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Vous êtes dans: Accueil » Archives » Courses 2001 » Grand Prix d'Australie » Conférence de presse

Grand Prix d'Australie

Albert Park - Conférence de presse

Dimanche 04 Mars 2001
06h40
M. Schumacher (Ferrari)
1 Michael Schumacher
(Ferrari F2001)
en 1h38'26"533
D. Coulthard (McLaren)
2 David Coulthard
(McLaren MP4/16-Mercedes)
à 0'01"717
R. Barrichello (Ferrari)
3 Rubens Barrichello
(Ferrari F2001)
à 0'33"491

Les interviews d'après course

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Question: Gentlemen, we obviously share your concern and sorrow as well for the marshal and his family and hope you can answer one or two questions about the race itself. Michael, first of all, the car seemed to be absolutely perfect, the pace was phenomenal. Was that the case?
Michael Schumacher: Yes, basically, yes. I mean, any time I needed to be fast, I was able to go fast, and what is good is that finally we seem to be able to do good starts as well. So all in all, it's the way we wanted to be and for that reason we can obviously be confident for the rest of the season, but obviously we know there is no reason to be overconfident.

Q: What about in the closing stages, because you did lose time today in the closing stages?
MS: Yes, I mean I think I just need to finish first. I don't need to have too many gaps, and so I just drove easy and calm to drive the race home. It's obvious that none of us have done too many race distances before this first Grand Prix, and you don't want to stress anything more than is necessary.

Q: At one point, we saw you make a strange hand movement - in fact, I reacted, I'm sure one or two other commentators reacted - the wrong way. It looked as though you were almost putting your hand up as though to say, "Got a problem"?
MS: No. I have had some problems all weekend with air coming through my helmet and going on to my eyes, but I taped it, I closed it, and I put some kind of strips to take it away. I had to take it away because there wasn't enough air in the helmet. I took it away, but then again I had the problem to have too much air. It is something I need to sort, but I hope we can do that.

Q: Then another time, on lap 28, you seemed to virtually disappear in the cockpit under braking, almost straight forward. You don't remember that?
MS: Maybe I have looked at something, but no.

Q: But otherwise, no major alerts?
MS: No. My neck is still okay. I could still keep my head up. I mean, that's not a problem. So, no.

Q: Thank you very much, Michael. David, if I can come to you. Your start was a bit lively, wasn't it? I should think it was a bit too much, being pincered by a couple of Jordans. What happened there?
David Coulthard: Obviously I made a better start than the Jordan and the Williams, and I went to go between the two of them, but as I went between the two, I think the Jordan was moving over to try and squeeze the Williams. I thought we were really in deep trouble because my front wheels were in front of both their rear wheels, and that's the worst scenario you can have. When we all touched, thankfully they separated and allowed me to brake and get out of the way, because it was clear there was no space for me to go. Then I think it was Montoya came down the inside at the first corner and promptly disappeared onto the grass. And then there was just cars going all over the place, the usual sort of over- eagerness at the first race of the season.

Q: Was there any damage at all, any lasting effect from that bump?
DC: I think it came either side on the wheels, so it avoided the wings. I was very lucky. Then obviously I benefited a little bit from being able to pass the Jordan and the Williams later, around the outside into turn 4, because the car seemed quite good on the brakes. And then when Rubens had a problem with the Prost, again it was possible to pass them. So all things considered, I have to be happy with six points out of this weekend.

Q: Was there any suspension alert, any communication between yourself and the pits after Mika went out?
DC: No. I don't actually even know why Mika went out. I guess that means it was suspension failure, does it?

Q: Well, it certainly looked like it, yeah.
DC: We have to wait and see when the car comes back, but certainly you know, any failure, we didn't go into the race expecting anything to be fragile in terms of the chassis. Of course, you never can be 100 per cent sure, and other systems in the car, but we had no particular concerns in those areas. So if something has failed, there would be no particular reason to pull me out of the race for that.

