Atlas F1 News Service, a Reuters report

Brawn Laments Lack of Speed

Monday August 14th, 2000

After losing the championship lead following five months at the top, Michael Schumacher must dig out somethng special in Belgium next week from a car his Ferrari team agreed was simply not quick enough.

Mika Hakkinen's third win of the season in Sunday's Hungarian Grand Prix lifted him into first place for the first time this year and with a two-point lead and five races to go.

But more worryingly for Schumacher, Ferrari said Hakkinen's McLaren had produced speed in Budapest they could not match.

Technical director Ross Brawn, the man responsible for Ferrari's strategy and performance, said after the race: "Our pitstops and our race strategy went well, but we just weren't quick enough. We'll be going back home and thinking about what we can do in preparation for the Belgian Grand Prix.

"The tyres were good, but maybe we were just too cautious with them."

His team's sporting director Jean Todt added: "For the first time this season, we have lost the lead in the constructors' and the drivers' championships, even if it is just by a single point or two.

"We are back to where we were just before this race, but with the positions reversed with our main rivals. We can say that the championship will start again at Spa-Francorchamps."

Schumacher regards the Belgian track as his favourite after making his debut there, for Jordan, in 1991 and going on to win four times.

But he knows that Ferrari need to find something extra, as McLaren did overnight on Saturday, to keep pace.

"Although we were quick on the first two days we did not pull out enough for the race," he said. "We will have to look into that. We have some good ideas on how to improve, but I am sure our rivals also have. We will have to see at the end of the season who has done the best job in reacting to this challenge."

McLaren technical director Adrian Newey said that Hakkinen's win was due to two main factors -- his brilliant start and the improvement in his car, brought about by the team's hard work overnight to change the set up and improve it.

"We worked very hard to try and get the set-up right, especially the balance and it paid off after all the hard work on Saturday night," he said. "It made the difference. But Mika did really well for us."

It was vital for Hakkinen to take the lead into the opening corner because overtaking is so difficult on the Hungarian circuit and he achieved that with a bold diving move down the inside of Schumacher.

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