Belgian GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Bridgestone Potenzas master the rain at Spa Bridgestone's extreme weather tyres were put to maximum use this afternoon as Michael Schumacher, the rain master, drove a superb final qualifying lap for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix to set the ...

Bridgestone Potenzas master the rain at Spa

Bridgestone's extreme weather tyres were put to maximum use this afternoon as Michael Schumacher, the rain master, drove a superb final qualifying lap for tomorrow's Belgian Grand Prix to set the second fastest time of the session in the wettest conditions. He will line up alongside pole man, Jarno Trulli, who had earlier benefited from the better conditions, allowing him and his teammate Fernando Alonso to use normal wet tyres.

Both the Ferrari and Sauber runners had to qualify on the deeper grooved "extreme" weather tyres, making their respective second, fifth, sixth and eighth positions all the more significant. The Jordan Ford and Minardi Cosworth runners, meanwhile, made sure they had a trouble free qualifying. Tomorrow's race at the exciting Spa-Francorchamps circuit is expected to throw up a few surprises, not least by the weather.

Teams are unable to change their car set-ups overnight and will have had to decide whether to run a wet weather or dry weather set-up before qualifying, bearing in mind tomorrow's weather forecast could well be vastly different to today's torrential conditions.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"No pole today but we really saw the good performance of our extreme weather tyres today. First of all in pre-qualifying when conditions were equally wet for all the runners, we had four Bridgestone runners in the top five. Then, taking into account the amount of rain and water on the track during the Ferrari drivers' final qualifying runs, their performance was very pleasing. Michael, who was on extreme weather tyres, was just 0.07s off Trulli's time, who has on normal wet tyres."

"Unfortunately Rubens made a mistake in his final sector but he too had been on track for pole. This performance was also reflected in the results of the Sauber drivers who will start tomorrow's race from the third and fourth rows of the grid. All in all, there was plenty to be pleased about and now we shall concentrate on advising our teams for the race tomorrow."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"The conditions didn't really work for us today. We had a rain shower near the end [of the session] and Jarno Trulli was out at exactly the right time and did a good job. So considering the conditions, we're quite happy and will be in a strong position for the race tomorrow. We didn't compromise today and had a dry set-up on the car because our forecast is for dry weather tomorrow. There will also be plenty of opportunities in the race."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Fernando Alonso , Ross Brawn
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Minardi , Jordan