Bridgestone Potenzas carry Michael Schumacher to Seventh World Drivers' Championship title! *Barrichello third, Sauber's Massa and Fisichella celebrate points for fourth and fifth! Michael Schumacher sealed his seventh FIA Formula One World ...
Bridgestone Potenzas carry Michael Schumacher to Seventh World Drivers'
*Barrichello third, Sauber's Massa and Fisichella celebrate points for fourth and fifth!
Michael Schumacher sealed his seventh FIA Formula One World Championship title this afternoon at the Belgian Grand Prix after finishing second to Kimi Raikkonen in what will no doubt be remembered as the most eventful and thrilling race of the year. It is Schumacher's fifth consecutive drivers' championship taken on Bridgestone tyres.
On a day which saw no fewer than three safety car periods and numerous overtaking manoeuvres, it was the Bridgestone runners who fared best. Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Rubens Barrichello took a well earned third place on the podium after battling hard from the back of the pack after an early unscheduled stop for a change of rear wing.
Sauber Petronas' Felipe Massa and Giancarlo Fisichella drove superbly under pressure to take the chequered flag in fourth and fifth places respectively, giving Bridgestone four of the top five places in the 2004 Belgian Grand Prix and Sauber its best points scoring race of the season.
Jordan Ford's Nick Heidfeld crossed the line in eleventh but teammate Giorgio Pantano and Minardi Cosworth's Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni were all unfortunate to fall victim to on track incidents.
Shigeo Watanabe, Chairman & C.E.O Bridgestone Corporation:
"We would like to extend our congratulations to both Michael Schumacher on winning his fifth consecutive Drivers' Championship and to the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team on its sixth consecutive Constructors' Championship title. It is a great pleasure and honour for Bridgestone to have contributed to these magnificent achievements as a tyre partner. We will continue to make every possible effort to develop excellent and competitive tyres."
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director Bridgestone Motorsport:
"On behalf of everyone at Bridgestone Motorsport I would like to congratulate Michael on his seventh Drivers' title his fifth in a row on Bridgestone tyres. It also comes just two weeks after Ferrari sealed the Constructors' title in Hungary. These successes are testament to the excellent working relationship between Ferrari and Bridgestone and to the efforts of all the people working behind the scenes. I would also like to congratulate Sauber on its excellent result today. It was not an easy race and we are proud of their achievement this afternoon."
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"I'm delighted that Michael Schumacher has taken his seventh drivers' championship title and very pleased that Bridgestone has now supplied the World Drivers' and Constructors' Champions for the past seven years. We didn't win here at Spa today and of course we will be looking at the data afterwards to find out why but to be honest, we are very pleased with the way the weekend has gone and the results achieved today by the Bridgestone teams."
"I am especially pleased for the Sauber team which has worked hard to finish in the points today. It was an incident filled race and I am satisfied that none of our runners suffered with tyre related problems today and from that point of view, we are proud of the tyres we brought here this weekend."
Michael Schumacher, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"Incredible really! I am struggling to find the right words for it. To get the titles as early as we have just shows how exceptional this year is and how exceptionally Ferrari works as a team. Coming into this season none of us expected something like this to happen. The way Ferrari and all our partners, including Bridgestone, have reacted to last year's fight is more than impressive - it is unique. Most likely nothing like this will happen again to any of us, so we should enjoy it as long as we can."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"This is going to take a while to sink in! It was a very eventful race today and of course we would have liked to have won the race but second and third is pretty good. Michael needed to finish in front of Rubens so didn't take any chances in the race. It was actually shaping up quite well for a good race towards the end but then we had another safety car period. The nature of the Bridgestone tyres is very very stable and as we've seen in previous races, it has good properties in the heat."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director Sauber Petronas:
"We are very happy to have scored nine points. It is an excellent result for Sauber after a difficult start to the race and we had to bring Felipe in a couple of times to change his rear wing. The tyre performance has been very good - we could not have achieved this race result without Bridgestone. They have contributed a lot to this result."