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Canada GP: Post-Race Press Conference

NEWS STORY
12/06/2005

Kimi, a great drive, qualified seventh, it all changed when the safety car came out just before your second pit stop.
Kimi Raikkonen: Yeah, the team called me in on that lap and then just before I came into the pitlane the safety car was out so I was in one way quite lucky that the timing was right. I had a small problem with the car that came on the first pit stop or just after, the steering wheel was turning left all the time, more and more, and I didn't know what was going on with the steering, but at least it lasted. The team did a great job and everything worked well so I am more than happy.

Did that problem persist to the end of the race, even when Michael was pushing you to the end?
KR: Yeah, the team told me to look after the car because they could see there was a problem but didn't know what it was. I was telling them the steering was too much on the left, it wasn't straight any more, and we were a bit worried but at least everything went well and nothing happened, like in the last race. And the bonus is that Renault did not score so it was a good win for us.

How near the limit were you in the closing stages, then, with Michael behind you?
KR: In one way I think I was going as quick as I could but I didn't want to push too hard and I was relaxing a bit too much and went straight on the chicane so I tried to go pushing more because otherwise I might end up somewhere in the wall. Sometimes it happens when you are not putting in 100 percent, so I thought it was safer to go fast.

And what about the other mechanical parts of the car, brakes, engine?
KR: Everything worked well, the brakes were superb, no problems at all, we had new brakes for this race and they were perfect, so thanks for them. And the engine was also very good.

Michael, you must be delighted with your drive, but so near yet so far. Swamped away from the line and side-by-side with Kimi there at the first corner. As it turned out, that was quite significant, that.
Michael Schumacher: Yeah, true, but there was not much I could do. There is no reason to do crazy things in the early stages of the race. Unfortunately, both Jenson and me had a poor take-off from the grid. It was interesting we both had the same problem and everyone behind us seemed not to have that problem. So, that meant the race was very compromised for us.

Well, maybe something to do with the track surface there. It was interesting that you were both on light fuel, so it was even more reason to have perhaps been quicker away from the line?
MS: You would think so. Maybe the answer is that the cars behind were on a more clean line than we were. We were the first cars, we had to put the line for everyone and then everyone can follow in the good one. Maybe that was the difference, who knows, but it came as it came and it turned out, finally, to be very good for us.

It turned out to be a great race for you - a three-stop strategy, safety car just on time and great closing phase of the race. How did Kimi compare with you in those closing laps?
MS: I guess I was about the same if not a bit quicker but it is not really enough to then go by in a normal situation. Obviously, I was hoping for something odd and he gave me a favour but he did not wait long enough until I was close enough to use it. Anyway, we are quite happy with our result and particularly Rubens having an unfortunate qualifying and making his way to third is a great result for us this weekend.

And what does this mean for you and the team in the races ahead?
MS: You see, if you look through the race, at certain stages we had the performance to follow and to go a reasonable pace. That was not so obvious on Friday, not at all actually, and we developed the car very well. We just still have to work on the package to get it right at every moment in track condition.

Rubens, a superb drive from the back of the grid. Not the first time you have had to do that, from the pitlane indeed.
Rubens Barrichello: Well, that is the very first time, after 200-and-something Grands Prix, the first time I started from the pitlane. So I guess I am still quite young and quite enjoying the racing because it is still something new after 200 Grands Prix. I had a fantastic race. It was actually difficult at the beginning to overtake one of the Minardi cars, which was quite fast on the straight, because I was very, very heavy. Eventually I managed to overtake and then I was catching up all the time. I was pushing the whole the time, I had good overtaking, the pit crew did a fantastic job to call me in as soon as possible. I didn't have a radio from the very first lap and I didn't have the water working, so that was my only problem throughout the race.

And what was the car like to drive with that heavy fuel load early on?
RB: Well, I guess with that amount of fuel in the car I used my rear tyres quite a bit, because the car was a bit oversteery and I was locking up the rear brakes a bit too much. That compromised my race a little bit forward but I was still good to overtake people and I was lucky that on the restart Webber went in too fast into turn one, he ran wide and Massa had to stop to take avoiding action and I overtook both on the inside, so that was quite a good run.

And, despite the two transmission problems in practice, it was great reliability from Ferrari with Felipe Massa's engine also going well.
RB: Yeah, absolutely. In a way I am just sorry we had quite a bit of a problem in qualifying because we could have hoped for even more. But saying that I am quite happy today because from dead last to first is a good achievement.

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