Bridgestone celebrate fitting end to tyre war as Massa & Schumacher claim pole, victory & fastest laps As Felipe Massa dominated the Brazilian Grand Prix to take a pole to flag victory in front of a roaring home crowd, his teammate and seven...
Bridgestone celebrate fitting end to tyre war as Massa & Schumacher claim pole, victory & fastest laps
As Felipe Massa dominated the Brazilian Grand Prix to take a pole to flag victory in front of a roaring home crowd, his teammate and seven time world champion, Michael Schumacher, bowed out of Formula One with one of the most stunning displays of driving seen in Formula One. An unexpected tyre change due to a tyre puncture, likely to have been caused by contact with another driver, left Schumacher climbing from 20th to an impressive fourth place.
The Ferrari drivers clearly had the best package of the day, with their Bridgestone tyres aiding them to consistently set the fastest laps of the 71-lap race. For Felipe Massa, it was his second career win and the 104th victory taken by a Bridgestone driver since the company entered Formula One in 1997. Of those 104 victories, which seal Bridgestone as the second most successful tyre supplier in F1, 58 have been won by Michael Schumacher.
Although the world championship titles were lost today to Fernando Alonso and Renault, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro and Bridgestone fought every inch of the way. Ferrari ends the season in second place, just five points short of Renault in the constructors' championship, while Panasonic Toyota Racing, WilliamsF1, Spyker MF1 and Super Aguri F1 are 6th, 8th, 10th and 11th respectively. Felipe Massa's win secured his third place in the drivers' championship behind his teammate, Michael Schumacher.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"I am proud of our tenth season in F1 and appreciate the hard work and collaboration of all our teams, our technical and service staff. Our challenge and commitment continues for next year and beyond where we aim to supply safe tyres, fairly."
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"Congratulations to Felipe today! What a great win - we are delighted for him. Nevertheless we are disappointed that Michael should have such bad luck in the final race of his career. He had to pit early for a replacement tyre after it was cut, most likely as he passed Fisichella, but what was clear today was that the Ferrari drivers were by far the best out there today and I strongly believe they were assisted by a performance advantage from the Bridgestone tyres."
"Takuma Sato demonstrated this further by finishing tenth - it was a great race from him. We are very proud of the Bridgestone tyre performance today and it was just a shame that neither the WilliamsF1 nor Toyota team were able to capitalize on that. Nevertheless, as the year now draws to a close, we should congratulate the champions and celebrate what has been an extremely competitive year."
"We believe that in the latter half of the year certainly, Bridgestone has had the competitive edge against our rival, for which we must thank all our teams, and we would like to say that we have really enjoyed this year's fight. As for Michael, his fantastic drive was indicative of his stature as a seven time world champion and we thank him and wish him the very best in the future. "
Bridgestone Team News
Ross Brawn, Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari:
"A fantastic performance from the drivers, car and Bridgestone tyres - it was unbelievable today. It was just frustrating that Michael was not able to finish with a win as he was more than capable of it today but losing a tyre to Fisichella was very unfortunate - although obviously not deliberate. Everything was tremendous today: the drivers, car and tyres but it just didn't quite work out for Michael."
"It's been a hard year but we felt we had a good car at the start of the season. Admittedly we were perhaps a bit rusty and didn't have the sharpest start but then we came back and I think that this team has demonstrated over the last few races that it is the best team in Formula One. And I'm delighted for Felipe today as he's going forward with Ferrari now and to finish the season with a win like that is fantastic."