Post Race Press
15th Apr 2001
1. Ralf Schumacher (WilliamsF1)
2. David Coulthard (McLaren) +4.352 seconds
3. Rubens Barrichello (Ferrari) +34.766 seconds
Q. Ralf, you've spent a lot of years watching your brother clock up over 40 grand
prix wins, and now you've done it yourself. Talk us through the start. Last year you got
on the grass at the start, this year the same again.
RS: Yeah, it was the same situation, but this year it was a bit further, and
luckily David gave me the space. I think it was a clean start aside from that. From there
on I was in front, I couldn't even believe it to be honest. Then I pulled a gap out. Then
after a few laps I thought he was going to go a bit quicker so I had to push again,
because I had to watch out for my brakes. From there on it was a pretty long race I must
say. It took ages to be honest.
Q. Notably you led every single lap of the race. David was about three seconds
behind when you came in for your first pitstop. But I noticed after that pitstop and after
your second you were very quick. Did your tyres heat up super fast - you were very
RS: As we saw in previous races we were just caught out by a bit of bad
luck really. The Michelin is a great tyre, especially in race conditions, its doing a
great job and we saw that today. I mean everything went perfect. The car setting was
great, the engine obviously so you know that's why we have the result.
Q. David, could I have your version of the start, because you were on pole
position but Ralf came through from third place and then he seemed to open up a little bit
of a gap on you before you started stabilising it.
DC: I moved a little bit just before the start and had to stop the car.
And then that's when the lights changed so I then got too much wheelspin. And to be honest
I thought I was going to be swamped at the start, but I presume Mika must have made a bad
start as well and then as I sensed Ralf was on the inside and the car was getting ready to
move that way. And then obviously I had to move to make sure there was enough space for us
all. Then I was interested to know just how quick he would be in the race. And obviously
to my great disappointment I found out he was quicker than I was, so congratulations to
Ralf on his first victory and to Williams BMW.
Q. We mentioned how Ralf seemed very quick after his pit stops, but your second
set of tyres, they didn't seem to be from the outside as competitive as your first and
third sets of tyres. Is that correct?
DC:I had a little bit of inconsistency set to set which made it difficult
for me to be really pushing the whole race. So I would say in actual fact this is the most
difficult grand prix I have had the whole season in terms of balance. But if you can still
pick up six points in those situations then it all helps for the Championship.
Q. Rubens, mixed starts from Ralf and David, but yours seemed to be very slow
away. Were you carrying a lot of fuel because you then ran on for 30 laps - fully half of
RB:Well, I think we had a great strategy to be honest with you. I had a
slow start - I had too much wheelspin. But then you know I could follow everyone. I didn't
know how many times they would stop. I was just trying to overtake. At Imola it is very
difficult to do that. I was losing time behind Mika. Luckily I had three more laps when he
came into the pits, so I could go fast. Then my race was decided there. It was a great
race for me, because I started from so far back. It was good to come up do some quick laps
and finish on the podium.
Q. Now in the very early laps Michael appeared to make a mistake and you moved
past him. I don't know if he had a problem. Then obviously later in the race Michael came
in. Was it relayed to you what the problem was with his car and did you start thinking it
could happen to yours as well?
RB:I didn't know what was going on with Michael. I saw that he had a
problem with the balance and probably he wasn't very good on braking. So when I saw him
going wide I took my chance and I saw that I was quite fast. I was quite happy with the
balance of the car throughout the weekend. I think the traffic in qualifying got us by
surprise and the start you know falling back to eighth place, otherwise I think we could
have fought with the big guys.
Q. Ralf, is this the start of something big for Williams, BMW and Michelin, three
companies that are getting back onto the big stage?
RS: It might be a bit early, but we have been pretty strong the whole
season. Obviously we have been caught out by some bad luck up to now. We have to keep on
working. We have a great package together, we just need to improve it bit by bit and it
might be possible. We'll see, we'll try our best.