"Okidoke, it's 10:30 - I must go to bed..."
Ralf Schumacher did not always have the best of relationships with his former team - that most English of establishments, Williams Grand Prix Engineering Ltd - but he speaks affectionately of many with whom he worked there, as his throwaway remark illustrated. So many times one has heard Patrick Head say, "Okidoke..."
Over dinner in Barcelona, Ralf was a touch wistful as he spoke of his six seasons with Frank's team. "In 2001," he said, "Juan [Montoya] and I won four races, and I really thought that was the start, but..."
Over the last few seasons, it must be said, the form of Williams-BMW has been extremely patchy. There have been brief periods - as in the summer of 2003, when Montoya and Schumacher won four of six grands prix - when the team's performances reminded one of the late 1980s and '90s, when five drivers won world championships as Williams drivers, but, as Frank and Patrick admit, in recent years consistent competitiveness has not been there. JPM's victory at Interlagos last October was the team's first in more than a year. After 2004 both drivers departed, and there was a feeling it was probably best for all concerned.