Bridgestone not happy with 5 out of 7. Despite Bridgestone winning 5 of the 7 races so far in the 2002 Formula One season, and sitting comfortably atop the drivers' championship with Michael Schumacher, they are still not satisfied with their ...
Bridgestone not happy with 5 out of 7.
Despite Bridgestone winning 5 of the 7 races so far in the 2002 Formula One season, and sitting comfortably atop the drivers' championship with Michael Schumacher, they are still not satisfied with their performance this year. Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone's Technical Manager states, "Our aim was to win all the races so far. Five out of seven is actually rather disappointing for us because we have worked hard to improve further last year's tire performance and naturally we were hoping for a 100 percent record."
Bridgestone did not win last year's Canadian Grand Prix, that honour going to the Michelin-shod Williams-BMW of Ralf Schumacher. However, Bridgestone think they have rectified the problems that caused them to not win last year. Suganuma explained, "We concluded that our compound for Canada was too soft for the race. We have given careful consideration to which compounds would be right for Montreal this year, including close analysis of the track's characteristics based on data such as the cars' speed and the load on the tires. Then we selected appropriate circuits where there is a similar input on the tires for our testing of the specifications for Canada. I am confident about the way we have approached the race this year and therefore the tires should be more competitive."
General Manger of Tire Development for Bridgestone Hirohide Hamashima agrees with Suganuma. "Five wins is not enough! Our target in developing the tires is to win every race, so in terms of this result so far is not enough. However at some tracks we have performed better than last year, for example Imola. We have developed and identified the weak points from last year and we are at a very good stage with Ferrari now."
Notice Hamashima said "with Ferrari". Bridegstone are banking all their results on one team, with Ferrari being the only Bridgestone team looking to win. Michelin, however, have a couple of teams, Williams and McLaren, which have already won races this year. Some wonder about Bridgestone's close collaboration with Ferrari - will it help or hinder the success overall.
Bridgestone cannot be pleased after the first day of practice in Canada. The top 2 positions went to Michelin-shod cars, with David Coulthard in the McLaren-Merceds postng a fastest time of 1:15.407, and Juan Montoya close behind with a 1:15.543. Next up was the first Bridgestone car. Ferrari's Michael Schumacher posting a 1:15.788, the only Bridgestone runner in the top 6. If Bridgestone are hoping to win every race this season, they will be hoping for a better Saturday and Sunday in Montreal.