Tue, Jul 06, 2004 - Page 20 News List

Bring on Britain, says top Ferrari strategist Brawn

REUTERS , MAGNY-COURS, FRANCE

Ross Brawn was jubilant after Michael Schumacher's French Grand Prix win, and a repeat in the UK next weekend would be sweeter still for Ferrari's tactical mastermind.

Silverstone has a special appeal for Brawn, ever the strategic brains behind world champion Schumacher's Formula One domination and the most prominent Englishman working for a foreign team.

"For the last few years it's been very pleasurable for me to go to Silverstone and try to beat the English teams on their own ground. It adds a little extra for me," the technical director told reporters. "Maybe not for the rest of Ferrari but being the Englishman, it's a little bit of extra spice to go back to Silverstone and try and win it."

Schumacher chalked up his ninth win in 10 races on Sunday after a switch from a three-stop strategy to four stops allowed him to get ahead of Renault's young Spanish charger Fernando Alonso.

"We knew it was optimistic, but no risk, no fun," Schumacher said after picking up his seventh win in France. "Ross decided on it and it was just brilliant, not only the strategy but the teamwork again in terms of pit stops, the guys have just done fantastic pit stops."

Ferrari have twice as many points as nearest challengers Renault with eight races remaining but Schumacher believes the team will have to work hard at Silverstone.

The German, who is 22 points clear of Brazilian team mate Rubens Barrichello, said: "There are circuits where we were expecting certain teams to be strong. I think Silverstone is going to be another tough one for us from what we have seen in testing."

Renault were certainly stronger at their home track while BAR, with Briton Jenson Button a big hope for Silverstone, failed to get both their cars to the finish yet again.

Williams's revamped car was a let-down, unlike the much-revised McLaren MP4-19B.

"I think McLaren looked as though they were in better shape," Brawn said.

"They certainly had a much better qualifying. It looks like they need to spend a bit more time with the car to get the consistency for the race. Williams were disappointing in the race, I'm not sure what happened. I think they came here with their new package untested and I guess they were treating this race as an extended test session," he added.

"The Renaults certainly gave us a very hard time and it could have gone one way or the other. They were extremely competitive this weekend," Brawn said.

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