Ferrari rue lost points

Ferrari's pitlane mishaps have led rivals McLaren to close by 10 points in the constructors' stakes and eight in the drivers'

Ferrari rue lost points

"The result is disappointing," admitted team manager Jean Todt.

"However, we have always known that even a big advantage can easily be reduced," he said.

"It was a good fight between Michael and Hakkinen, at least up to the second pitstop.

At Michael's first stop, Nigel Stepney, who operates the refuelling hose, was knocked over, as the car left the pits because of a misunderstanding with the lollipop man.

"Fortunately, his only injury was a twisted ankle. However, we lost precious time at the second stop. Then, Michael was forced to make a third stop, because of a slow puncture on the left rear wheel, which we are currently investigating."

"You cannot always have lucky races and today's race did not go so well for us," said Michael Schumacher, who ran over a mechanic in the pitlane, and then lost two places while attempting to block his brother, Williams driver Ralf.

"Maybe it had something to do with my tyre choice, but there were also other factors. But considering the problems we had, at least we have scored some points.

"We had a problem at the first stop and that gave us problems for the second one also. At the first one, the lollipop man lifted it and then put it down again. But it is impossible to stop that quickly. I felt I had driven over something and I looked in my mirror and saw a mechanic on the ground.

"As for the move with my brother, all I can say is that racing is racing."

Apart from Hakkinen Rubens Barrichello was the main beneficiary of Schumacher's collapsing race. The Brazilian nipped past team-mate Schumacher and Ralf while his ostensible team leader was swerving to try and keep the Williams behind him.

"As I was following Michael and Ralf I asked myself if they were going to crash! Then I got a good run inside and passed both of them," explained Barrichello, who took his second podium of the season.

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