Japanese GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Bridgestone teams dominate qualifying in Japan! In dry but windy conditions it was the Bridgestone shod cars who dominated this afternoon's Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session as Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Panasonic Toyota Racing locked...

Bridgestone teams dominate qualifying in Japan!

In dry but windy conditions it was the Bridgestone shod cars who dominated this afternoon's Japanese Grand Prix qualifying session as Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Panasonic Toyota Racing locked out the front two rows of tomorrow's grid.

Taking top honours for pole position, and stealing his teammate's thunder in front of a packed out crowd of enthusiastic fans, was Felipe Massa, who stormed to a fantastic time of 1m 29.599s in the closing stages of the session. Michael Schumacher was fractions behind with a time of 1m29.711s although he did set the fastest lap overall with a 1m28.954s.

Ralf Schumacher and Jarno Trulli were third and fourth fastest respectively, giving Toyota their best qualifying finish of the season. Also making it into the top ten shoot-out was WilliamsF1's Nico Rosberg. Title challenger Fernando Alonso was fifth fastest. Mark Webber and MF1 Racing's Christijan Albers made it through to the second part of qualifying, positioning themselves for a strong race tomorrow.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Congratulations to both Ferrari and Toyota! It was great to see Bridgestone shod cars in the top four spots in this afternoon's qualifying and it is a clear indication that our tyres for this circuit are extremely competitive. After this morning's practice session, during which our tyres started to show their performance and suitability for the Suzuka track, our teams knew they could be in a good position this afternoon. The track was still improving with running and any graining was within acceptable limits."

"It was great to see our teams capitalize on their car/tyre packages today and put them to good use. Well done to Nico Rosberg for making it into the top ten and although Mark Webber didn't make it through but he should be strong tomorrow. Overall, we are very pleased with today's result but we must remain focused and concentrate on the race tomorrow as that is what really counts."

Bridgestone Team News

Ross Brawn, Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"The drivers and cars are performing very well this weekend and the Bridgestone tyres have been extremely good. It wasn't too difficult to make the tyre decision. Of course, we've got to finish the job in the race but I'm pleased with the way it's shaping up and obviously very pleased with the performance we've got."

Pascal Vasselon, General Manager Chassis - Panasonic Toyota Racing:

"It's obvious that the Bridgestone tyres are working very well in the dry conditions we saw today. The first lap performance is outstanding and the consistency is there as well. So we are very pleased with the tyres we have here and delighted that they helped us to our best qualifying position of the season."

-credit: bridgestone

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Fernando Alonso , Ross Brawn , Christijan Albers , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Toyota Racing