Japanese GP Ferrari Saturday notes

Eleventh pole position of the season for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, a season record for both the team and driver. This is Michael’s 43rd career pole, his sixth at Suzuka. It is the team’s 148th pole, its fifth at this event. Michael ...

Eleventh pole position of the season for Ferrari and Michael Schumacher, a season record for both the team and driver. This is Michael’s 43rd career pole, his sixth at Suzuka. It is the team’s 148th pole, its fifth at this event.

Michael Schumacher
"We expected to be fast here and we were. However, we had predicted a lap time much slower than this, so for once it's nice when the prediction is wrong! We made a few changes in between the runs which improved the car. It was certainly very good and felt nice to drive. Bridgestone has produced a great tyre, which was particularly good through the Esses. I must say this section is very tough physically now. In the past, the cars used to slide around, but today we had so much grip that it's quite a challenge. I think the Bridgestones were the best in the faster sections, while the other tyre might have an advantaqe here under braking and in terms of traction. I used the new chassis, although I cannot say if this contributed to my lap times. The purpose of the new chassis is to improve for next year rather than to be quick over one lap. I know that if I win tomorrow, I will have scored more points than any other driver, but if I can help Rubens to come second in the championship then that is my job and it is more important than the points. I expect I will score some more points next year!"

Rubens Barrichello
“I gave it my best shot. Just as happened in Indianapolis, I was unable to dial out all the understeer and that prevented me from going any quicker. However, on worn tyres this is less of a problem and so, I am pretty confident for tomorrow’s race, given that under these conditions the balance of the car is much better. I expect to be competitive tomorrow, even if there are less passing opportunities here than in Indianapolis.”

Jean Todt
"The results speak for themselves: eleven poles in the year is a record for Ferrari and for Michael Schumacher. Rubens Barrichello's fourth place is further confirmation of the worth of our car and of the Bridgestone tyres on a track that is very demanding to drive. Tomorrow's is the last race of the season and we will do all we can to win it. We are aware that it will be very tough, given the strength of our opponents. Once again, our team has shown it has the determination and motivation which has led us to the world championship titles."

Ross Brawn
"In tomorrow's race, the consistency of the tyres will be an important factor. Of course, we know what our Bridgestones will be like, but we don't know what the opposition can do. Their tyres have a tendency to drop off and then recover, whereas ours are more consistent. As for the race, we will wait and see how it develops, keeping in mind that if we can help Rubens we will do. Of course, to do that, Rubens has to win, with Coulthard scoring two points or less, so it is quite a long shot. After the morning, we were not quite sure what lap time we could do this afternoon, although we were confident we would pick up a lot of speed once we took the fuel out. Michael's best lap was a combination of pure enthusiasm, mixed with the skill of course. Setting a new record for the number of Ferrari poles in one season shows what a great job the entire team has done in producing such a good car."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Ross Brawn , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari