Bridgestone runners Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello will line up first and second on the grid for the first grand prix of the 2003 season after the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro pair dominated this afternoon's qualifying session....
Bridgestone runners Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello will line up first and second on the grid for the first grand prix of the 2003 season after the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro pair dominated this afternoon's qualifying session. Schumacher's stunning time of 1:27.173 could not be bettered by his Brazilian teammate despite running last in the session and he posted a time of 1:27.418 - an indication of the competition we can expect from the pair this season.
Close behind was Heinz-Harald Frentzen putting in an impressive 1:28.274 in his Sauber Petronas. High hopes for Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Jacques Villeneuve following yesterday's third place in the first of the two qualifying sessions materialised into a sixth place grid position whilst hot on his heels was fellow Bridgestone runner and SAUBER PETRONAS driver Nick Heidfeld, who qualified just 4/100ths of a second behind. Jenson Button (B.A.R Honda) meanwhile will line up eighth on the grid.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"I'm delighted to see four Bridgestone runners in the top six for tomorrow's race. Of course, the fuel load will come into play and it will be difficult to judge the real performance of the cars. I'm really quite pleased though to see so many Bridgestone cars at the top end of the grid. The teams will start tomorrow's race with the tyres used to qualify today but we're confident our tyres will continue to perform well."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"I'm pleasantly surprised to have had such an advantage today and obviously very pleased to be on the front row. Both drivers are very good on one lap. Track conditions were better today and it all came together quite nicely. We actually chose to run on the better race tyre of our two choices although the other specification was quicker."
Willi Rampf, Technical Director of Sauber Petronas:
"The performance of the Bridgestones was as we expected from testing. We are definitely pleased that the top performance in one lap qualifying was there and fully expect to see continued consistency tomorrow."