GRAND PRIX : Hungary : Schumacher Defeats the McLarens
Budapest, Sunday 16th August
Michael Schumacher: first, 1h 45m 25.550s, 77 laps
Eddie Irvine: retired at the end of lap 13 when lying fourth
"Obviously a really great race. I am sorry for Eddie, who was having a fantastic race and could have got onto the podium but for the gearbox problem which caused his retirement. We had planned a two-stop strategy, but after the first one we decided to switch to three. The teamwork was perfect and the tyres were also excellent."
"I thought we would be competitive today but I never dreamed I would leave Hungary having closed the championship gap from 16 to just 7 points. This was one of my most emotional wins, thanks to the reaction of all the Ferrari fans after the race. All the hard work we did during last week's six-day Fiorano test, really paid off today. Once again the team picked the right strategy, although at first I was not quite sure if our plan would work out, as I was stuck behind Jacques and David for some time. In the end, it turned out that the team had made the right decision. Of course we benefited from the problems of our competitors, although throughout the race I could easily match the pace of the McLarens. With four races to go, the championship seems to be wide open. When I went off the track I did not realise I was already in the lead. Ross told me I had 19 laps to make up a 25-second lead to stay in front after my third pit stop, so I pushed as hard as possible. Now I am looking forward to celebrating with my family at home."
"I retired because I had lost fourth and fifth gears. I cannot complain as this is my first mechanical failure of the season. It is a shame, as given the result of the race I could have been on the podium today. I have now had two bad races in a row, so I hope it will be third time lucky in Belgium."
Chassis: Schumacher no. 188, Irvine no. 185
Temperatures: air 26 C, track 40 C
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