Poor tactics cost Ferrari in the first race of the season as everything went wrong for the champions at Albert Park on Sunday.

Poor tactics cost Ferrari in the first race of the season as everything went wrong for the champions at Albert Park on Sunday.

They had a textbook qualifying session for a one-two on pole. But things just started going wrong from the start of the race.

First Rubens Barrichello jumped the start and was about to serve a drive-through penalty when he crashed out just five laps into the race.

Michael Schumacher seemed to be on target to fight for victory when he tore the underneath of his car and finally finished in fourth spot.

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn said a major part of the problem was that the team had left the decision to switch to dry tyres too late. Schumacher only changed tyres on lap seven, but was already starting to battle.

"It was one of those afternoons that didn't work out for us. We started on the wrong tyre and it didn't quite come together," Brawn said.

"Michael went off and over the grass. That damaged the mountings to the barge boards, they came off and that affected the car. I'm not sure how it would have worked out without that - we were certainly in a strong position. Maybe Schumacher would have been in second place, and from there you can put pressure on the leader."

Schumacher was not too unhappy with fourth place. "The changing weather made for a chaotic race. At one point I hit the kerb, damaged the car quite badly and lost a lot of time because of it. Apparently, on the lap before my last pit stop some parts started hanging off the car and that was badly affecting its handling,” Schumacher said.

"It felt as though the car was damaged and I even thought I might have a puncture. So all things considered we can be happy with fourth place and these five points will be important later in the year."

David Coulthard, who triumphed on Sunday, said it was a boost for the rest of the teams to see Ferrari make a mistake. "It's encouraging, occasionally they are dropping the ball," he said. "Under pressure they can make mistakes, but the conditions were a little bit unusual today. There is still work to be done to be competitive against Ferrari."

Original article from Car