Australian GP: Bridgestone Saturday notes

Rubens Barrichello will lead a Ferrari front row for the second consecutive year in the Australian Grand Prix after putting in an early fastest lap in today's qualifying session. The Brazilian drove a 1:25.843 lap in a modified 2001 Ferrari before...

Rubens Barrichello will lead a Ferrari front row for the second consecutive year in the Australian Grand Prix after putting in an early fastest lap in today's qualifying session. The Brazilian drove a 1:25.843 lap in a modified 2001 Ferrari before rain soaked the track preventing any other driver from beating his time. His teammate Michael Schumacher will start tomorrow's race from second position on the grid. Sauber Petronas driver Felipe Massa qualified 9th in his Formula 1 debut, while new Japanese driver Takuma Sato had his own battle in the first ever wet qualifying session at Albert Park, trying to make a qualifying time in his DHL Jordan Honda's teammate's car. Sato began the session in the T-car after his own car was badly damaged in the morning practice, only for the spare car to suffer gearbox problems. The team has appealed to ensure Sato is able to start his first race tomorrow.

Hisao Suganuma, technical manager of Bridgestone Motorsport
"Today's result is a reward for our efforts over the winter. Of course we will have to wait until tomorrow when there is a further chance of rain, but at least having two cars on the front row confirms that we have gone in the right direction in terms of development. Before the season I anticipated that lap times would fall by half a second on last year due to improvements in our tyres, but Rubens's time was more than a second quicker than last year's pole position and I'm sure a totally dry qualifying would have seen the times fall further still. Unfortunately the rain prevented our other teams from improving their times, which I'm confident they would have done."

Ross Brawn, technical director, Ferrari
"Our tyre choice was pretty clear yesterday so we did not try the other tyre this morning, sticking instead with our first choice because we thought it was right. It looks to be a very consistent tyre as well as being quick. We did some runs in the wet at the end simply to gather some more information on the three types of wet tyre Bridgestone has brought here."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Jordan