Belgian GP: Bridgestone race notes

Barrichello & Monteiro take points in Spa Bridgestone runners Rubens Barrichello and Tiago Monteiro both scored points in this afternoon's incident filled Belgian Grand Prix, finishing fifth and eighth respectively, but Michael Schumacher had a...

Barrichello & Monteiro take points in Spa

Bridgestone runners Rubens Barrichello and Tiago Monteiro both scored points in this afternoon's incident filled Belgian Grand Prix, finishing fifth and eighth respectively, but Michael Schumacher had a torrid time after an incident with another runner put an end to his chances in Spa.

Although no rain fell during the race, the 44-lap Grand Prix took place in difficult wet conditions after previous torrential downpours earlier in the day. The Ferrari and Jordan drivers all started on standard wet tyres but Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Schumacher tried switching to dry tyres on lap 11.

After realising conditions were still too wet, he returned for wet tyres once more only to get caught up in an incident with Takuma Sato shortly after, resulting in his retirement. The World Champion retains his third place in the Drivers' standings but it was Barrichello's points for fifth that have increased the gap between Ferrari and Toyota in the Constructors' battle for third.

Jordan's Tiago Monteiro, meanwhile, kept his wits about him to take a well earned point scoring eighth place finish, his 16th finish in as many races. Minardi's Dutch pair, Christijan Albers and Robert Doornbos also both finished the race but their decision to start on extreme wet tyres, as they were expecting heavy rain to fall, left them with a lot of catching up to do on a drying track.

Hisao Suganuma Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:

"That was a difficult race today. Track conditions were very tricky and tough on the tyres. In the initial stages Michael was running with the leading pack and we were expecting him to be able to close the gap until he had his unfortunate collision with Takuma Sato."

"Rubens on the other hand was caught midfield but did his best to climb through to take fifth place. It was quite a messy race with lots of tyre changing going on. Of the other Bridgestone runners it was Tiago Monteiro who impressed most. He had a steady race in difficult conditions and has done well to take a point for eighth place."

"Today was the first time this year where we have had such wet race conditions. We have gained plenty of valuable data today for further wet tyre development. Looking ahead now, we have three races to the end of the season and we shall be pushing hard to finish the season on a high."

Ross Brawn Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"It was a day of opportunities and we didn't take many of them. We held position at the beginning of the race but were not strong. We then decided to take a chance putting Michael on dry tyres but he realised immediately he couldn't use them and changed back to wets. Of course, he then got involved with the incident with Sato."

"Rubens struggled at the beginning but came back later. He tried to stay on the wet tyres but they were getting too hot so had to change to dry. It cost us a position. It was not a good race and the only good thing was that we increased the points gap to Toyota."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Takuma Sato , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Ross Brawn , Christijan Albers , Tiago Monteiro , Robert Doornbos
Teams Ferrari , Minardi , Jordan