Chinese GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Bridgestone & Rubens Barrichello take first ever Chinese GP pole! *Second row start for Sauber's Felipe Massa Bridgestone's drivers have been providing plenty of thrills today on qualifying day at the Shanghai International Circuit with ...

Bridgestone & Rubens Barrichello take first ever Chinese GP pole!
*Second row start for Sauber's Felipe Massa

Bridgestone's drivers have been providing plenty of thrills today on qualifying day at the Shanghai International Circuit with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Rubens Barrichello taking the honour of clinching the first ever pole position at the inaugural China Grand Prix. His teammate Michael Schumacher, however, will start from the rear of the grid tomorrow afternoon after spinning off into the gravel on the first corner of the 5.451km circuit.

Schumacher had been on the pace all day, setting the fastest time in the final morning practice session and the pre-qualifying session but his spin now sees him with a real challenge ahead of him. But, as the Italian Grand Prix proved, driving from the back of the field to a podium position is certainly not an insurmountable task for the World Champion.

Sauber Petronas' drivers, Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella have also been setting the Shanghai track alight after some consistently quick running in the morning practice sessions. Fisichella will start from the fourth row of the grid tomorrow. His Brazilian teammate, Felipe Massa, was also flying, setting the fifth fastest time in pre-qualifying before going one better in final qualifying to put in an excellent fourth place.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Another excellent performance from Rubens. It is great to see him on pole again - his second consecutively. What's more, the Sauber drivers both had very good qualifying runs. They should be congratulated as they have been running well all weekend. It is also a good indicator that Bridgestone's choice of tyres is suitable for this demanding circuit."

"Unfortunately, Michael had a spin which is a real shame because he too would have been up there with Rubens on the time sheets. But never mind, judging by his performance over the weekend I strongly expect him to be fighting his way through to the top of the field tomorrow."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"A fantastic performance from Rubens. He did a great job. He's worked hard on the car all weekend and has got a good set-up for the race and his strategy will prove to be strong too. We need to understand what happened to Michael. I think he was a strong contender for pole position as well. But that's irrelevant now and we must regroup and recover. We have an interesting challenge ahead and as the race at Monza showed, we never give up - it should be an interesting race tomorrow."

-bridgestone-

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