Australian GP: Bridgestone race notes

Weather foils Bridgestone's hopes Bridgestone's runners had a mixed start to the 2003 season with five of its ten drivers finishing this afternoon's Australian Grand Prix. Highest placed Bridgestone runner was reigning World Champion Michael ...

Weather foils Bridgestone's hopes

Bridgestone's runners had a mixed start to the 2003 season with five of its ten drivers finishing this afternoon's Australian Grand Prix. Highest placed Bridgestone runner was reigning World Champion Michael Schumacher who claimed a fourth place finish, taking five points in the process.

Teammate Rubens Barrichello disappointingly failed to finish after a crash on lap 6. Next up for Bridgestone was SAUBER PETRONAS driver Heinz-Harald Frentzen, who had a very positive start to his season having driven a solid and consistent race to clinch three points. The Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda pairing of Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button also looked likely to take points until a pit stop mix up saw both drivers coming in together, dashing their chances.

However, tyre choice was the deciding factor for the start of the grand prix with damp but drying conditions causing a mixed choice of tyres between the field. Of the Bridgestone runners, just Jordan Ford drivers Ralph Firman and Giancarlo Fisichella and European Minardi Cosworth driver Jos Verstappen started on dry tyres with the remainder on Bridgestone wets. With a rapidly drying track, the decision to run on wets left the majority of the Bridgestone runners with a lot of work to do.

Hisao Suganuma - Technical Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport

"I'm pleased that Michael took fourth place in difficult conditions but we will be analysing today's race. Whilst I am happy that our tyres performed well in a difficult situation, we do need to see where we are compared to our rival's performance and hopefully change the result in Malaysia."

Ross Brawn - Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

"The race just didn't work out for us this time. We made the wrong call in terms of which tyres we started on and the track had dried more than we thought. The drivers were also convinced that we needed wets. The tyres themselves were fine - we just didn't get the opportunity to use them properly."

Willy Rampf - Technical Director - SAUBER PETRONAS

"I'm very pleased with our result today, to score points at the beginning of the season is very encouraging for the team. Our drivers started on wets but we brought them in for dry tyres quite early and I was happy then that the dry tyre performance was comparable with our rivals."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Jos Verstappen , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Jacques Villeneuve , Ross Brawn , Ralph Firman
Teams Ferrari , Minardi , Jordan