Ross Brawn Q&A

Michael Schumacher can do no wrong at the moment, and his sixth win of the season in Magny-Cours has extended his lead to a point where only an extraordinary set of circumstances will let David Coulthard and McLaren back into the picture. Once again Ross Brawn's strategy worked well and, after shadowing Ralf, Michael got into the lead after the first stops. Thereafter he came under little pressure, and just had to make sure that his tyres stayed in good shape while leaving himself a comfortable margin. Number two Rubens Barrichello, meanwhile, jumped up from eighth to third after a charging three-stop race. Adam Cooper spoke to Ross after the race

Ross Brawn Q&A



"Actually I think for Rubens, after starting eighth on the grid, it was a great race. There's always a first section of the race that's very tense because you don't know what the other guys are doing, whether they've got more fuel on board, or what the situation is. But Michael managed to stay in touch with Ralf in that crucial bit. We filled it short for a second short stint, and it seemed to work out from there. Ralf struggled on his second set of tyres, which he did at Nurburgring, and from then on the only thing we had to watch was Montoya, because we knew he was on a hard tyre, and he was going quite quickly at one stage. We wanted to make sure we kept a decent gap on him. So Michael's race really, after the first stint, was straightforward."



"It seemed to, yes. Michael was very cautious on the last set, because what we were concerned about was that it was a longish stint. We wanted to make sure that the tyres didn't go away before the end, and he'd be defenceless against someone coming on strong. When he went out and the situation stabilised in the third stint, then he backed off a lot to make sure he had good tyres if he needed them, and he didn't need them."



"I hope he can do better! No, he's very, very good. We spoke the other day about the fact that people are asking whether he was there, and I think we'll only know he's there when he goes down the other side, and there's absolutely no sign of that. He drove a faultless race today. It was another masterful performance."



"It would be nice to have finished it before the end of the season. It would be great because we could approach the last few races just a little bit more relaxed from that side. But then we all know how quickly things can turn round. But we're not taking any chances, and everyone's staying on the case very intently for the rest of the season."



"Obviously, for the rest of the season, they've got to start trying to win races. And now we've got Williams in there as well. In previous years if we floundered they won, or if they floundered we won. Whereas now, if one of us flounders, Williams are in there as well. You don't get the 'default points' quite as easily as you used to. I'm sure it's going to make it more difficult for them."



"Yes, they were very good. After the test we were very concerned, but they brought a new compound here which you could see in the race was a match. It looked like Ralf's first set were well scrubbed, and that gave him stability. Of course they didn't have the second set scrubbed or the third set scrubbed, or scrubbed as much, and I think he then started to struggle for that reason. That's what happened at Nurburgring."



"You'll have to ask Bridgestone that. We test, we tell them what we think, and up until now we've not had any conflict. What we find to be good, McLaren find to be good. We both ran the same tyre this weekend, and so in some ways fortunately there's been no conflict between the two teams in what we think is the better tyre. Of course McLaren as well as trying to beat us are going to have to start looking behind them at Williams. I don't think there's any favouritism on the tyre. This compound suited everyone, every team ran it, and it was a good result for Bridgestone."



"We'll be running a similar philosophy of this compound, so I'm hopeful that we'll make another step there. You can do it with one stop, but I think it will be a two-stop race, or there's an opportunity for two stops. And of course as we know we're a bit limited on [fuel] capacity, so every race that is not a long one stop, bring them on!"



"We struggled initially a little bit because we don't go there very often - we go there once a year, and then for the race. So obviously everyone else was up to a good standard and it took us a day or two before we got the car sorted out. We finished in reasonable shape, but I think we've got some things we want to tune in for the race that we understand now, so I think we should be OK."



"I didn't know that! But I think the parties could wait until the end of the season, and then we'll have a big one. We'll keep our feet on the ground until it happens."

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