Austrian GP: Bridgestone Friday qualifying notes

Bridgestone drivers claim 4 out of top 5 Bridgestone had an encouraging start to this year's Austrian Grand Prix weekend with Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello eclipsing the field in this afternoon's first qualifying session. The...

Bridgestone drivers claim 4 out of top 5

Bridgestone had an encouraging start to this year's Austrian Grand Prix weekend with Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello eclipsing the field in this afternoon's first qualifying session. The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro pair were unbeatable on their Bridgestone Potenzas with more than six tenths of a second separating second placed Barrichello from the remainder of the runners.

Also sharing the limelight, however, were fellow Bridgestone runners, Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda drivers Jacques Villeneuve and Jenson Button. In a qualifying session that was stopped twice for incidents involving first Ralf Schumacher and later, Ralph Firman, the B.A.R pair posted extremely encouraging fourth and fifth fastest times in this afternoon's overcast conditions.

Also making it into the top ten for Bridgestone was Jordan Ford's Giancarlo Fisichella. His teammate Firman was unlucky to find himself down the field having spun on what looked to be a promising lap from the Briton.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Four cars in the top five is extremely encouraging for Bridgestone. Our tyres seem to have the grip and balance needed for a circuit of this nature and I'm pleased with their performance. This morning's sessions saw some graining on the tyres but we were not unduly worried as this was to be expected on a circuit that was very "green". As conditions improved so did the tyre performance. And this afternoon's results speak for themselves - not only were Ferrari in the top two but B.A.R's drivers were also able to put in an excellent qualifying lap. Of course Sunday is what counts though."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"I'm happy with that, the car is well balanced and both drivers made a mistake on their laps so they've got a bit more to come yet. We're pleased with the Bridgestone tyre we've got here - conditions are ideal so it's suiting us well. The car and tyres work well together and I think we're starting to see some of the performance of the new car that we expected. We had a very good test last week and I think we're seeing some of the benefits today."

-bridgestone-

Write a comment
Show comments
About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Jacques Villeneuve , Ross Brawn , Ralph Firman
Teams Ferrari , Jordan