APRIL 10, 2001
Brawn feels Ferrari has more in hand
Pre-season worries about engine reliability have obliged Ferrari to run its type 050 V10 engines at relatively conservative rev limits for the first three races. "Now we'd like to extend its range," said Brawn, "because we will have to in order to keep out competitive edge."
Brawn also reports that it was primarily a mistake in chassis set-up which gave Michael Schumacher such a struggle with the car in slippery conditions at Interlagos. "Since Brazil we've done some testing in the wet and, starting with the Interlagos settings, it was certainly not as good as it should have been.
"In many ways the set-up we used at Interlagos sort of evolved as we worked to accommodate the bumps at the circuit. But we have been able to draw some conclusions which will certainly help us in future races."
Brawn also made the point that he felt Schumacher, on a two stop strategy, would have pulled away decisively in the early dry conditions had not Juan Montoya's Williams-BMW jumped inside him at the restart.
"I think Michael would have disappeared and, had he done so, we might have had sufficient of a lead once the rain came to be OK," said Brawn. "That said, I think it would be a mistake to think that the outcome of the first two races this season necessarily mean we are going to have an easy time.
"We have a strategy meeting back at the factory after each race and, to be honest, I was almost happy to see our team looking so glum because it's nice to think that they are so motivated and intense about their racing to regard second place as a disappointment.
"However, anybody who at Ferrari who thought we were going to have an easy time certainly got a wake-up call in Brazil. And it was earlier enough in the season to have a good effect."