JULY 21, 2001
Safety is built into the F1 rules says Ferrari tech chief Brawn
Brawn was speaking in the aftermath of Michael Schumacher's testing crash at Monza last Tuesday when the World Champion emerged unhurt from a spectacular impact with the barriers at the Variante alla Roggia.
"I think it's possible that Michael might have been hurt if he'd been in the car he crashed at Silverstone in 1999," said Brawn. "That's how improved the constructional rules have been. In this situation he suffered a chronic lack of rear downforce the moment he touched the brakes,due to a breakage on the undertray."
Brawn admitted that - amazingly - the Ferrari F2001 chassis involved in the accident is almost certainly repairable, despite having sustained severe frontal damage including losing both front wheels. The team is currently submitting the damaged chassis to ultra-sound tests but Brawn believes it will be back in use with the Ferrari test team within a matter of weeks.
Brawn also refuted speculation that the accident had been caused by Schumacher persistently using the high curbs as he prepared for September's Italian Grand Prix. "It was our fault rather than Michael's," he admitted. "We can reinforce the floor and make it a bit tougher in the future."
Schumacher will be fully fit for the German Grand Prix at Hockenheim on 28 July and has been recuperating at home in Switzerland ever since the crash.