Chinese GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Schumacher qualifies sixth ahead of battle for third place in 2005 championship After the haze of Friday, Saturday's morning practice sessions and afternoon qualifying took place in warm sunny conditions ahead of tomorrow's China Grand Prix, the...

Schumacher qualifies sixth ahead of battle for third place in 2005 championship

After the haze of Friday, Saturday's morning practice sessions and afternoon qualifying took place in warm sunny conditions ahead of tomorrow's China Grand Prix, the final round of the season.

Bridgestone shod Michael Schumacher has the most to fight for tomorrow as he lies just two points ahead of Juan Pablo Montoya in the drivers' points standings. The final showdown for third place in the championship comes in Sunday's 56-lap race and it looks set to be a thriller. Montoya set the fifth fastest time today, just 0.113 seconds ahead of the seven time World Champion and they are set to line up on the grid side by side.

Schumacher's teammate Rubens Barrichello qualified in eighth place while Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan heads the remaining Bridgestone runners, a Sauber and a BAR, setting a time good enough for 15th place. The stage is set for the season's grand finale in Shanghai.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello showed today that they have the potential for a good race tomorrow. Qualifying in sixth and eighth positions gives them a good chance. From a tyre point of view this circuit can be tough on wear but things look fine at the moment and we are not expecting to have heat durability problems. Ferrari look in reasonable shape for the race."

"For the Jordan and Minardi teams today was their last qualifying under their current banners. Narain Karthikeyan qualified a solid 15th which should give him a good start tomorrow. His teammate Tiago Monteiro ran wide in the last sector so today's time was not a true reflection of his time. I look forward also to seeing Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos have a good race tomorrow."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"We had two reasonable laps from the drivers in this afternoon's qualifying session. We could perhaps have squeezed a couple of tenths more but we qualified where we expected. Bridgestone's tyres held up and we have a good strategy for tomorrow's race. Generally things were pretty good today."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Minardi , Jordan