Ferrari Confident of Bouncing Back

Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt sees no reason why his team cannot solve their current problems in time for the San Marino Grand Prix later this month, despite failing to score any points in Bahrain on Sunday

Ferrari Confident of Bouncing Back

Although the new F2005 proved to have speed, with Michael Schumacher grabbing a front row grid slot and challenging for the lead in the early stages, he was eventually forced out with a hydraulic failure.

Teammate Rubens Barrichello suffered gearbox problems throughout practice and qualifying and was hindered in the race by excessive tyre degradation, which saw him lose eighth place to David Coulthard on the final lap.

But despite another setback in the team's hopes of winning the World Championship, as Renault's Fernando Alonso took his second win of the season, Todt believes he has seen enough to know that Ferrari can get it together in time for Imola.

"It is disappointing, but we have also learnt that the F2005 is competitive," he said. "It is clear that we have a lot of work to do to improve its overall reliability, along with our partners, first and foremost Bridgestone.

"The net result of these first three races outside Europe is certainly a negative one and not up to our standard. However, I am convinced that we are totally capable of recovering in time for the race at Imola, where we will race in front of so many of our fans."

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said: "The result is obviously very disappointing, but there are a lot of positive indications to take away from this weekend. We knew that bringing the new car was going to be a tough challenge.

"Michael had a reliability problem in the race, while Rubens' reliability problems earlier in the weekend meant that he had no set-up time. He was not able to make the most of the car in the race for that reason.

"Michael on the other hand, was very confident going into the race and was very comfortable with the position he was in. Because he retired, we did not get to see it, but I think the strategy we had would have been competitive. Now we have to work with our partners to make sure we make a big step forward for Imola and get back to where we want to be."

Although clearly disappointed with his first mechanical retirement since the 2001 German Grand Prix, Schumacher backed the decision by Ferrari to bring in the F2005 earlier than had been originally planned.

"For sure, I have to be disappointed with not finishing the race. But on the positive side I can look at the fantastic effort made to bring the new car here and it was absolutely the right decision.

"Up until I retired, the car was very competitive and I am sure it will be even more so in the coming races. I retired because I had no hydraulic pressure, so I could not change down through the gears, which is why I went wide and had to use the run-off area. We worked hard to get the new car here and now we must continue to do the same to develop it further. Now I am looking forward to Imola."

Barrichello himself added: "I think this has been a weekend to forget for me. I had only driven four timed laps before the race and then I made up ten places in just a few laps.

"In qualifying, the tyres were great over the single lap and they were good in the first part of the race. However, after that I began to get too much oversteer as the tyre degraded badly and my lap times therefore got slower.

"Some of that problem came from the fact that with hardly any running over the two previous days, I had to use Michael's set-up and I think I could have done better if I had been able to chose a set-up better suited to my driving style. That is why I began to lose places.

"Even if I could have held up Massa and Coulthard under braking, they could pass me out of the corners and that's what happened. We now have three weeks before Imola and we will be testing in Barcelona, which is very hard on tyres, and we must work very hard to understand our problems in this area and with the reliability of the car. We have time to improve."

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