Barrichello & Bridgestone end season on a high with podium in Brazil *Ferrari and Bridgestone celebrate 15 victories from 18 races in 2004 *Ferrari and Bridgestone finish on the podium at every GP in 2004 *Bridgestone celebrates 94 victories in...
Barrichello & Bridgestone end season on a high with podium in Brazil
Bridgestone Motorsport has ended its season on a high after Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Rubens Barrichello converted pole position to his first ever F1 podium in Brazil. Brazil's local hero had a tough fight on his hands after changeable weather conditions at the start of the race presented him with a damp and drying track. After dropping from first to ninth after the first round of pitstops, Barrichello kept pushing, however, and with some slick pitstop work from his team, he worked his way back up to third.
Fellow Brazilian Felipe Massa also had a strong race and although he too suffered from the damp conditions at the start, he drove consistently to finish the year with another point for eighth. Teammate Giancarlo Fisichella was just one place behind in ninth. Michael Schumacher, meanwhile, crossed the line in seventh after starting from 18th.
Jordan Ford's Nick Heidfeld didn't have the best end to his season going out after 15 laps but Timo Glock and Minardi Cosworth's Zsolt Baumgartner and Gianmaria Bruni all took the chequered flag to bring their season to a positive end.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"We were confronted with tricky conditions at the start of today's race and although the Bridgestone tyres coped with the changeable conditions, we weren't able to fully capitalise on our strengths. We haven't finished with a win but a result like this is always constructive as it gives us a clearer picture of what we need to improve when we are assessing our future development. I am delighted for Rubens. He has been on form all weekend and he did well to convert his pole position to a podium finish, his first in Brazil."
"Michael had a difficult race, starting from the back of the grid, but like Rubens, had a fantastic drive to finish in seventh. I was also very pleased for the Sauber drivers. They were putting in good lap times and were keeping up with the front runners, which was pleasing to see from a tyre point of view. Felipe's point was a good way to finish the season."
"This year Bridgestone has achieved excellent results and although it would have been nice to finish with a win this only serves to motivate us for 2005. 2004 has been a historical year and we have enjoyed working with all four of our teams. Now we look ahead and concentrate on our 2005 development programme, making sure we continue to provide the best tyres in Formula One."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"We had a very difficult scenario at the beginning of the race. It wasn't properly wet for our wet tyres so we knew we would have to make a pitstop pretty quickly. Then our dry tyres took a little while to get the heat into them and get going, making it difficult to win the race. But if it's fully wet or totally dry then the Bridgestone tyres are fantastic."
"It's just that little period in between that is difficult and we have to live with that occasionally it gives our opponents an opportunity. But overall, it is fair to say that the Bridgestone tyres have been fantastic this year. Rubens did a great job today considering where he was after the first round of pitstops. He got past Ralf [Schumacher], Alonso and Sato and we did as much as we could in the pitstops."