Brazilian GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Rubens sambas to pole in Brazil! Bridgestone runners Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa sent their home crowd into a frenzy of excitement this afternoon at the Interlagos circuit as Barrichello stormed to his second Brazilian GP pole ...

Rubens sambas to pole in Brazil!

Bridgestone runners Rubens Barrichello and Felipe Massa sent their home crowd into a frenzy of excitement this afternoon at the Interlagos circuit as Barrichello stormed to his second Brazilian GP pole position. Benefiting from the support of the enthusiastic crowd, Massa also drove a superb qualifying lap time to line up on the second row of the grid in fourth position.

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Barrichello, has been on top form all weekend and has now put himself in prime contention for fulfilling his dream of a victory on home territory. Sauber Petronas' Massa has been hounding the opposition this weekend and he and his teammate Giancarlo Fisichella are certain to be a force to contend with in tomorrow's race. Also hoping for a positive finish to their season are the Jordan Ford and Minardi Cosworth drivers.

World Champion Michael Schumacher, however, is finding Brazil a tough nut to crack this weekend after spinning off in the final practice session this morning and sustaining enough damage to his Ferrari to necessitate a switch to the T-car. Having qualified eighth he will have his work further cut out for him as he will be penalized another ten places on the grid for an engine change.

While today's practice and qualifying sessions were run in warm dry conditions, things could be turned on their head tomorrow as weather predictions of rain threaten to add an extra dimension to the final grand prix of 2004.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"A fantastic lap time from Rubens giving him the perfect result for the last qualifying session of the year in front of his home crowd. I am very pleased with the qualifying performance of our tyres this weekend and I expect to see that performance again tomorrow during the race. Michael has not had much luck so far this weekend however, we have all seen him drive from the back of the field before now and I'm confident he has the tyres to do just that."

"I am very pleased with the performance of the Sauber cars again this weekend and Felipe Massa in particular is in his element here in his home country. All in all, a successful qualifying session and I am looking forward to tomorrow's race."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"A day of totally contrasting fortunes for our drivers. Michael made a mistake this morning and with the current format you pay heavily for it so it will be very difficult for him in the race tomorrow. Rubens on the other hand has had a great weekend so far. He's worked hard, got the car set-up properly and put in a great lap in qualifying. From my perspective he deserves to win tomorrow. Whether that will happen is another matter but it would be great if he could."

"We have good consistent tyres from Bridgestone but we don't know what conditions we will face tomorrow as there's a high chance of rain. However, we've never complained about rain as the Bridgestone tyres are excellent in the wet and we'll just look at it as another opportunity."

Willy Rampf, Technical Director of Sauber Petronas:

"We are good shape for tomorrow's race. The Bridgestone tyres are consistent and the qualifying performance was really there. Overall I'm pleased with the performance of the car, tyres and drivers."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Minardi , Jordan