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Post Race Press Conference
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.

: 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 competitive?

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 the race?

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.

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