Tuesday April 4th, 2000
Michael Schumacher warned his Ferrari team against any kind of euphoria after his victories in the season's two opening Formula One races.
"Twenty points from two races is ideal but I want to ask everybody to stay quiet," Schumacher told weekly Motorsport Aktuell in an interview released on Tuesday.
"The championship has only just started and it would be wrong to believe that we've won it already. It's a long season."
German Schumacher said he had been surprised by the misfortunes of rivals McLaren.
"I had not expected it," said the double world champion, adding Ferrari's victory in the last race, the Brazilian Grand Prix on March 26, did not owe anything to anybody.
"In Sao Paulo we won on our own strength because we had the possibility to overtake the McLarens in the race," he said.
"That hadn't happened for a long time. It came as further proof on how good our car really is."
The fact that the McLarens were faster in qualifying in each of the first two races does not worry Schumacher.
"It came from circumstances under which, both in Australia and in Brazil, I did not have the possibilty to go for the best time," he said. "I think that we're faster in qualifying as well."
Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn saw things differently.
"It is a shame to have such good drivers and cars and not make the most of it," he said, also in an interview with Motorsport Aktuell. "Our two qualifying sessions so far were weak. We have to improve on that."
Brawn named McLaren driver Mika Hakkinen, the defending world champion, as the most dangerous threat to Ferrari's title hopes.
"Mika Hakkinen is driving impressively, both in qualifying and in races, and he will be our most serious rival this year again," he predicted.