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Schumacher & Ferrari .."Kings of F-1"....World Champions again !!
By L.Marvin: Editor / All photos Team Ferrari F-1 , Italy
Oct 14, 2003, 01:00 PST
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The "Kings" of F-1... 5 world championships....It's all about winning!!

Ferrari are world champions for the thirteenth time, the fifth in a row, while Michael Schumacher took his sixth title, the fourth in a row with Ferrari. In what has been the most difficult championship battle in many years. Ferrari and Schumacher again prove they are the Kings of F-1 in the modern era Grand Prix racing. Now every time Michael wins another race he will be setting another new record!!

"At Ferrari racing is only about winning" that should be the company's motto..L.Marvin

Rubens Barrichello gave the Scuderia its eighth win of the season. This was victory number 167 from 686 grands prix starts for Ferrari, the sixth in the Japanese Grand Prix. For Rubens it was the seventh victory of his career, his second this season. By far the most important race victory in Ruben's history as a driver for Ferrari.

The most important victory of Ruben's history at Ferrari

Jean Todt gave an excellent perspective of both the season and this race victory in Japan. Also you will see later in this article a complete indepth examination by Todt of his team in 2003. It can not be stressed enough the hard fought nature of the 2003 season.

Jean Todt: 'It has been an historic day. Rubens put on a fantastic performance, while Michael drove a defensive and cautious race to bring home the point which would guarantee him the title. We have won both championships, writing another page in the history book of this sport. No team has ever won five consecutive Constructorsí titles and no driver has ever had his name at the top of the record books six times. First and foremost, I want to thank Luca di Montezemolo who has always given us his support. Thanks must also go to our shareholders who have always believed in us, even in the really difficult times.

Todt's leadership again secured Ferrari's dominace

I think Gianni Agnelli would have been proud to see the car which bears his name win seven of the twelve races in which it competed. Then there are our technical partners - first and foremost Bridgestone, Shell and AMD and the commercial ones, some of whom have been with us for a long time, like Philip Morris and more recent ones such as Vodafone and Olympus. I am proud to be in charge of this dream team; which is united, determined and never gives up. Now we will enjoy this success, which comes at the end of a very difficult season, up against very strong opposition. I can assure you that we have not lost our hunger for more victories in the future. Enzo Ferrari would have been proud of what we have accomplished.'

Rubens thanking his team

Rubens Barrichello: 'I am so proud to have helped Ferrari win four of their titles and to win this race on what is considered a driverís circuit is another reason to be proud. Along with Silverstone this year, these are the two best races of my life. I want to thank everyone at home in Brazil for staying up to watch and this victory pays them back.

Ruben's & Michaels defensive starting line.

All the team, the engineers and mechanics have done a fantastic job to give us a car with such reliability and performance. My race was very tough until the final stages when I could ease up a bit. After the start, the track felt slippery and at Turn 12 going into Spoon, the car went sideways, I backed off and Montoya got past. He was very quick, but then I began to catch him, but I was having trouble with my visor fogging up, there was also oil on it and I had to concentrate very hard. I kept pushing because I was very worried it might rain, in which case I could have lost everything in just one lap.

Ruben's screams all the way to victory

You cannot compare drivers from different generations, but what Michael has done today is a fantastic achievement. I think I have had a much better year in terms of my performance, compared to last year, when I had more points and was higher in the championship.'

Ruben's now begins his fight to victory

Michael Schumacher: 'I find it difficult to say what I am feeling at the moment because, honestly, this has been a tough year, a tough last part of the season and today was one of my toughest races. But I can say what I feel about the team: they are more important and again today did an incredible job and Rubens had a fantastic drive winning in great style.

After we had been written off earlier in the year, we never gave up. The team is always fighting and that is its strength. We are a big family and we can all be proud to be part of it. Personally, I feel empty and exhausted after this race. I went flat out after I lost my nose, because I knew Montoya was out and the two McLarens were behind Rubens. I was a bit messy after the accident and it was a strange race, cutting through the traffic, especially with Da Matta and Ralf.

Michael's rollercoaster season

I knew I had to finish eighth, because although Rubens was in the lead, in Formula 1 you always wonder if the car will finish and think of the worst situation. After the incident with Da Matta, I had a huge flat spot on the tyre and the vibration was so bad I had vision problems down the straight. I was also worried about a puncture and was just trying to get the car to the flag. It feels strange, as usually I have won the championship with a victory, but now I am here in eighth place, so there are some mixed emotions.'

