about racing; that nothing can be taken for granted."
Schumacher had remarked that the Bridgestone tyres were not as good as they could have been, an opinion the tyre manufacturer disagreed with. But the F2003-GA has no faults, according to the champion, and he has confidence in Ferrari and Bridgestone's partnership.
"It provided another demonstration of the fact that the F2003-GA is a really good car, capable of taking on the best in all types of situation," Schumacher said of Monaco. "It is great to feel I can count on that going into the second half of the season, which starts after the Canadian Grand Prix."
"On top of that, we know that Bridgestone has always shown total dedication and a great capacity to react quickly. This year, one can really see the effect of the tyres on the performance of the cars in the race. With the experience we have in this area and with the support of our technical partner, I think we can be confident."