disappoint yet again.
13th May, 2001
It was a disappointing day for the BMW WilliamsF1 team in Austria, when for the third time this season
neither one of the white and blue cars finished a race.
In the morning warm-up Ralf Schumacher complained about understeer, however in the
afternoon it was a different problem that brought his race to a premature end. Starting
from 3rd he overtook his brother, Michael, at the start to run in second place.
However, on lap 10 a problem with the pressure of the brakes forced him to crawl back to
the pits and retire. "I had a great start to the race, which proved our launch
control worked really well," he said. " I then had a brake pressure problem so
my pedal got longer and longer, and at the end I had nearly no pressure left. I had to
retire, that is all. Of course I am disappointed."
For the fifth time in six races his team mate, Juan Pablo Montoya, failed to see the
chequered flag. After a brilliant start from the dirty side of the track saw him take the
lead, the 25-year old Colombian refused to give in when Michael Schumacher tried to
overtake him on lap 16. As a result of their minor coming together he dropped back to 7th
after an off into the gravel trap.
He was then forced to retire on lap 10 because of a hydraulic problem. "I made a good
start and during the race the car was behaving better and better," he commented.
"What happened with Michael was just a racing incident, he braked quite late, I
braked late as well, I locked the rear tyres and ran wide. At the end we lost hydraulic
pressure, I got an alarm two corners before and I knew that was going to be it."
Technical Director, Patrick Head, spoke afterwards about his concerns over the reliability
of the FW23s. "We had a problem with the rear brakes on Ralf's car, I am not quite
certain what, but they got very hot," he began. "On Juan Pablo's car we had a
hydraulic leak, but we don't really know on what part of the system of the car. Basically
not very impressive on the reliability side."