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Dream season says Ferrari's technical director
October 26, 2004 11:37 IST
Ferrari's record-breaking season may go down in the Formula One history books as the peak of Michael Schumacher's career.
Technical director Ross Brawn certainly found it hard to imagine his team having a better year.
The men from Maranello wrapped up the longest championship in Formula One history in Brazil on Sunday with a tally of 15 wins from 18 races and their sixth successive constructors' crown secured in August.
Schumacher took 13 wins, a record for a single season, while his seventh title should stand unmatched for decades to come if the 35-year-old German does not capture an eighth in 2005.
"I must say, 2002 was a dream season and I didn't imagine we could repeat that but this year has been just as good," said Brawn.
"It's hard to imagine any season to be better than the one we have had.
"But I think we just put them in different categories, 2003 was rewarding in the end because we won the championship under very difficult circumstances and we showed them we can fight veyr hard when we have to."
Had Rubens Barrichello managed to win from pole at Interlagos, Ferrari would have become the first team to win 16 races in a season.
In the end they matched McLaren's 15 out of 16 in 1988 and Ferrari's 15 from 17 races in 2002.
"For Ferrari, 2004 was a great achievement," said team boss Jean Todt.
"Each season is shaped by your own efforts and the efforts of the other teams and all we can do is work hard and try to produce the best car we can and see what the opposition is like," said Brawn.
This year, the opposition was made to look weaker than ever.
Renault, McLaren and Williams won a race each while BAR were the closest to Ferrari on the track but failed to climb to the top of the podium.
Ferrari's record overall points tally of 262 was a phenomenal achievement, 82 percent of the total available, even if the scoring system has changed, as was Schumacher's unprecedented personal haul of 148.
Between him and Rubens Barrichello they enjoyed eight one-two finishes, starting with a crushing win in Australia that told the rest, who had believed they would be closer than ever after the 2003 title chase went down to the wire, that the game was up.
"I think the high point for us as obviously Melbourne when we saw how competitive we were," said Brawn.
"There were times testing at some of the tracks where we had looked to be behind in performance.
"But with the new car and the final version of the car we went to Melbourne and that is where everything becomes clear. That was the high point of the season for me.
"We had some great races as well. The craziest thing for me was to crash behind the safety car in Monaco. It is unheard of."
The German retired in that race after a collision in the tunnel with Colombian Juan Pablo Montoya's Williams, winner in Brazil on Sunday.
Schumacher, who racked up seven successive wins from the Nuerburgring in May to Hungary in August, was seen throwing his helmet against the garage wall in disgust and fury but he said Monaco was not his low point.
That was the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix, where he had arrived as the star attraction but qualified 17th and laboured to 12th place -- the lowest finish of his career in Formula One.
"Monaco wasn't in my hands, China was," he said.
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