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Saturday FIA press conference - San Marino 19 Apr 2003

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2002 leads Jos Verstappen (HOL) Minardi Cosworth PS03.
Formula One World Championship, Rd4, San Marino Grand Prix, Imola, Italy, 19 April 2003

POST QUALIFYING PRESS CONFERENCE - APRIL 19, 2003
1. Michael SCHUMACHER (FERRARI), 1m22.327s
2. Ralf SCHUMACHER (WILLIAMS), 1m22.341s (+ 0.014s)
3. Rubens BARRICHELLO (FERRARI), 1m22.557s (+ 0.230s)

Published with permission from the Federation Internationale de l' Automobile.

Q. Michael, life in your car yet?

Michael SCHUMACHER: We sort of knew the old car was capable of what we proved today although it different, with fuel weight you can play a lot and it will be interesting to see in the end who ends up on what. It is great to be back here and we look forward to tomorrow.


Q. Can you take us through the last few weeks of your life? It has been a difficult start to the season and the last minute decision not to run the car here.

MS: Disappointing in a way that I knew before the season that this was not going to be another straightforward season as it was last year. Everything was perfect last year and in the two races, Australia and Brazil in particular with the weather conditions, with the weather conditions was pretty unusual compared to what we had last year and it did work against us. But at the end of the day it is a long season, we are 16 points behind the first driver but that is only after three races. On the other side it should be comfortable because we have plenty of races to go and I think we can make up for the 16 points. I think at least we will try, we will our best for all of our tifosi because I think they deserve it.


Q. Ralf you get it together for the single lap qualifying. Great lap...

Ralf SCHUMACHER: Yeah I thought after the first sector I thought it was going to be a difficult one, surprisingly amazing. After my crash in practice the team did a great job with the t-car in time and I say thanks to the team.


Q. In fact I think you were quickest through sector three...

RS: That is possible but I think after Michael had a small mistake he took it a bit easier through the last sector.


Q. You ran the spare car didn't you?

RS: Yes, after my little mistake this morning.


Q. Rubens, you also had a little mistake this morning. How did that affect you?

Rubens BARRICHELLO: Not a lot. The only problem is when you go off so close to qualifying you don't know what to expect. I didn't have the chance to run the new tyres just prior to the qualifying so the start of my lap was on a slow one. Then of course it went to a much better result and I'm happy with the third position in a way. I mean last year I was second here and I had a problem at the start, so it looks okay.


Q. Michael some of the forecasts tomorrow are for rain. What are you thoughts bearing in mind the Brazilian Grand Prix on the tyre regulation and what happened in Brazil?

MS: We only can hope that we don't see rivers all over the circuit and we said less rain than we saw in Brazil. I think it was very special circumstances in Brazil, under normal circumstances we should not fear any weather condition.


Q: That seemed to be absolutely perfect...

MS: A race driver will always say that it's not perfect, so probably in the last sector I left a little bit of time. I knew I was up in time and I was just cautious not to overdo it.


Q: Why did you feel that the car was more suited here?

MS: It's a good question: why? I don't know. I just know that Malaysia and Brazil were tough races for us. We knew that in advance. Coming here, from the experience of the test we have done, we felt very comfortable.


Q: Ralf, the problem this morning. What was it and how did you solve it?

RS: Well, the problem was simply that I overdid it. I sorted it out, just braked a bit early, that was it, a very easy solution but tough for the team.


Q: Was it a case of taking too much kerb? Were you happy with the handling of the car over the kerbs?

RS: We were playing around with the set-up a bit, to finalise and it was slightly on the nervous side and that's why I simply lost it.


Q: Rubens, as we heard, you're happy with third. Looking at the order, do you feel there are any nasty surprises for tomorrow in terms of strategy?

RB: Well, I don't really know. It's not that I'm happy, completely happy, but I feel that it's OK, because after what happened this morning you do give a little bit but I'm comfortable with that from tomorrow.