Wednesday April 25th, 2001
German Ralf Schumacher has claimed that his decision to leave Jordan and join Williams was vindicated by his first Grand Prix win at Imola ten days ago.
Schumacher will begin his challenge in Spain on Friday and believes that the San Marino Grand Prix victory proved he was right to leave Jordan in 1999 and join the Grove-based Williams team.
"People called me crazy when I joined Williams from Jordan," Schumacher told Sky News. "We have had difficult periods, especially 1999, but we worked hard and achieved the victory in San Marino together."
Schumacher's win ended the Ferrari-McLaren duopoly in Formula One, but the German denied that Williams are in a position to lift the world championship. Despite ruling out the possibility of title glory, Schumacher claimed the Imola win was not a fluke and promised that more victories could follow this year.
"We don't have anything to prove," he added. "We proved in Brazil that we can be at the front but for several reasons we did not get the result. We try our best in every race, but we are not title contenders yet. We are just taking it race-by-race and trying to get the best possible results. We knew we were close in San Marino and we took the opportunity."
Schumacher was forced to watch brother Michael drive Ferrari to success last year, but Ralf backed the world champion to return to the top of the podium at the Circuit de Catalunya on Sunday.
"That would be great, but only if I was number one and Michael was number two," he said. "It was a shame he had a disaster at Imola, but in the tests at Barcelona he was one second quicker so it will be difficult for me."