Schumacher Praises Mechanics for Dousing Fire

Michael Schumacher praised his pit crew today for putting out the fire that flared up on his Ferrari during Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, saying he had the best mechanics in Formula One on his side.

Schumacher Praises Mechanics for Dousing Fire

Michael Schumacher praised his pit crew today for putting out the fire that flared up on his Ferrari during Sunday's Austrian Grand Prix, saying he had the best mechanics in Formula One on his side.

"I have to rely on my crew in situations like that and there was in my mind never any doubts whatsoever," Schumacher said in a statement on his website. "I have the best mechanics in the pitlane and rely on them completely.

"It was super the way they handled the situation," added the World Champion, who earned the 67th win of his record-breaking career on Sunday.

Schumacher's car caught fire following problems with the fuel rig during his first pitstop. Schumacher recovered from the incident, in which his car was doused by fire extinguishers, to claim his third successive victory of the season.

"As I was ready to drive away, the motor made a brief gurgling sound - probably because some of the foam got into the intake. But after that everything stayed calm, thank God."

The only problem after that was a dirty visor.

"It was a bit hard to see because there were a lot of dead bugs on the visor already and the foam from the fire extinguishers caused a buildup of rather unclear muck," said Schumacher, who was calmly seen wiping the visor with one hand as he returned to the circuit.

Former world champion Niki Lauda also praised Ferrari's handling of the situation.

"It was sensational how Ferrari handled the incident," Lauda said in an interview with Monday's Swiss daily Blick. "First, they had refuelling problems, and then the fire. Usually the Italians panic in such situations. This time they remained cool and solved it perfectly, just like Michael did in the car."

Lauda said Schumacher knew his protective overalls would resist fire much longer than the clothing he wore.

"He could have stayed in the cockpit for much longer before he would look like me," said Lauda, who suffered severe burns in an accident during the 1976 Formula One Championship while driving for Ferrari.

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