British GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Bridgestone on front row with Barrichello 2003 British Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello put in a storming performance in this afternoon's qualifying session to put himself on the front row for tomorrow's race alongside Kimi Raikkonen....

Bridgestone on front row with Barrichello

2003 British Grand Prix winner Rubens Barrichello put in a storming performance in this afternoon's qualifying session to put himself on the front row for tomorrow's race alongside Kimi Raikkonen. Equipped with his Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres, the Brazilian is now poised to challenge for a consecutive British GP victory.

However, teammate Michael Schumacher will be breathing down his neck having qualified fourth on the grid after one of the most unusual qualifying sessions of the year which saw many of the front runners posting particularly slow times in pre-qualifying, in an effort to second guess the British weather.

Sauber Petronas' Felipe Massa, meanwhile, will line up eleventh on the grid and is expected to be a strong contender in tomorrow's race as is his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella, despite having to start from the back of the grid. The Italian had already suffered an engine change earlier in the weekend which would have penalized him ten places on the grid but in the end, he pulled in before setting a final qualifying time.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Front row for Rubens is a very good achievement. He is a strong runner here and looks to be in with a fighting chance tomorrow. It is of course always a pity to miss out on pole but I am sure our teams will be able to put the race consistency of our tyres to good effect just as they have done before. Temperatures are a little cooler than expected but this was not a worry today and whether or not we need dry or wet tyres tomorrow, the Bridgestone teams will be competitive."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"We expected it to rain during qualifying but it held off. We didn't want to be the last ones out in second qualifying so first qualifying was really about trying to find the best strategic position to run in the one lap second qualifying. But the car was OK for second qualifying and we're reasonably happy and I think with the Bridgestone tyres we have, second and fourth places is fine. We have a very consistent tyre and if we can stay with the front pack tomorrow and I think we can do something in the race."

JOHN WALTON

Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"The Bridgestone Motorsport team is deeply saddened and shocked to hear of the death of John Walton, Sporting Director of the Minardi F1 Team. Bridgestone personnel had the great pleasure of working with John in many of his roles in motorsport over the years and he was considered a good friend. We would like to extend our heartfelt sympathies to his partner and family, to his team, and to his many friends who are now suffering a tremendous loss. John was a valued member of the Formula One community and will be sorely missed."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa , Hiroshi Yasukawa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Minardi