Thursday February 22nd, 2001
World champion Michael Schumacher said he was better prepared than ever for a new Formula One season as he flew to Australia on Thursday for the first race on March 4.
"The F2001 has behaved very well from the first to last day of testing. It has performed brilliantly at Fiorano and Mugello," the German Ferrari driver told the Gazzetta dello Sport newspaper.
"I can say again that never before have I been able to carry out such a preparation in my career and that sends me to Melbourne full of confidence.
"I'm anxious for everything to start. I think I have an excellent car and cannot wait to measure myself against my rivals to see where we and they are."
Schumacher, who is starting his 11th year and 10th full season in Formula One, said Ferrari had completed more than their target of 4,000km in testing and had already made their tyre choices for Melbourne.
The triple champion tested in last season's car at Fiorano on Wednesday, carrying out 29 practice starts and seven pit stops while the race crew worked on refuelling, tyre changes and replacements of the front wing set-up.
"I want to race and fight on every circuit. I think it will be another great duel between us and McLaren," he said.