|Wednesday, January 31
|Teammate says champ's demeanor has changed|
MARANELLO -- Michael Schumacher has become
more relaxed since he won the Formula One title, Ferrari teammate Rubens Barrichello said on Monday.
The Brazilian said Schumacher, Ferrari's first drivers'
champion for 21 years, was lucky at times last year but deserved
the third title of his career and would be a favorite again
when the season starts in March.
"He is more relaxed but I am not sure if he thinks it will
now be easier or more difficult," said Barrichello.
"He is more relaxed for sure -- after five years he got what
Barrichello, who took the first victory of his career last
season at Hockenheim, said Schumacher "has been fantastic but he
has been very lucky never to have had any problems in
Speaking to reporters after the unveiling of Ferrari's new
F2001 car, he later conceded that Schumacher had faced
difficulties in qualifying at Monte Carlo.
The Brazilian said, as he had earlier this month, that he
would not be setting himself targets in 2001 nor would he allow
himself to be as preoccupied with beating his German team mate
as he was in his first year at Ferrari.
"Last year I started tense, I was trying to do something
other than my job, comparing myself to Michael and trying to
beat Michael and it didn't work," he said.
"After Monte Carlo I relaxed a bit more. But it was a good
year, a good experience with a really good car."
"I learned a lot from Hockenheim. I learned not to create
expectations," said Barrichello, a surprise winner in Germany
after starting the race from way down the grid.
"I thought I needed to get pole but I started 18th without
any expectations for Sunday and I had completely different race.
I gave my best, had no expectations and was able to win.
"What I learned is not to create things in my head and just
to give my best. I have learned that if I want to be a champion
I have to change."
Barrichello said 2000 had been a tough year for him and it
had been difficult to adjust to the switch to the Italian based
team after years in England with Jordan and then Stewart.
"The pressure was not only on Michael and the team -- I had
to be there to get both championships," he said.
"Last year I drove 25,000 kilometers. Including all the
testing with Jordan and Stewart, in seven years I didn't drive
"We are testing all the time for Formula One and there is
more pressure. There is pressure from the Italian press and the
Brazilian press now."