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European GP Report: Ferrari

NEWS STORY
30/05/2004

Sixth win of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Michael Schumacher and thank's to Rubens Barrichello's second place, the Scuderia obtained its fourth one-two finish of the year. This was Michael's 76th career win while the Scuderia has 173 victories from 693 starts.

Jean Todt: On the eve of the race we had hoped to get a one-two finish to dedicate it to the memory of Umberto Agnelli and we are happy to have succeeded. Mr. Agnelli was usually the first to ring to congratulate us after a win, the last time being in Barcelona. So this one is for him. Michael drove some fantastic opening laps, building up a big enough lead to control the race after the first pit stop. Rubens who was on a different strategy to his team-mate, had to fight hard all race long, managing to take a great second place. The one-two is the result of a perfect day for the drivers, cars, tyres and team.

Michael Schumacher: I dedicate this result to Umberto Agnelli who was a great supporter of our team over the years. As was obvious, I had run quite light on fuel in qualifying. I had a good start and was immediately able to build up a lead as Raikkonen in second was holding up the others. It was fantastic to see how I could pull away and that gave me the edge I needed and I was confident that our strategy would work. I had some problems with traffic, particularly with Mark (Webber) when he came out of the pit lane and I just saw him in time flying towards me and I opened the door. Otherwise he would have crashed into me. We are looking very strong, but generally it was not a clean race and we were helped today because others had difficulties.

Rubens Barrichello: Yesterday, we felt Michael was a bit quicker, so rather than aiming to try and get second place on the grid and start on the dirty side, the team offered me another option and I liked it. Running two stops almost worked as I went from seventh to second, but it was not good enough to take first place. I had a good start and took the first corner cleanly with Jenson (Button) but I think I might have touched a Renault. I had to push quite hard when I was in traffic and that was hurting the tyres a bit. I think Sato's move was a bit amateur. Luckily I just saw his nose and moved over. After the incident, I lost part of my bargeboard and it was lucky the race was in its final stages as it affected the handling. It took me a couple of laps to assess what the car was doing and then the team told me to push again as Jenson was closing.

Ross Brawn: Occasionally it can be difficult to judge how the tyres will develop in the race, so having our drivers on two different strategies allowed the team to cover both bases. This choice paid off in Barcelona and it did again here. Rubens drove perfectly, even though in some stages of the race he was unable to push as hard as he wanted as the tyres did not perform quite as we had expected. Michael was amazing and his opening laps were astonishing! Once again, all I can say is that this year he is incredibly motivated. After the frustration of Monaco, Michael wanted to win again as soon as possible to be certain we were not going into a dip.

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