Bahrain GP: Ferrari Saturday qualifying notes

First race of the season and first pole position for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, with both the 248 F1 cars on the front row. For the 180th time a Ferrari driver has set the fastest time in an official F1 qualifying session. Michael will ...

First race of the season and first pole position for the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team, with both the 248 F1 cars on the front row. For the 180th time a Ferrari driver has set the fastest time in an official F1 qualifying session. Michael will start from pole for the 65th time in his career, and for the second time on this circuit. Felipe starts from the front row for the first time on his debut race for Ferrari.

Jean Todt:

"Obviously this first qualifying session of the season is very positive for us. It's been since the 2004 Hungarian Grand Prix that we haven't managed to put both cars on the front row of the grid. I am particularly pleased for Michael because today he has equalled Ayrton Senna's record of pole positions, and for Felipe who qualified on the front row for the first time in his career."

"Over the last few months the team has worked very hard and today we have seen the results of all this effort. I would also like to thank all our partners, especially the technical ones like Bridgestone and Shell. Now we have to face the most challenging part of the weekend, the race."

"During the 57 laps we will have to deal with all kinds of changing circumstances. Reliability will be the crucial factor. Even if it is undoubtedly early days yet before one can come to any kind of conclusion, it is certainly a matter of fact that now we have a competitive car-engine-tyre package that can compete at the highest level."

Michael Schumacher:

"Amazing result. To be honest I wasn't expecting to be on pole, I thought we might be in touch with the leaders but not in front of everybody, so it really is a wonderful surprise. I'm so happy for the team because they all worked so hard to achieve this result, especially when one considers where we were at the end of last season. What happened in 2005 really hurt and it forced us to react. We have worked very hard and I would also like to thank all the test team for what they have done during the winter months."

"It is always very difficult to reverse a negative trend but last year's troubles have had the effect of making the team even more closely knit together: this is the mentality that makes Ferrari such a special team. Today I've also equalled a rather special record, that of the number of pole positions set by Ayrton Senna: something I'm very proud of."

Felipe Massa:

"This is a day that won't be easy to forget. To qualify on the front row at my first race with Ferrari makes me feel very proud of myself and for what the team has managed to achieve. It's a pity that the traffic on the last lap prevented me from perhaps improving on my time: these are things that happen with this new qualifying format. Maybe next time it might be my turn to take advantage of the situation!"

"What is important is that now we have a competitive package right from the start of the season. Tomorrow it's going to be a difficult race: we know that our rivals are very strong but we'll give it everything we've got to try and bring home the best result possible."

Ross Brawn:

"Obviously the final qualifying session was with race fuel so until the race starts to develop nobody can be sure where they are in the sense that we don't know what strategy the others were on. Knowing the fuel we have and the strategy that we have chosen, I'm quite encouraged by the performance today. It's a good start. If we can hold our positions on the front of the grid tomorrow, then I think we can expect a good race."

Michael Schumacher
1st, 1:31.431
12 laps

Felipe Massa
2nd, 1:31.478
12 laps

-ferrari-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa , Ayrton Senna , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari