An all-Ferrari front row First pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the fifth (and fourth consecutively) in the Australian Grand Prix. It was the 167th pole in the team's history and the 56th of Schumacher's career. Jean...
An all-Ferrari front row
First pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, the fifth (and fourth consecutively) in the Australian Grand Prix. It was the 167th pole in the team's history and the 56th of Schumacher's career.
'First qualifying of the season and immediately we have two Ferraris on the front row. It is an encouraging result, but we are well aware - we only have to think back to last year - that it is only the first step in what will be a very long season. The F2004 worked well, showing that it has good potential. The work carried out over the winter by the team, by Bridgestone, Shell and our other technical partners is beginning to bear fruit. Now we have to tackle the most important part of the weekend. We know that because the current qualifying system involves running on Saturday afternoon with enough fuel to get to the first stop in the race, today's lap times are not an accurate reflection of the strengths of the teams. Overall reliability and strategy will be the key factors tomorrow.'
'The team has done a fantastic job. This car has got great potential which it showed straight out of the box. I had a very good feeling with it today. I am not surprised to be on pole here, as historically we have always gone very well here in Melbourne. But I do not want to sound too optimistic as I am sure there will be harder times ahead at some of the other circuits. The new engine rule has not affected us too much and that is down to a good job of preparation in terms of extending reliability while improving power. This result proves what a fantastic job everyone back in the factory has done over the winter, but it's going to be a tough season.'
'For the first part of the session, I was first on track and it was very dusty, so I was being very careful and then on my second run, I pushed as hard as I could. It was a very good lap, even if Michael went a little bit quicker. I am a happy guy and while I am second today, I would like to go one better tomorrow. We found the right set-up and the car felt good. I was aware of the new engine rule and I got the impression that maybe only 10% of the drivers were trying for a time in the first part, while the majority were only looking after their car for the second half.'
'I am very happy with this result, even though I realise that the qualifying format does not paint a clear picture of the situation. We therefore have to be a bit cautious. Having said that, I think we have made a good choice in terms of race strategy. I must congratulate the team for doing a great job and Bridgestone, who have proved how inaccurate was the criticism levelled at them by the media in the last few months.'
Qualifying - First session
Michael Schumacher: 2nd 1.25.301 3 laps chassis 234
Rubens Barrichello: 8th 1.25.992 3 laps chassis 236
Temperatures: air 23 C, track 35 C
Qualifying - Second session
Michael Schumacher: 1st 1.24.408 3 laps chassis 234
Rubens Barrichello: 2nd 1.24.482 3 laps chassis 236
Temperatures: air 24 C, track 36 C