Ferrari plays second fiddle to Williams

Ferrari came away from the European Grand Prix at the Nurburgring with both drivers having scored points, but the team was less than happy that Michael Schumacher had spun out of an overtaking manoeuvre by Juan Pablo Montoya and ended up fifth, two finishing positions behind team-mate Rubens Barrichello

Ferrari plays second fiddle to Williams

Technical Director Ross Brawn had some strong views about the incident with Montoya: "I wasn't happy with Juan Pablo's move on Michael. Some drivers have some class about them, as shown when Michael and Mika Hakkinen had many great battles between them. But that move was crude. It's disappointing."

Schumacher was more reflective: "In my opinion, it was a straightforward racing incident," commented the German. " He was faster than me, tried to pass, gave me just enough room to survive. Maybe I could have wished for a little more space, but I have no problem with Juan Pablo over this. No one was to blame.

"Of course, I'm happy for Ralf, keeping it in the family for our home race. And, considering that my lead in the world championship has now increased to seven points, I can't really complain about the result."

Barrichello also had mixed feelings: "You're never really happy with third," said the Brazilian, after finishing almost 40 seconds down on race winner Ralf Schumacher. "But, considering the difficulties that I had with the balance of my car, this is a fairly good result.

"I had a good start and managed to catch and pass Montoya. After that first stint, I could match the pace of those ahead but not catch them. It was disappointing that Montoya was able to get past me in the first pit stop. I was then a bit happier on the second set of tyres and was catching Michael quite rapidly."

"We expected a tough fight," reported team supremo Jean Todt, "and that's what we got. Third and fifth places for Rubens and Michael have brought us some valuable points for both championships. An initial analysis of the race reveals that our chassis, engine and tyre package was not the quickest out on the track, but its reliability allowed us to get both cars home in the points.

"Michael was fighting for second place when he spun after a collision with Montoya who was trying to pass him. Thanks to the track marshals who pushed him out of the gravel, he managed to continue, going on to score important points."

Michael continues to lead the drivers' championship, indeed having extended his points lead over Kimi Raikkonen after the Finn retired from the lead with engine failure. Thanks to Rubens' third place, Ferrari is now 13 points clear in the constructors' title race.

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