No rocket for Ralf, says Patrick

Williams technical director Patrick Head has denied lighting a fire under Ralf Schumacher by means of a strongly worded letter after below par performances from the German in Australia and Malaysia

No rocket for Ralf, says Patrick

By his own admission, Schumacher struggled to adapt to the new one shot qualifying system in the season's opening races, and rumours had circulated the paddock that Head had decided to write to the driver instructing him to improve his performance.

"No it's not true," Head said at Interlagos. "I didn't go to Malaysia but I did send a letter to Ralf, in which I was merely talking about the support level that he has on the car and how to use it best. I said that I hoped the situation in Malaysia would allow him to have a better race than he had in Australia, but it was nothing to do with pulling his socks up.

"I wasn't in a position of wagging the finger at a driver," Head went on. "The requirement was for us to improve our car but Ralf wasn't too pleased with his qualifying and some of the problems he had in Australia and I am very pleased to see that he has had a solid qualifying here. I think he thinks that he could have pulled another few tenths out of the lap, but it is better to be sixth than 17th, which he was in Malaysia. I just told him that the steering wheel was for the correcting of the car's oversteer!

"Everybody has got me down as being a thoroughly aggressive person who goes around telling drivers how they should do their job... Anyway, I am of the view that it is up to us to improve the car but we are on a slope of achieving that, so it is all part of working together to make the package stronger."

Schumacher outqualified Williams team mate Juan Pablo Montoya by a tenth of a second and three slots in Brazil, although the Colombian was quick to point out that he had been three tenths up on Ralf before encountering huge understeer in Turn 10.

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