Australian GP: Bridgestone Friday practice notes

Bridgestone starts season in confident form Bridgestone Motorsport got its 2004 Formula One season campaign off to a flying start today with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello posting first and ...

Bridgestone starts season in confident form

Bridgestone Motorsport got its 2004 Formula One season campaign off to a flying start today with Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro drivers Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello posting first and second fastest times in both the one-hour practice sessions on day one of the Australian Grand Prix. Also running with Bridgestone this year are the Sauber Petronas, Jordan Ford and Wilux Minardi Cosworth teams and all got to grips evaluating Bridgestone's new tyre specifications.

New rules this year mean that teams now have to make their final qualifying and race tyre choice by 9am on the second day of practice so teams made the most of both today's sessions evaluating their two tyre specifications. Once the decision is made, Saturday's practice sessions will be dedicated to fine-tuning car set-ups to get maximum performance from Bridgestone's Formula One Potenza tyres.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"So far so good! It was encouraging to see both Ferraris post first and second fastest times in today's two sessions. Sauber too put in a strong performance. This morning's track conditions were quite fresh but they got better as the second session went on. None of our teams had tyre problems today and overall, I'm satisfied with Bridgestone's tyre performance. I'm confident that once we've done our usual tyre checks, we'll be able to make the right final tyre choice this evening with our teams."

"The new Bridgestone specifications we brought to Australia are performing well; we have improved both our front tyre handling and our rear tyre traction performance showing we were on course with our development direction over the winter period."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"That was an eventful practice session but I think we were able to pick our tyre. This year we have to make our tyre choice on Friday evening and I think we have gathered enough information to be able to do that. The Bridgestone tyre looks good and consistent so we're pleased. This morning's picture was perhaps not so representative as the track needed some more rubber so we're pleased to see this afternoon's time was quicker than we were this morning."

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