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Car problems force Schumy to retire.
15th April, 2001

Ferrari's home race in Imola turned out to be a difficult one for Michael Schumacher. Having qualified in fourth, the German experienced problems from the very beginning of the San Marino Grand Prix.

Firstly, he lost one place at the start and dropped back to 5th. Then a gear selection problem sent him even further back to 8th place. On lap 24 a flat tyre forced him to pit for a new oneBrotherly love ?? (Schumy greets Ralf) and he emerged back on track last of all. However, after only one lap it was clear that the damage was more serious then originally thought, and he returned to the pits once more to retire.

The only positive thing for him was that his brother won his first Grand Prix. "I am very happy for Ralf. He has shown strongly in the past and he has also had some bad luck. But his time everything went well and he did it in style," he said proudly.

"This is the first time that two brothers have won in a Grand Prix. We have both achieved our goal and our parents will be very proud. As for myself, you can't win all the races. Unfortunately, I did not make a good start. Montoya and Panis were then able to pass me because I had a brief problem with the gearchange system.

"This is definitely not one of my best weekends. It was a hard race right from the start and it ended in the worst possible way when I retired on lap 25, because of what seems to be a problem with the front left tyre. Honestly, I have to say our rivals have made up the advantage we had over them. There is still a long way to go this season and I am sure we will be very competitive at the highest level."

Rubens Barrichello managed to save face for the Scuderia at their home race. Starting from 6th the Brazilian managed to stay out of trouble and finish third, 34.766 seconds behind race winner, Ralf Schumacher. "We had a great strategy, but I made a slow start with too much wheelspin. I could comfortably follow everyone and didn't know how often the cars in front of me would stop. So I pushed and tried to overtake, but it is very difficult to do that at Imola," the Brazilian explained.

"I was losing time behind Häkkinen, but I stayed out for three more laps after he pitted and that meant I could push hard and do some quick times. Our strategy involved going late for the first stop and we had to gamble a bit because of my grid position. Then the team did a great job in the pits. It was actually a great race for me as I started so far from the back. I didn't know what Michael's problem was, so when I saw him run wide, I took my chance. I was happy with the balance of my car all weekend. I think this was one of my best races in terms of being consistent and overtaking cars."

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