Ralf even surprises himself

Delighted Ralf Schumacher reclaimed his position as 'best of the rest' with a last gasp flying lap that put him fifth for the French Grand Prix

Ralf even surprises himself

Afterwards he admitted he had even surprised himself.

The Williams BMW racer had complained two weeks ago in Canada that his team had lost ground to its rivals - particularly Benetton. But in France, Schumacher and Williams-BMW bounced back to the head of the pack chasing pacesetters McLaren and Ferrari as he stole fifth place off Eddie Irvine with his very last lap.

"I am very happy and, to be honest, I am a little surprised too," said Schumacher. "After the test last week I expected to be between seventh and 10th. But the team has sorted out the problems and we were so well prepared for this session.

"Now I'm looking forward to the race because I like the circuit and I have a great chance to get some good points."

Schumacher was praised by technical director Patrick Head after snatching fifth from Eddie Irvine's Jaguar.

"Very impressive. He just went out there and did it," said Head.

"This is one of our best results so far this season with Ralf being just six-tenths off pole," said BMW boss Gerhard Berger. "In the last few races we had lost the rhythm due to the chaos, the accidents and the crazy weather - but it looks like we have got it back again. What Ralf did on his last lap was very impressive."

And there was even better news in that the man ahead of him in the drivers' championship, Giancarlo Fisichella, is way down in 14th on the grid.

shares
comments
More woe for beleagured Prost

Previous article

More woe for beleagured Prost

Next article

Schumacher takes pole for French Grand Prix

Schumacher takes pole for French Grand Prix
Load comments
The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers Plus

The tough balancing act facing Schumacher’s Netflix film producers

Michael Schumacher is the latest sporting superstar to get the ‘Netflix treatment’, with a special documentary film airing on the US streaming giant’s platform this month. DAMIEN SMITH has the inside track on how the filmmakers gained access to tell the human story behind one of Formula 1’s most publicity-shy champions - while the man himself, for obvious reasons, is in absentia… 

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery Plus

The times that suggest Verstappen should be confident of F1 Russian GP recovery

For the second race in a row, Mercedes has ended the first day of track action on top. It’s in a commanding position at the Russian Grand Prix once again – this time largely thanks to Max Verstappen’s upcoming engine-change grid penalty. But there’s plenty to suggest all hope is not lost for the championship leader at Sochi

Formula 1
Sep 24, 2021
The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1 Plus

The ‘backwards step’ that is the right move for Formula 1

OPINION: With its days apparently numbered, the MGU-H looks set to be dropped from Formula 1’s future engine rules in order to entice new manufacturers in. While it may appear a change of direction, the benefits for teams and fans could make the decision a worthwhile call

Formula 1
Sep 23, 2021
The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots Plus

The floundering fortunes of F1’s many Lotus reboots

Team Lotus ceased to exist in 1994 - and yet various parties have been trying to resurrect the hallowed name, in increasingly unrecognisable forms, ever since. DAMIEN SMITH brings GP Racing’s history of the legendary team to an end with a look at those who sought to keep the flame alive in Formula 1

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background Plus

Why the 2021 title fight is far from F1's worst, despite its toxic background

OPINION: Formula 1 reconvenes for the Russian Grand Prix two weeks after the latest blow in ‘Max Verstappen vs Lewis Hamilton’. While the Silverstone and Monza incidents were controversial, they thankfully lacked one element that so far separates the 2021 title fight from the worst examples of ugly championship battles

Formula 1
Sep 22, 2021
How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus Plus

How F1’s other champion to emerge from 1991 thrived at Lotus

Mika Hakkinen became Michael Schumacher’s biggest rival in Formula 1 in the late-90s and early 2000s, having also made his F1 debut in 1991. But as MARK GALLAGHER recalls, while Schumacher wowed the world with a car that was eminently capable, Hakkinen was fighting to make his mark with a famous team in terminal decline

Formula 1
Sep 21, 2021
The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey  Plus

The forgotten F1 comeback that began Jordan’s odyssey 

Before Michael Schumacher – or anyone else – had driven the 191 (or 911 as it was initially called), Eddie Jordan turned to a fellow Irishman to test his new Formula 1 car. JOHN WATSON, a grand prix winner for Penske and McLaren, recalls his role in the birth of a legend…

Formula 1
Sep 20, 2021
The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog Plus

The squandered potential of a 70s F1 underdog

A podium finisher in its first outing but then never again, the BRM P201 was a classic case of an opportunity squandered by disorganisation and complacency, says STUART CODLING

Formula 1
Sep 18, 2021