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Ferrari president hails "perfect" Rubens
Alastair Himmer | September 27, 2004 20:12 IST
Ferrari president Luca di Montezemolo praised Rubens Barrichello's "perfect" race after the Brazilian stormed to victory in the Chinese Grand Prix on Sunday.
Barrichello followed his success at Monza two weeks ago with a comfortable victory in Shanghai, while Ferrari's world champion Michael Schumacher failed to finish in the points.
"Rubens has run again, after Monza, a very important race. Good, perfect -- without mistakes," said a champagne-soaked Montezemolo.
"I'm very pleased for him and this is a demonstration that we have two fantastic drivers at Ferrari."
Seven-times world champion Schumacher finished 12th after a collision, spin and puncture effectively ended his challenge in the inaugural Chinese Grand Prix.
"Michael was unlucky today with the puncture," said Montezemolo, whose designer suit was drenched in champagne after Barrichello sprayed him from the podium.
"But he has had a season that I cannot even say was unbelievable. It was more than unbelievable. I want to thank him for what he has done -- fantastic."
Montezemolo was at pains to point out Ferrari did not revolve around Schumacher after Barrichello's ninth victory of a career spent mostly in the shadows of his German team mate.
Schumacher has won 12 of the 16 races so far this season, with two left, in Japan and Brazil.
"We can put both drivers in the position to win races and this is important," he said.
"To win in China, in such an important country and a new place for Formula One is a double satisfaction."
Montezemolo paid tribute to the Chinese fans after a sellout 160,000-strong crowd turned out, thousands decked out in Ferrari red.
"To see so many Ferrari fans in the tribunes with the Ferrari flag, like in Italy was fantastic," he said. "We want to dedicate this victory to the passionate Chinese public.
"This victory is for them."
Formula One: The Complete Coverage