Ferrari in the Hunt, Says Brawn

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn believes that Michael Schumacher's second row grid position for the French Grand Prix has provided all the evidence he needs that the reigning World Champions are now back in the hunt for the World Championship

Ferrari in the Hunt, Says Brawn

Although Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello took a major points haul from the North American races in Canada and the United States, their results owed more to circumstance than out-and-out pace.

But with a new tyre from Bridgestone and developments to the aerodynamics and engine of the F2005, the Ferrari has proved to be quick throughout the Magny-Cours weekend - leaving Brawn optimistic.

"I think things have been gradually getting better," he told ITV. "Indianapolis did not show it but we had quite reasonable lap times there.

"What is good here is that we have got good first lap performance which we have been lacking. We have got a new tyre here, which is better in that respect, plus a bit more from the aero and the engine. I would like to think that we are in the hunt (for the title.)"

Ferrari focused a great deal of attention overnight on improving the long-run pace of the F2005 after struggling for consistency during Friday practice, and Brawn is hopeful that the car is now better suited in that area.

He did say, however, that he was a bit baffled about why the pace of Schumacher dropped away over the course of his qualifying lap at Magny-Cours.

"His middle sector wasn't good at all and it was slower that he did this morning. Considering what we do with the engine revs and tyres, we would expect to gain some time.

"Michael came on the radio and said the middle sector wasn't good, so we need to look into it."

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