Bittersweet qualifying in Brazil for Bridgestone Storming to a sensational third career pole in his Bridgestone shod Scuderia Ferrari, Felipe Massa sent his home crowd wild this afternoon in the final qualifying session of the 2006 season. The...
Bittersweet qualifying in Brazil for Bridgestone
Storming to a sensational third career pole in his Bridgestone shod Scuderia Ferrari, Felipe Massa sent his home crowd wild this afternoon in the final qualifying session of the 2006 season. The young Brazilian was over half a second faster than second placed Kimi Raikkonen with Panasonic Toyota Racing's Jarno Trulli making it two Bridgestone runners in the top three.
However, in yet another cruel blow, Michael Schumacher was robbed of his opportunity to steal the show. A car problem left him with no other alternative than to return to the pits at the start of the final phase of qualifying. Schumacher had earlier set the fastest time of the day with a 1m10.313, indicating that he clearly will be on the pace in tomorrow's 71-lap race.
Brother Ralf was seventh fastest today in final qualifying while Mark Webber was 11th fastest on his final weekend for the WilliamsF1 team. His teammate Nico Rosberg was 13th. Spyker MF1 Racing's Christijan Albers was 18th with Super Aguri F1's Takuma Sato and Sakon Yamamoto close behind. Tiago Monteiro was 22nd after spinning off at the beginning of the opening qualifying session.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport:
"We clearly saw the strong performance of the Bridgestone tyres in this afternoon's qualifying session with Felipe [Massa] taking his second consecutive pole and Jarno [Trulli] finishing in third. Congratulations to them on a job well done. Obviously we are disappointed for Michael [Schumacher] as we could well have seen a Ferrari 1-2 today. Nevertheless, he is more than capable of fighting to the front tomorrow so he should not be ruled out."
"Ralf Schumacher will also be strong tomorrow, having qualified seventh fastest. It was a very close qualifying today but we are very pleased so far with the performance of the Bridgestone tyres and we expect they will be even better in race conditions tomorrow."
Bridgestone Team News
Ross Brawn, Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"A great performance by Felipe who did even better than we had anticipated. The car and Bridgestone tyres are very good here but really he saved the day because of the problem we had with Michael's car. It is particularly frustrating as the car and tyres are so good this weekend but, to me, even from his position on the grid, the way Michael is fired up means that there are still possibilities for tomorrow's race. We have the consistency in the tyres and I believe tomorrow's forecast for warm weather will move things in our favour as well."
Pascal Vasselon, General Manager Chassis - Panasonic Toyota Racing:
"Bridgestone have provided us with a tyre choice a little bit outside the usual window this weekend and we went for it. It seems to provide at the same time a good qualifying performance and, according to what we have seen yesterday and this morning, a very good race pace. Overall we are very, very pleased with this tyre choice this weekend."