Bridgestone & Ferrari lock out front row in Bahrain! The first ever running of this season's new-style qualifying format brought plenty of excitement today at the Bahrain International Circuit as seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher ...
Bridgestone & Ferrari lock out front row in Bahrain!
The first ever running of this season's new-style qualifying format brought plenty of excitement today at the Bahrain International Circuit as seven-time world champion Michael Schumacher and new Ferrari teammate, Felipe Massa, claimed a stunning 1-2 in the final minutes of the three-part qualifying session. Schumacher's pole not only equals Ayrton Senna's record of 65 poles but it is Bridgestone's 91st since entering F1 in 1997.
Fellow Bridgestone runner, WilliamsF1's Mark Webber was also on good form today, posting the seventh fastest time in the top ten shoot-out period while his F1 rookie teammate, Nico Rosberg, will be pleased with a respectable 12th position on his F1 qualifying debut.
The Toyotas of Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli fared less well today but they will be looking for a stronger race performance on Sunday. For MF1 Racing's Christijan Albers and Tiago Monteiro and Super Aguri's Takuma Sato and Yuji Ide it was a brief qualifying with all four being knocked out in the first part of qualifying.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"All of us at Bridgestone are delighted with today's results. A 1-2 is a great way to start the season - especially as it has been some time since our last pole in Hungary 2005. Mark Webber's 7th place is also an excellent achievement from one of our new teams and these results are a reflection of all the hard work put in during winter testing. But, this is only round one qualifying and there is a whole season to go."
"The most important thing now is tomorrow afternoon's race result so we shall be busy this evening checking the tyres again and giving some final advice to the teams to maximize their chances. Today's weather has been very changeable and we've had a lot of sand blown on track. The temperature is also significantly lower than yesterday and some drivers had difficulty getting the temperature up in their tyres. This is something we need to improve and we will keep working closely with our teams to do so."
Bridgestone Team News
Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"The final part of the qualifying session was run on race fuel levels so until the race starts tomorrow no-one really knows where we are. However, it was a good start to the year and we are definitely encouraged by today's performance. If we can hold our positions on the grid it should be a good race."
Sam Michael, Technical Director WilliamsF1:
"This is our first race weekend on Bridgestone tyres and it's going well so far. The tyres are clearly working well here in Bahrain but we will have to wait and see how the strategies compare to see where we are. We are confident of our long run performance."