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Last Updated: Sunday, 4 May, 2003, 14:43 GMT 15:43 UK
Schumi grateful for new car
Michael Schumacher leads the Renault of Fernando Alonso during the Spanish Grand Prix
Schumacher had race-long pressure from Alonso

Ferrari only won the Spanish Grand Prix because they used their new car at a race for the first time this year, according to Michael Schumacher.

The world champion won a tight battle with Renault driver Fernando Alonso, who pushed the Ferrari star hard throughout the race.

It was the first time Ferrari had used their definitive 2003 car, the F2003-GA, having run an updated version of the title-winning 2002 car for the first four races.

"I was expecting a tough fight and it was," Schumacher said.

"We were lucky to be here with the new car because I think in the old car we would not have made it.

"This new car is something very special. It works so beautifully and so fine. I am so much in love with this car. Its just fantastic what they (the team) have done."

Schumacher said he was not surprised by Alonso's performance.

Fernando Alonso on the podium with Michael Schumacher
Alonso made Schumacher work

"Certainly not," the German said. "I was thinking beforehand that it was going to be a tough race when you saw the times the Renaults had been doing throughout the weekend."

Schumacher is now just four points behind world championship leader Kimi Raikkonen, who started from the back of the grid and smashed into the back of Antonio Pizzonia's Jaguar at the start.

Schumacher said: "At one point of the season you would expect a retirement (for Raikkonen).

"Today was the day - it is a perfect day in both directions, for the championship and for a new era with the car."




SPANISH GRAND PRIX

SCHUMACHER PIPS ALONSO

TRACK GUIDE

2003 SEASON RACE BY RACE
 

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