Renault may have taken their fair share of criticism over their gamble to bring Fernando Alonso in early during his final pitstop at the San Marino Grand Prix, but Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn has defended the choice that his rivals made.
Alonso had proved much quicker than leader Schumacher during the second stint of the race and, with Renault estimating that they were going to stop on the same lap as the Ferrari, they brought him in early to try and leapfrog the German at the stops.
The gamble failed to pay off, however, as Schumacher was able to up his pace on his in-lap and managed to retain the lead after his final stop.
Renault's gamble left many onlookers baffled at the time, especially because it had been thought that Alonso could run longer than Schumacher, but Brawn thinks the reasoning behind the move was well justified.
"I think they felt they had a performance advantage and they could either take it in the pit stops or take it then," explained Brawn. "I guess they were looking at the windows they had, the traffic situation and how things were evolving.
"They could see an opportunity. Fernando was quite quick on the out laps of his previous stop and they felt that, if they could repeat that, they were able to beat us as well. Hindsight is perfect vision."
Brawn has admitted he has taken some satisfaction from the fact that the Imola victory was almost a mirror situation of last year - where Alonso held off Schumacher in the closing stages.
And he claims it makes up a little for the disappointment of the Bahrain Grand Prix, where Alonso pipped Schumacher by the matters of metres after the final pitstops.
"We did comment on the fact it was a mirror of Imola last year and Michael did comment on the fact that it was going through his mind, the race last year. He was remembering where you can challenge and where you can't.
"And Bahrain was painful as they came out of the pits just in front of us. I'm sure it was very painful for them today. That's what racing is all about."
When asked about the championship situation, with Renault boss Flavio Briatore refusing to believe that Ferrari are going to be a championship challenger, Brawn said: "I don't think Alonso thinks any one is any competition for him, but we hope to prove him wrong."