BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Ralf Schumacher talks about the forthcoming 2004 Formula One season. He predicts an exciting year ahead. Q: Ralf, you have been busy testing the FW26. What are your impressions of the car? Ralf ...
BMW WilliamsF1 Team driver Ralf Schumacher talks about the forthcoming 2004 Formula One season. He predicts an exciting year ahead.
Q: Ralf, you have been busy testing the FW26. What are your impressions of the car?
Q: Were you surprised when you saw the radical new nose for the first time?
RS: I have to admit that it made me look twice when I first saw it at the factory in Grove, but the engineers presented their findings and they were very promising. I found it harder not being allowed to saying anything for four months.
Q: Two revolutionary concepts in the last two years: Will the courage of the BMW WilliamsF1 Team pay off?
RS: I could check my crystal ball, but I left it at home. Of course we needed to go in new directions, the FW25 was exhausted.
Q: Will the new engine regulations propose a problem?
RS: I can't foresee any problems. The power deficit of the new BMW engine is marginal, so I think we will still have enough power to challenge for the World Championship.
Q: During testing you have had some interesting little fights with Juan Pablo. Who is going to be in front during the season?
RS: Another crystal ball question. I am only sure of one thing. We will both be fighting for the Drivers' World Championship and the team will support us both equally, even if Juan Pablo is leaving at the end of the season.
Q: Is it weakening the team that he will leave the BMW WilliamsF1 Team at the end of the season?
RS: Only from a continuity perspective, but he had his reasons otherwise he wouldn't have made the choice.
Q: What are your plans this season?
RS: It appears that for the first time I have a realistic chance of fighting for the Championship. I've been pushing myself even harder during the winter. I have never been so fit and motivated.
Q: Who is your biggest rival in the race for the Drivers' World Championship?
RS: My brother, my team-mate, Barrichello and Raikkonen.
Q: Will the title race be even closer than in 2003?
RS: I've already warned Michael to watch out as the competition is closer then ever.
Q: Along with Bahrain and China we will see two new circuits in 2004. Are you looking forward to them?
RS: Of course, I'm sure that these venues will set new standards. I also happen to enjoy discovering new countries and new cultures.
Q: The World Championship could go down to the wire in Sao Paulo. Would it mean anything to you, to be able to celebrate winning the title there?
RS: Believe me, if I won the Drivers' World Championship, I wouldn't care where I won it. We would have such a mega party it wouldn't make any difference where we were in the world.