Japanese GP: Bridgestone race notes

Home win for Bridgestone as Michael Schumacher scores his 13th victory of the season Bridgestone Motorsport is celebrating a home win today after Michael Schumacher stamped his authority on the Japanese Grand Prix from pole position to take his...

Home win for Bridgestone as Michael Schumacher scores his 13th victory of the season

Bridgestone Motorsport is celebrating a home win today after Michael Schumacher stamped his authority on the Japanese Grand Prix from pole position to take his 13th win of the season. One of the most unusual grands prix of the year, this year's event saw qualifying and the 53-lap race take place on the same day after Typhoon No.22 forced the cancellation of Saturday's track activities.

Schumacher started the day setting the second fastest time in pre-qualifying on wet weather tyres before clinching pole position in final qualifying on dry tyres tyres he had not used before due to Friday's wet sessions. He was clearly in determined form as he went on to control the race from start to finish.

Teammate Rubens Barrichello, who fell foul of running first in pre-qualifying, started his race from 15th but battled hard all the way and set the fastest lap of the day while working his way up the field before a race incident finished his race.

Sauber Petronas' Giancarlo Fisichella and Felipe Massa had another competitive race weekend with Fisichella scoring a point after an excellent qualifying run which saw him start from seventh on the grid. Brazilian teammateth Massa crossed the finish line in ninth, ahead of Jordan Ford's Nickh Heidfeld and Timo Glock in 13 and 15th places and Minardi Cosworth's Gianmaria Bruni in 16th.

Shigeo Watanabe President & C.E.O Bridgestone Corporation:

"This year's Japanese Grand Prix was an unusual and exciting event with qualifying and the race on the same day. Our congratulations to Michael Schumacher on his great victory from pole position. Bridgestone is delighted that Ferrari has achieved its 15th victory from 17 races in front of more than 1,000 Bridgestone employees, who were in the grandstands today. Bridgestone now moves to Brazil and we will continue to provide the best service to our four teams."

Hisao Suganuma Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:

"[Re: Qualifying] "Track conditions were quite varied in qualifying from damp to dry. Michael's lap was fantastic and we were able to prove our dry and wet tyre performance."

[Re: Race] "Another great victory for Michael made all the more special in front of our colleagues and fellow Bridgestone employees on home territory. It is a fantastic way to continue what has become a hugely rewarding season and Ferrari has now equalled its 2002 record with 15 victories in 17 races."

"Unfortunately for Rubens, he was unable to finish the race but his race pace was impressive and he was pushing consistently hard having started on the grid from 15th. He went on to set the fastest lap of the race with a 1m32.730 on lap 30. We hope he has better luck in Brazil in two weeks. And we saw another constructive and rewarding race for Sauber. This is the fifth consecutive race that Giancarlo Fisichella has scored points, demonstrating the team's clear progress as the season has developed."

"Importantly Giancarlo and Felipe [Massa] were running consistently fast times with the front runners while Michael and Rubens were clearly relishing their tyres' performance today. It was not easy to make a decision on dry tyres this weekend but based on Friday's wet tyre running we were able to draw enough information and it seems it was the right choice. We will now concentrate on finalising our tyre specifications for the final round in Brazil."

Ross Brawn Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"After China, Michael was determined to make his mark again and today we saw Michael at his best. Everything worked very well: the team putting everything together with no practice, the car was pretty much spot on for the race and the tyres fantastic. The whole thing ran very well. Once we saw the others' pitstops it was just a matter of controlling the rest of the race. Qualifying was an educated guess."

"The Bridgestones were consistent, quick on the first lap and quick on the last. They complemented our very aggressive strategy. The tyres were excellent today. We are so pleased to win this race in Japan for Bridgestone their home grand prix. It was a shame Rubens got knocked out as he was running a couple of seconds a lap faster than the car ahead at the time and making good progress."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Gianmaria Bruni , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa , Timo Glock
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Minardi , Jordan