Schumacher not shocked, Fisichella delighted

7th March 2005, Comments 0 comments

7 March 2005, MELBOURNE - A mildly subdued Michael Schumacher left Australia for a holiday on Monday while Giancarlo Fisichella was flying high after his victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix triumph. "Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella wins ... to lay down the gauntlet to titleholder Ferrari," said local daily The Age on Monday. But England's The Guardian warned: "Do not be fooled by Giancarlo Fisichella's masterly victory in the Australian grand prix. "Rubens Barrichello's storming run through

7 March 2005

MELBOURNE - A mildly subdued Michael Schumacher left Australia for a holiday on Monday while Giancarlo Fisichella was flying high after his victory in the season-opening Australian Grand Prix triumph.

"Renault's Giancarlo Fisichella wins ... to lay down the gauntlet to titleholder Ferrari," said local daily The Age on Monday.

But England's The Guardian warned: "Do not be fooled by Giancarlo Fisichella's masterly victory in the Australian grand prix.

"Rubens Barrichello's storming run through the pack from 11th on the rain-spoiled starting grid to second at the chequered flag served as a graphic reminder that Ferrari are still on the competitive pace and poised to bounce back with a vengeance."

The debate shows that there remains uncertainty whether the other teams have finally caught up with Ferrari or whether Schumacher simply had bad luck and Barrichello's run rather showed the Scuderia's potential.

"The whole weekend was a mess," said seven-time world champion Schumacher, who crashed out in the 43rd lap in a collision with compatriot Nick Heidfeld, suffering his worst result at Albert Park since 1998.

Schumacher managed only 18th place in a rain-marred first qualifying and had to start the race from 19th place on the grid after an engine change bumped him 10 places down.

Now the German is in the unfamiliar role of having to play catch-up in the next races, with the 2005 Ferrari not ready until the fourth or fifth race of the season.

While some news reports suggested that the alarm bells are ringing, Schumacher rather took confidence from Barrichello's great performance into a short holiday with family and friends ahead of the March 20 Malaysian GP in Sepang.

"The result shows that our car is more competitive than we believed. That gives us a lot of confidence for the next races," he said.

Race stewards rated the crash between Schumacher and Heidfeld as a normal racing incident and Schumacher also insisted that he had not deliberately cut into the way of the Williams-BMW driver.

But Germany's Bild daily thought otherwise, naming him "Rambo Schumi".

Renault, meanwhile, basked in their success of Fisichella's triumph and a third-place finish of fernando Alonso.

"We will fight for the title with Ferrari and McLaren," said Fisichella after his second career victory which was never endangered from the pole position.

"Hurrah Fisichella, Schumacher flops," said Italy's La Gazzetta dello Sport.

As delighted as Renault was the Red Bull team formerly known as Jaguar, who managed an astonishing fourth-place finish from veteran David Coulthard ahead of the best Williams and McLaren drivers, Mark Webber and Juan Pablo Montoya. Christian Klien also got points in seventh place.

"This was a fantastic start and a good basis for the future," said team chief Christian Horner.

DPA

Subject: German news
 

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