Estimated reading time: 2 minutes
On 15th February, Scuderia Ferrari announced it would be racing in the first Grand Prix of the season with the F2001, the car it had used to win both titles the previous year.
The F2002 was presented a few days earlier and had manifested a few small teething problems. “The new car immediately proved to be very quick, but we did not have enough time to be sure of its total reliability for the first round of the season,” said the Managing Director of the Gestione Sportiva, Jean Todt. “Therefore we have decided to go to Melbourne with the F2001, a car which even in the winter tests proved to be very competitive and reliable, with which we think we can get a good points haul towards the championship.”
Indeed, the F2001 was, at least in Melbourne, really competitive, to the extent it monopolised the front row in qualifying and won the race with Michael Schumacher. It didn’t go so well in Malaysia: Michael did finish third, but took the chequered flag a minute down on the winner, his brother Ralf in the Williams-BMW, with team-mate Montoya second. At this point, in Maranello things speeded up so that, for the third round of the season in Interlagos, there was one F2002 available for the reigning world champion of course. Michael duly won the race while poor Rubens Barrichello posted his third consecutive retirement, this time with an hydraulic problem.