Ross Brawn , thinks , plans and guides his drivers

Ross Brawn: 'This was a very tough race, especially with so much at stake. Rubens did a fantastic job at the front, but we wanted to get Michael in the points just to be sure. It was very exciting. That early incident made life more difficult for us but we knew we still had a chance. We had a recovery strategy which worked okay. We did not catch Ralf at the second stop, as he took on less fuel than we did, but we managed to get him at the third one. It was very close and tough today. I think I am getting too old for all this excitement! But you always know with Michael that you have a chance. It was important to get that one point, because you never know what can happen at the front. It was actually tougher to get that point than it was to win the race. We were lucky to get away with the incident at the chicane with Michael and Da Matta. I guess Da Matta must have braked early as Michael almost hit him. This is a dream come true. I am so proud to be part of Ferrari. All the guys and girls have shown what kind of team they are. Our partner Bridgestone also did a great job. Now we go and karaoke!'

Maranello, 13th October - Ferrari team principal (Jean Todt) paid generous tribute to the men of his team and the driver who had just made history after Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro won the Constructors title thanks to Rubens Barrichelloís victory in the Japanese Grand Prix at Suzuka on Sunday.

Rubens finished over 16seconds ahead of Kimi & David

But it was Barrichelloís teammate, Michael Schumacher, who wrote his name in the record books with his sixth World Championship, beating the record of five titles won by the great Juan Manuel Fangio in the fifties.

Schumacher streaking to his appointment with destiny

But with Michael having to make an extra pit stop and his main rival potentially taking maximum points, it was an exhausting and nervous race for Todt and his team. 'It gets painful, physical pain. I think we are trying so hard to do the job, to deliver and I would say that we are fighting, like the others.

Ferrari's Pit Crew deliver another flawless performance.

They are fighting as well but I think we feel what is like a pain in our bodies sometimes.' Todt, of course, praised his team and their partners for their commitment during a tough year. 'Each year we try to achieve this and when you manage to achieve it, itís just like a dream come true,' said Todt. 'Letís say this season there was much more competition, it was much more difficult to achieve what we all achieved and we had to wait until the last race before it came.

Rubens proved he can deliver against all competitors

Now, even, if we havenít yet had the time to really enjoy it completely - because itís hard to believe, because we have been fighting so much for that - it will take a few days before we do realise it, and all the team can definitely feel proud of the job that has been done.

Now the greatest champion in the history of F-1

'The drivers did an outstanding job. Bridgestone did a fantastic job Ė all our partners. We have tried to push every single thing which could be pushed. We introduced new fuel, new oil with Shell since Monza. We were pushing each single partner to try to improve the situation and we have had to fight against a very strong opposition: tyre company, engine supplier, teams.

Todt's skills at winning are now historic

'And the last thing I would mention is probably unique, the thing we can be most proud of: a group which since 1997 has been the same, has achieved the manufacturers championship five times in a row, Michael, four times in a row driversí championship with Ferrari, plus the two years before. Heís the only driver to have six successes in the drivers championship, so definitely, even if I say that we donít realise it yet, I think in a few years we will be able to be proud about what we have achieved.'

Todt, of course, also praised his driver and explained his particular talents. 'I would say heís very focused, he has a passion for his job, heís very professional, heís always available. When he needs something, heís pushing, he wants to understand, heís curious. And on the other side, I think Ferrari has given him fantastic support, fantastic car, fantastic engine, fantastic package.

'You know itís clear that we havenít been successful all the year, because we won eight races out of 16 compared to 15 out of 17 last year. And Michael is a great guy, but he needs a great car, because a great guy without a great car will not do the job. So I think itís a fantastic combination: a few very good people all put together without any controversy ever, just looking or trying to do the job in the company. Each one has his own responsibility, each one is supported in his own responsibility and supporting his colleagues and I think that in the end it makes a difference.'

The whole championship team.

And Todt emphasized his teamís qualities. 'We are not spoiled. I think in our approach we are very humble. We respect the others a lot. We know that we make mistakes. We know our limits and I just feel that we keep our feet on the ground and we just try to do the job.
'We just spoke to Rory (Byrne, chief designer). Heís working in the wind tunnel. We spoke with Paolo Martinelli. He was in the engine department, so you know I think we are all focused, simply because we love being at Ferrari, we love being together and probably one of the reasons why none of us want to go is because we feel that in a way we would be betraying part of the group and we feel that we are not yet ready for that. Ferrari is a great company, great team, probably more pressure, but more emotion and more reward to the effort that we make and thatís the end of it.'

At Ferrari we never stop racing

It should be clear to anyone who has watched this season that Ferrari fought many problems to overcome both BMW and McLaren. Not to mention the amazing talent of Fernando Alonso.

The points system currently in place greatly deminished any reason for winning. Motor racing is all about victory and second place is meaningless as there can always only be one champion. Michael Schumacher has set a record that may never be broken or even challenged by another Grand Prix driver. Ferrari's constructors 5 titles is also well out of reach any current factory teams for many years.

The "Kings" of F-1... 5 world championships....It's all about winning!!

Michaels number of victories out stripped any other driver by multiples.

We want to thank our good friends at Ferrari for sharing and helping us share this historic event with your our readers around the world. These photos provided to us by Ferrari are for your personal collection and enjoyment of this amazing season.

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