Italian GP: Bridgestone Saturday notes

Michael on front row at Monza Reigning world champion Michael Schumacher will start Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's home grand prix from second place on the grid following an enthralling and close qualifying session at Monza. The German ...

Michael on front row at Monza

Reigning world champion Michael Schumacher will start Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's home grand prix from second place on the grid following an enthralling and close qualifying session at Monza. The German driver improved his time on each of his flying laps but could not hang on to pole position, taken by Juan Pablo Montoya. His team-mate Rubens Barrichello will start in 4th place behind the second Williams car.

Jacques Villeneuve was once again the next best Bridgestone runner after the Ferraris and ended a strong qualifying session in 9th place for Lucky Strike B.A.R. Honda. Giancarlo Fisichella will start his home race from 12th position.

The session was stopped temporarily just over two minutes from the end after a red-flag collision involving Kimi Raikkonen and Takuma Sato, who ended his day in 18th place.

Ross Brawn, technical director, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

"It was a very exciting, very close session and it's certainly going to be a very exciting race tomorrow. We did as much as we could but obviously Montoya was just that little bit faster. The new tyre that Bridgestone has developed since the test last week seems to work very well. It took a couple of laps to get the best from it in qualifying but that is a good sign for the race when it should be very consistent. I am looking forward to tomorrow."

Hisao Suganuma, technical manager, Bridgestone Motorsport

"Of course, I am disappointed that we missed out on pole but as always I am optimistic about our tyre performance in race trim, I hope with good reason. Throughout the practice sessions our new specification has shown improved heat durability - the main issue at Monza - which confirms that we took the right direction in terms of developing new tyres for this race. It could be a difficult race but I am confident that we will see an improved story tomorrow."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Williams