Ross Brawn Q&A

As last year Ferrari scored a victory on the first appearance of its new car, vindicating the decision to hold it back until reliability issues had been sorted. The F2003-GA ran almost troublefree through the Spanish GP weekend, at least in terms of what could be seen by outsiders, apart from a water leak for Rubens Barrichello on Friday. However, technical director Ross Brawn admits that it wasn't as easy as it might have looked from the outside, and says that there is much more to come in terms of performance once the team gets to know the new machine. That must be a bit worrying for rivals, although McLaren does at least have its own new model on the way. Adam Cooper spoke to Brawn after the race

Ross Brawn Q&A



"It's a relief we got through it. I hope things can get better now - it can only get better. You can't take that for granted, but really things should improve now, and we should get it know the car, we should learn how to work with it, and the drivers will learn how to use it. So I'm very hopeful that things will improve from here. But I'm sure it will for other teams. McLaren have got a new car coming, so we're facing a very tough season."



"I think they were two highly-skilled drivers, by the looks of it!"



"They were sensible today. They didn't hit each other. They had two Renaults breathing down their necks, so it couldn't be, 'After you sir.' It was fine."



"The balance of the car wasn't as good, and he was just damaging the rear tyres, and the rear tyres were going away very quickly. He could make the pace for the first few laps, but then the rear tyres started to suffer and he fell back. It was a bit unfortunate. Whereas Michael had a bit better balance and could hold the pace a lot better."



"We weren't happy with the car this weekend, in terms of what we got out of it. I think we can get a lot more out of it. This is the start of the learning curve with the new car. We've topped out on the old car, although I'm sure we could have done well today with it, but there's no potential. But it's going to be an interesting season. You've got guys like Alonso and Raikkonen coming through, and they're pretty impressive."



"Well aerodynamically it's very strong. That's probably the biggest step we've made, and that's where we see the biggest potential."



"It's a little difficult to say here, because we had a tyre here that we had in the test. It was suffering a bit today, but whether the old or new car would have been better on these tyres, I'm not sure. Certainly with Rubens we didn't find a good balance, and then he hurt the tyres a lot because of the balance of the car. But it's difficult to say which would have been best."



"I don't know! It's impossible to say. This new car is faster, but maybe with the old car, you know it a bit better, and you can make more use of it. But we had to start with the new car to have a chance of winning the championship this year. It's got lots of potential, it's won its first race, and the guys have done a fantastic job in terms of reliability and preparation. So hopefully this is the start, and it can only get better."



"We were sensible, yes!"



"It was a surprise how close Renault were this weekend, particularly when you look at the other Michelin runners, who didn't seem to be very competitive at all. So it was interesting to see how competitive Renault were. There are a lot of things that we can still do with the new car that we're going to be doing in the next month or two, and then I think we'll be able to start to judge it and see what it's like."



"Yes, once the pit stops were over there's no point in thrashing the car, so we just kept the same gap. We got a little bit concerned about traffic with da Matta and Ralf having a ding dong, but once we got through that, then we were managing the last part of the race."



"Well, I'm sure with every car if you stick another 100bhp on it goes quicker. But what price do you pay for that 100bhp, if you've got a higher centre of gravity, more fuel consumption, and all those things. They've got a very low engine, and if that's the reason that they're not getting such great power, then they're also getting better handling because of it. You make that compromise. That's how I see it. I don't know how much power they've got, but it doesn't look that much further behind!"



"Maybe it helps that they all take it in turn to have their success. It certainly won't do us any harm. But we're still behind McLaren in the championship, and we've got to get in front."



"I haven't heard much about it. We all build cars because they're better than the old ones, and one assumed they're going to build a car which is better than the one they've got now. But the tyres are going to be absolutely vital for the championship this year. Last year we had a good advantage here with the tyres, and we didn't enjoy that advantage this year. So ourselves and Bridgestone have got a little work to do."

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