Q: When Michael was pulling away from you, it seemed as though section 3 was the problem. Is that the case?
DC: It certainly seems like that is an area that he is particularly strong in on the circuit, so clearly we have to home in, try and work out the speeds of the corners and what our car balance is and try and work on that for Malaysia. You know, they've been setting the pace all weekend and we have been catching up, and that's a new situation for us over the last few years in Melbourne, where obviously it was something that we were back and forward with, both the teams last season. So we just need to work a little bit in the Magny- Cours test before Malaysia, and hopefully take a step forward.

Q: Overall, what is the feeling about your result today?
DC: I think from my point of view, I'm obviously a fortunate person to get six points because normally if you start sixth, it's a lot more difficult. I would imagine the team are disappointed, obviously, for whatever the particular problem was with Mika's car, but you've always got to expect some reliability issues in the first race. You hope you can get two cars to the finish, but I don't believe any team would put a lot of money on both their cars making it so far.

Q: Thank you, David. Rubens, if I can come to you. Again at the start, you seemed to be a little bit swamped by the others. What happened there?
Rubens Barrichello: It was a difficult race since the beginning, because I had all sorts of troubles. I didn't have a particularly good start and then I was overtaken by Ralf and Frentzen and Mika, but I was running a lot faster then they were. I tried to overtake Ralf, he came in on the inside and lost his brake position, so he went straight. That was lucky on my side. Then when Frentzen - he never gives up. I was already on the inside by much more than a half a car and he never gave up, and obviously he came and just took me into the corner. Then he damaged, I think, the toes of my car, because I could see the front left tyre wasn't doing what I wanted, and then I was running off the track and I couldn't keep the pace. Then eventually I don't think it was a Prost, I think it was a Minardi with Alonso, the new boys coming on to the race, and probably he didn't look at the blue flags at the end of the straight, he just wanted to keep on going fast, and obviously I had no space to go and I had to go kind of on the grass. David had a good run on me, and I couldn't go beside him because the problem that I had with the car was to the right- handers and I had so much understeer when he went around the outside. The only thing I could do is touch him, but the car was already damaged, so it was not worth it. Then right at the end, another problem occurred when Ross told me to completely back off because I had a problem with the oil, so he told me to back off.

Q: We could see actually that your front left tyre, the grooves had virtually gone.
RB: Exactly, I think the toes were running completely different because the right tyre was completely new and the other one was gone big time.

Q: Michael, it took you 10 years to win your first Australian Grand Prix. Now you've won back- to- back, how does that feel and can you do it again next year? Can we stop you?
MS: Find out. We'll see. It's hard work we've done over winter to be back here where we are, but obviously we worked well enough compared to previous years, especially the last year, where we were already better than the years before, and finally we have a car which is capable of doing pole positions and winning races straight out of the box, and is reliable on top. So that's a great sign, but next year is another year.

Q: For all three of you, the grip on your tyres, faster lap times - do you feel more tired than last year after a race?
DC: I only managed 11 laps last year, so I feel more tired.
MS: No
RB: Eventually, you test a lot over the winter with the new rules and you get used to it, and we had a lot of laps behind the pace car, so it was quite easy going.

Q: David, you passed Rubens around the outside. Were you aware of his problem just before you decided to do that? Was that planned?
DC: No. I obviously saw him have contact with Heinz- Harald, but I can't see over the front of his car to see if he had a problem or not. I just saw obviously he had been blocked by the Prost coming out of the first corner and I had momentum, and the way modern Formula One is, there is so little difference in speed between the cars that it takes something like someone having to lift on the exit of a corner for you to get the momentum to overtake. It's very difficult to just out- power them on the straights; you have to take these opportunities when they come.

Q: David, obviously Michael said he was cruising at the end. Did you know he was cruising or did you think you could actually catch him and pass him and for the lead?
DC: No, I think that, from a driving point of view, you know exactly what is happening. You don't suddenly go from maintaining the gap to then the gap reducing, without someone either having a problem and/or just cruising. And I think the majority of races, you will see the driver who is leading will back off towards the end because if you have enough in hand, then, an incident aside, there is no point taking the risks.
source: FIA.com
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