Ralf: Safety Car Ruined my Race

Ralf Schumacher believes the safety car period during the Japanese Grand Prix cost him the chance of a podium finish

Ralf: Safety Car Ruined my Race

Schumacher had given Toyota their first home pole position, but the German claimed his three-stop strategy was ruined when the safety car was deployed after Juan Pablo Montoya crashed his McLaren on the opening lap.

Schumacher finished in a disappointing eight position.

"That was a pretty tough end to a weekend that promised so much," said Schumacher. "I made a great start and was getting away from the rest of the pack when the safety car came out, which was bad news for our three-stop strategy. When it stayed out for so many laps it effectively put an end to our chances.

"We still raced as hard as we could and fought to grab as much out of the race as possible. Unfortunately in the second half of the race I had quite a heavy vibration and so I had to back off again.

"Without the safety car our strategy could have put us somewhere between third and fifth place but I guess a point is better than nothing. We'll hope to do better next time."

Teammate Jarno Trulli completed Toyota's poor showing, the Italian retiring after BAR driver Takuma Sato crashed into him, leaving Trulli unimpressed.

"Sato tried a manoeuvre that was obviously impossible," he said. "He just tried to overtake me but instead he hit me and pushed me off. There was no reason to try that move so I don't know what he was thinking. He's been causing problems for a long time and the FIA has to take action to stop it.

"The race had been going okay for me until then. We started from the pit lane to try a different strategy but we never had a chance to see it through.

"I'm obviously disappointed with how the weekend has gone but I knew that these last two races would be hard before I arrived. The new car has been difficult for me all weekend. But we'll carry on and hope to get something more out of Shanghai."

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