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Ferrari Happenings

Montreal, Sunday 7th June

Michael Schumacher scored an outstanding victory at the Canadian Grand Prix and Eddie Irvine completed a successful weekend for Ferrari by finishing third, in a race filled with accidents, incidents, red flags and safety cars.

At the first start, Michael Schumacher moved into second place, while Eddie Irvine was seventh, before an accident saw the race red flagged.

Another accident brought out the safety-car at the second start. Irvine had a puncture to the left rear wheel and came in under the safety-car and returned in 17th place. On lap 5 when the race re-started, Schumacher was second. The safety-car reappeared on lap 13 and again on lap 20, when Michael made a pit-stop, rejoining in third place. He moved up to second on lap 23. He had to pit for a stop-and-go penalty on lap 35, which dropped him to third, but again went second on lap 38, the same lap on which Irvine made his first stop, dropping from sixth to eighth. When Fisichella pitted on lap 44, Schumacher took the lead, pitting again on lap 50 and maintaining his lead to the end. Eddie made his final stop on lap 55, when third and maintained that position to the flag. After the press conference, Schumacher went to see Frentzen and after listening to what he had to say, Michael apologised for the incident, explaining he had simply not seen the Williams.

Jean Todt
"It was an incredible race. I cannot recall when I last saw one like it. Having the safety-car appear three times complicated our planned two stop strategy for both our cars. Michael made a great first start until the red flag stopped the race. Michael's 10 second penalty also cost us twenty seconds. Eddie had a puncture at the second start, which relegated him to 17th. Despite all this we got both our cars onto the podium and the team made an exceptional contribution to this result. Michael drove an unbelievable race and Eddie managed to claim third. We must thank Goodyear, who provided us with very good tyres. We must now look to the rest of the Championship and to our forthcoming test sessions. Our feet must stay on the ground and we must continue to work with determination, just as we have done so far."

Michael Schumacher
"We have closed the gap on McLaren this weekend and I am very happy about this. I am also optimistic about the future as we have some more developments to come for the next few races and I hope we can reach the same level as McLaren or even get ahead of them. My special thanks to Goodyear, who gave us a competitive tyre here and I am sure that will continue. For the Championship, this is the best possible situation, as I have maximum points and McLaren has none. Fantastic team-work and the quick pit stops won the race today. As for the incident with Frentzen, I do not know what happened. If it was my fault then I want to apologise to him. I looked in my mirrors and saw nothing, then I looked to my right and still saw nothing. So when I was called in for my penalty, I did not understand, as I knew I had not speeded in the pit-lane. I want to have a strong word with Hill. What he did was unacceptable. To change line once is normal, but to do it three times at 320 km/h down the straight is very dangerous. He braked early for the first chicane and I had to cut the chicane to stop hitting him. I am very angry."

Eddie Irvine
"I was very fortunate today. I was in the middle of the first accident and did not get hit and again, I was in the middle of the second and just had my rear tyre sliced by someone's front wing. At first I thought I had broken my suspension but when the team changed the tyres everything was fine. As the safety-car was out I did not lose a lap, but myself and Wurz spent many laps trying to get past a Minardi. I made my job difficult this weekend by spinning off a couple of times in practice so I am very happy with my fourth podium of the season. Michael showed today what can happen when we put the McLarens under pressure. As usual my mechanics did a great job to get me out of the pits so quickly and our strategy was just right, the team telling me to push so I came out of the pits 2 seconds ahead of Wurz."

Michael Schumacher:
Chassis 187, first in 1:40.57.355

Eddie Irvine:
Chassis 185, third at 1m 00.058s

air 12 C, track 14 C.

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