Australian GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Aussie weather thwarts Bridgestone teams Bridgestone Motorsport's three teams were dealt a challenging hand today after this afternoon's first qualifying session was conducted in a wide variety of weather conditions. Narain ...

Aussie weather thwarts Bridgestone teams

Bridgestone Motorsport's three teams were dealt a challenging hand today after this afternoon's first qualifying session was conducted in a wide variety of weather conditions. Narain Karthikeyan consequently heads the Bridgestone runners after the first of the two qualifying sessions. In fact, the rookie Indian driver has performed well all day, posting the fourth fastest time in the first morning practice session ahead of the more established stars the likes of Ralf Schumacher and David Coulthard.

The Minardi F1 Team drivers got their first laps in today after converting their cars to 2005 specification overnight and Christijan Albers and Patrick Friesacher finished today's qualifying in 15th and 16th positions respectively. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello have a lot of work to do tomorrow however. The pair posted the two fastest times in this morning's first practice session but found themselves at the mercy of the Australian weather.

After a wet start to qualifying, conditions had been drying up but a sudden downpour left the World Champion making a last minute switch to wet tyres. Rubens Barrichello went out on extremes but he too bore the brunt of the falling rain. The pair has a lot of work to do in tomorrow's final qualifying session to narrow the gap to the front runners.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Well, we managed to get plenty of good running on both our wet and extreme wet tyres this morning in the practice sessions and were pleased with the times especially with the extreme tyre. Ferrari's drivers were first and second in the first session and Jordan's Karthikeyan posted the fourth fastest time which was very impressive for a rookie and encouraged us about our extreme wet tyre's performance."

"In the second practice session, it started wet before drying up but the dry tyres weren't used for long enough to get any real data. Qualifying, however, was very unfortunate! All our runners ran in heavy wet conditions and five of them used extreme tyres. Michael, however, was on normal wets after a quick switch from drys and he was very unlucky to find that it started raining heavily. So for him, the priority was to get the car back. Rubens, however, made a good job of running on the extreme weather tyre when it was still raining. An interesting day and now we look forward to tomorrow's second qualifying session and race."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"Very difficult to comment really as the conditions simply worked against us and there was nothing else we could have done. The downpour started just before Michael went out on track and the guys did a great job to get wet tyres on his car because he was set up for a dry run. We did have extreme tyres ready for him but didn't expect the rain to be that heavy so quickly and for the track to get that wet in two minutes."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , David Coulthard , Narain Karthikeyan , Ross Brawn , Christijan Albers , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Ferrari , Minardi , Jordan