Monday April 30th, 2001
David Coulthard has suggested that Ferrari's problems at Sunday's Spanish Grand Prix may have been down to more than the team's theory of a tyre vibration. Ferrari's Michael Schumacher struggled to the chequered flag with a problem which caused the team concern right to the end of the Spanish Grand Prix. But Coulthard believes Ferrari are hiding a greater problem.
"A vibration doesn't mean that you drop that far," suggested Coulthard. "You are worried about something else if you drop that much."
Schumacher eventually capitalised on Mika Hakkinen's retirement to claim a surprise victory but Ferrari's boss Jean Todt was just happy his driver had made it to the end of the race.
"It was a great relief when we saw Michael cross the finishing line," said Todt. "Because up until that moment, something could have happened to Michael who was struggling so much vibration that he had been losing three or four seconds a lap."
German Schumacher had slowed dramatically to a pace at which he felt comfortable to cruise to the end and remain ahead of Williams driver Juan Pablo Montoya to claim second. But the retirement of McLaren's Mika Hakkinen just one lap from the end proved that Formula One is a cruel game.
"I think that people in the sport know that anything can happen until you take the chequered flag," said Todt. "Fortunately, it all turned out OK."
Schumacher's victory moved him clear in the championship as his title rival Coulthard could score only two points.