Mario Theissen Q&A

It's not been a great start to the season for BMW Williams, although if Juan Pablo Montoya had not spun in Melbourne, we might now have a situation where four different teams and drivers had won the first four races. As it is, the team is still trying to find the pace it had last year. There were some good signs in Imola, where Ralf Schumacher qualified second, right behind his brother. The race would prove that his fuel load was only one lap less than that of Rubens Barrichello, and two behind Michael. Ralf led in impressive style for the first stint, but his race fell apart and he eventually finished fourth, while Montoya was never in the hunt after a pit disaster led to an extra stop. Adam Cooper spoke to BMW motor sport director Mario Theissen about a mixed afternoon for the team

Mario Theissen Q&A



"The first stint was OK, and Ralf was able to control the race, but after the first and second pit stop we didn't really get on those lap times."



"No, not yet. We still have to analyse the data. But I think it must have to do with tyre performance, and the tyre/car behaviour."



"That's right. Looking at the whole weekend it was certainly a step forward. We have shown that we are competitive again over one lap, on Friday and Saturday. In the race we saw a good first stint, with Ralf being in the lead, and only after that we were not able to replicate the good lap times, so this is something we have to work on."



"We didn't know of course, so that was certainly rewarding."



"The fuel rig didn't work. They tried Ralf's, and it didn't work either, so he had to come in one lap later again."



"That's what I said to Frank - I'd really like to see how many fuel rig failures there were over the past three years! You could say it's not acceptable."



"I'm sorry for him. He could have been third, or should have been third, which certainly would have been rewarding for him after such a difficult weekend. But still under these conditions fourth position is a very good result for him, and he didn't make any mistakes."



"You could say that was a mistake - he tried to start in second gear instead of first. After changing to first it was OK."



"It's certainly not what we hoped to achieve, but that's racing. For me the most important thing is to have seen our car competitive in qualifying, and in the first stint as well."



"I don't know. We have to wait for another four races. Certainly this is a power track, with an uphill straight, and engine power counts, which should suit us. Maybe it suits the car as well, as we have been strong for the past two years."

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