Races like those in Malaysia are typical of those at the start of the season: not totally positive, with some technical problems and hitches, but at the end of which you take a relieved sigh.
This is Michael Schumacher’s current situation following the second race of the 2006 season. He will leave for Australia on Monday to spend a few days relaxing with Corinna before the Grand Prix of Australia.
“Logically, my attention is now on Melbourne,” declared the Scuderia Ferrari driver. “We held a long and fruitful debriefing session on Sunday evening during which we analysed the Sepang race in detail. We are focusing on the upcoming Grand Prix. We know that the Albert Park circuit tends to be more favourable to us than Sepang and so we are much more hopeful. In Malaysia we wanted to claim some points and this we did, so things did not go too badly. In Australia it should go even better.”
Michael initially thought about returning to Europe to run more tests but this was deemed unwise considering the time difference, the acclimatisation needed and, above all, the planned test programme was for some physical exercise and a few days off only.
“Seeing as it was not strictly necessary, it would not have made sense travelling back. We are perfectly aware of what we can achieve in any given time frame. Thus, it would have been counter-productive.
“The Scuderia is taking into account the entire season. We knew that we would not be on a par with Renault in the opening races so nobody is too surprised, even after all the work we put in over winter. The aim was to test the reliability of the cars and to score points that could prove decisive in the championship chase.
“Overall then, I am very pleased with the first two races of the season as they went as I thought they would. We should improve even more over the coming weeks.”