Italian GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Bridgestone anticipate exciting Monza GP After two busy morning practice sessions and steadily improving track conditions as more rubber is laid, the Bridgestone shod Ferrari cars of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello set the seventh and...

Bridgestone anticipate exciting Monza GP

After two busy morning practice sessions and steadily improving track conditions as more rubber is laid, the Bridgestone shod Ferrari cars of Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello set the seventh and eighth fastest times in today's Italian Grand Prix qualifying session.

Schumacher's time was set early on in the qualifying session. After struggling with balance and a lack of running time in Friday's practices, the pair worked on their car set-ups this morning ahead of qualifying and tomorrow's race.

Although Schumacher set the seventh fastest time, he will start from the third row of the grid as pole man Kimi Raikkonen will be penalised ten places for an engine change. The Jordan and Minardi drivers, meanwhile, are again locked in alternating positions on the grid after their qualifying so they too are expected to have a good fight tomorrow afternoon.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Both Michael and Rubens were setting competitive and consistent lap times this morning which was good to see. From that point of view the car-tyre package is showing good performance in race trim and given that this is the fastest circuit on the calendar I am pleased that we have not experienced any problems with our tyres so far this weekend."

"Combined with their grid positions set this afternoon, I think they could have a good race. I'm also looking forward to seeing the Jordan and Minardi drivers race tomorrow as we are quite pleased with their runs in the practices and qualifying."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"Considering our expectations, our grid positions don't look too bad. We were unhappy with the car balance at the start of the weekend but the engineers and drivers did a good job of getting the balance back. The Bridgestone tyres are also nice and consistent here. If we can pass the runners ahead of us on the grid I think we can have a good race tomorrow."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Ross Brawn
Teams Ferrari , Minardi , Jordan