Barrichello: Ferrari Still Strong

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello believes his second place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix shows Ferrari are competitive despite using their old car.

Barrichello: Ferrari Still Strong

Brazilian Rubens Barrichello believes his second place at the season-opening Australian Grand Prix shows Ferrari are competitive despite using their old car.

Barrichello finished runner-up for champions Ferrari, behind race winner Giancarlo Fisichella and ahead of his Renault teammate Fernando Alonso.

The Brazilian, usually cast in the role of Michael Schumacher's loyal number two, charged back from the midfield to show that Ferrari remained a force despite starting the season with a modified version of their 2004 car.

"It shows that Ferrari has no crisis. We're here, we're going to fight," Barrichello said. "It's still our old car and the new car is going to give us even more pleasure."

While Fisichella started his first race for Renault on pole position and won with a 5.5 second margin, celebrating only the second win of his 142-race career, Schumacher was never in contention.

The German, winner of 13 of last season's 18 races, capped a miserable weekend with retirement 15 laps from the finish after a collision with compatriot Nick Heidfeld's Williams.

Heidfeld skidded into Schumacher and shunted him off into the gravel at turn three and although the Ferrari driver was pushed back on to the track, he pitted and retired. Heidfeld also stopped.

The World Champion's race had already been wrecked by starting 19th, with an engine change before the race, after a sudden storm rained on his hopes during Saturday qualifying.

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