Both Ferrari drivers were disadvantaged by refuelling rig problems in the Austrian Grand Prix, but Michael Schumacher had nothing but praise for his team’s pit crew after the race.

Both Ferrari drivers were disadvantaged by refuelling rig problems in the Austrian Grand Prix, but Michael Schumacher had nothing but praise for his team’s pit crew after the race.

Schumacher calmy sat in his car while mechanics frantically fought to extinguish a blaze on the German’s Ferrari F-2003 GA at his first pit stop. Team-mate Rubens Barrichello had made an earlier stop that was agonisingly slow due to a fuel feed problem.

Schumacher came in from his pit stop and after a few seconds it became clear that the nozzle on Ferrari’s refuelling rig was faulty. In the confusion, gas leaked and caught fire on Schumacher’s car. But the German was completely unperturbed by the drama, and after the fire was extinguished, the German set off down the pitlane with just a wipe of his visor.

It was only after the incident that Schumacher wondered about the possible damage caused to his race machine: "I guess the mechanics thought I was a little bit too cool and they warmed me up! I thought they did a great job under the circumstances to control everything. I had a little doubt for a moment whether we had a problem with the fire and how serious it was.”

"But the car worked very well, we were able to do quick lap times to secure the margin we needed for the strategy," he said.

After his scare Schumacher fought his way past Raikkonen to second, at exactly the point that Montoya’s engine failed. Having passed the Finn, the German was concerned about what Montoya was going to do.

"That was a little tricky moment," he said of overtaking Raikkonen. "Not extremely tricky because there was a sort of gap and I was already by Kimi at this stage, but I didn't know what Juan-Pablo was going to do.

"It was a little bit concerning but in the end he stayed off line and did a proper job. He could have probably stopped a little bit earlier with an oily engine around for the rest of the lap but I guess he was lazy of walking back to the pits," he added.