There was lots of talk about our double diffuser, which was a path also being trod by Williams and Toyota. To be honest, the concept, which had come from an engineer at Honda in Japan, came too late to our car for us to optimise it, although of course it helped with the overall downforce figures we were getting. And, don’t forget, Williams and Toyota didn’t win a race so the rest of our car must have been OK. It was a relief that the double diffuser was later declared legal after a series of appeals, otherwise we may well have retrospectively lost a lot of points.
The drivers, Jenson and Rubens Barrichello, were superb all year long. Jenson had a fantastic start to the year, with six wins from the first seven races. I think he started to feel the pressure in the second half of the season, particularly as we didn’t have the money to develop the car as we’d have liked. But he got the job done in Brazil to make sure of the title, in the face of rivals having caught up during the championship run-in. He thoroughly deserved it.
Rubens was a class act. I knew him well from his time at Ferrari and always liked him. He was very quick and technically good, too – the prefect team player. His two race wins later in the year were crucial for the constructors’ title push. And neither of the drivers damaged a chassis all year, which would have given us a problem.
It was a year I’ll never forget. I suppose it was like a Leicester City moment for F1. All the stars aligned – we took on the project, the car was good, our rivals didn’t grasp the rule-change opportunity as well as they should have done and Jenson drove magnificently well.