Sunday August 19th, 2001
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo said hard work and a backroom team of "exceptional people" was the secret of Michael Schumacher's fourth Formula One title.
Montezemolo flew into Bologna airport with team staff on Monday after celebrating the title win in Budapest following Schumacher's victory at the Hungarian Grand Prix.
"A lot of sacrifice, a lot of work and many exceptional people; that is the recipe for beating our greatest rivals, the biggest teams in the world," he told Italian news agency ANSA in Bologna. "We have celebrated already but we will continue today as well, because we deserve it," said Montezemolo, who is expected at Ferrari's Maranello headquarters later on Monday.
The Ferrari president had been offered the post of sports minister in Silvio Berlusconi's government following May's general election but turned down the proposal to continue his work with Ferrari. Asked if Sunday's victory had confirmed he had made the right choice, Montezemolo pointed to the reaction of Ferrari staff who had written a letter urging him to carry on.
"I was satisfied when I received the letter from 1,000 employees and from this current joy from our supporters. I dedicate this victory to them," said Montezemolo.
Schumacher's win not only secured his fourth drivers' crown but with his teammate Rubens Barrichello finishing in second place, Ferrari retained their Constructors' title for the third consecutive season. But Ferrari sporting director Jean Todt had his mind already on the rest of the season, which still has four races to go.
"We are delighted, that is obvious," said Frenchman Todt, "We have a great squad and we can be very happy - and now we are going to work".
Published at 19:02:39 GMT