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Ferrari Happenings

Magny-Cours, Sunday 28th June

Schumacher Leads Brilliant Ferrari Double

Michael Schumacher chassis No. 187 first 1h 34.45.026
Eddie Irvine chassis No. 185 second at 19.575s

At the second start, Michael Schumacher and Eddie Irvine took their F 300s into first and second places. Michael kept the lead after pitting on lap 22. It was Irvine's turn on lap 23 and he stayed second as Villeneuve pitted. Lap 43 saw Irvine make his second and final stop with Schumacher stopping two laps later without losing the lead which he kept to the flag. Irvine was now fourth behind the two McLarens but was second again on lap 56 after they pitted. Despite Hakkinen's many attempts to pass during the final 15 laps, Eddie kept his second place. After the race, President Luca di Montezemolo telephoned with these comments: "This is a great victory which rewards everyone at Ferrari for putting both cars at the head of the field and keeping them there to the finish. This win is also a reward for Goodyear, without whose great technical step forward this result would not have been possible. It was a great race for Schumacher and a tremendous one for Irvine, who hung onto his second place with great determination. I am also happy that this double success happened at Magny-Cours on the fifth anniversary of Jean Todt's arrival at Ferrari. Finally, a big thank you to the team, who have worked ceaselessly at Maranello and always efficiently at the track."

Jean Todt
"This is a dream result. After the first start was aborted, both Ferraris went straight into the lead. The team's strategy was perfect, Schumacher and Irvine had an incredible race and the Goodyears were perfect. Eddie did a great job to keep the McLarens behind him. We realised that our main competitors would make their pit stops later than us, but we still managed to finish ahead of them. We are still behind in the championship, but we have some improvements in the pipe line and Goodyear will certainly be able to give us something more."

Michael Schumacher
"I am very happy with this 30th win of my career and, as I have been told, the first one - two finish for Ferrari since 1990. These promising statistics make me feel optimistic about the future. During the race I thought of Eddie, who did a faultless job today and helped to close the gap to only six points. The fact that we both got the jump on the McLarens at the start was a major factor in getting this result. My compliments go to the team and to Goodyear who have worked many night shifts to make this result possible."

Eddie Irvine
"I made a great second start and then I had Mika breathing down my neck for almost the whole race. We have had lots of 1- 3 finishes and this feels much better. It is also ideal for the championship. I did not try to push too hard at the start and tried to drive steadily. Mika got closer when I was held up by backmarkers but here it is easy to keep someone behind you. I knew he was going to have a go at the last corner as I was entering slowly because my rear wheels were always locking up on the down-change. Luckily, the first time, he made a mistake and on the last lap I slid a bit wide. This result shows we have made a step forward and can fight for the title."

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