APRIL 12, 2003

Ferrari pushes back F2003 GA debut

Ferrari has announced that it will be racing the old F2002s at the forthcoming San Marino Grand Prix at Imola. The new F2003 GA chassis will not now appear until the Spanish Grand Prix. The announcement comes not long after news emerged that McLaren's MP4-18 is running behind schedule.

The F2003 GA was launched in February and has been testing ever since but it has proved to be rather unreliable to date and given the lead that McLaren has developed in the World Championship it seems that Ferrari has decided that it is better to collect some points from each race rather than risk having a faster car which breaks down. The team cannot afford to lose many more points to McLaren if it wishes to mount a serious challenge in the World Championship, particularly now that the reward for winning has been reduced.

The team says that the F2002 still has the potential to win races and it is not worth risking the newer car.

With Kimi Raikkonen sixteen points ahead of Michael Schumacher in the World Championship it would take Michael eight races just to catch up with the Finn if he finished second to Schumacher on all occasions. That would get us to ther British Grand Prix in July and would leave only five races to get ahead. The logic therefore is to try to win races with the F2002 while the new car is being developed and once it is sorted out and reliable, to bring the car into action.