Third race of the season and third pole position for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again with Michael Schumacher. It was the 169th pole in the team's history and the 58th of Michael's career. Jean Todt: "It was a great qualifying session,...
Third race of the season and third pole position for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, once again with Michael Schumacher. It was the 169th pole in the team's history and the 58th of Michael's career.
"It was a great qualifying session, with our drivers ensuring that the first ever Bahrain Grand Prix will have an all-red front row. It was a very closely contested session, right up to the very end. Michael and Rubens put on a great show and all the team did an excellent job in what, despite the excellent facilities, are still very difficult conditions. However, now we still have to tackle the hardest part of the weekend. For tomorrow's race, the heat will be a key factor, making life tough for drivers, cars, engines and chassis. As is always the case therefore, reliability will be the crucial ingredient, along with a the drivers' ability to tackle a race run in very difficult conditions."
"Of course, I am happy to be on pole for the first race here, but I cannot say I got a perfect lap. I was right on the limit and sometimes over it. I think that this is because the track is technically demanding and difficult, which I think everyone is happy about, because we are not supposed to be here for an easy life! I think the technical nature of the track, combined with the high track temperatures and the fact that it is very slippery off the racing line, will mean that tomorrow's race will be very difficult. I hope it is a good show for all the fans coming to see their first grand prix."
"I would describe my qualifying lap as a reasonable one, not a very good one. During pre-qualifying I was not so happy with my brakes. But in the qualifying, they were much better and I think that as I had not expected them to be so good, I was a bit too conservative in the way I tackled my lap. I was out on track a bit earlier in the running order for qualifying and so there was a slight difference in track temperature with those who ran last. But I do not think this made a significant difference to my lap time. Now, I am happy with my brakes and with the balance of the car, so I feel confident I have a good package for the race."
"I am a bit surprised by our result. We adopted a very conservative approach to this weekend, in view of the rule demanding we use just one engine for the duration of the grand prix weekend. On top of that was the added unknown of the sand, which made us even more cautious in terms of the way we used the engines. When evaluating this result, we have to consider we don't know what strategies our closest rivals have adopted. So far, the Bridgestone tyres have worked pretty well, but given this is a brand new track and that it has already changed a lot since the start of the weekend, we must bear in mind that we have no data which would allow us to make predictions about the race. But it is the same for everyone and will probably make the race even more interesting."
Qualifying 1: 4th 1.30.751
Qualifying 2: 1st 1.30.139
Qualifying 1: 11th 1.31.283
Qualifying 2: 2nd 1.30.530