Bridgestone Motorsport has completed its winter test programme in good spirits after three days at the 4.933km Italian "Enzo e Dino Ferrari" circuit in Imola where the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team has been running its F2004 challenger. This...
Bridgestone Motorsport has completed its winter test programme in good spirits after three days at the 4.933km Italian "Enzo e Dino Ferrari" circuit in Imola where the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team has been running its F2004 challenger.
This was the 2004 car's first outing alongside rival teams and both Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello shared the workload with an F2003-GA also at their disposal. And despite this week's variable weather conditions which has seen teams battling against snow, sleet, rain and near freezing temperatures, the team laid down the gauntlet yesterday with a spectacular 1minute19.664s breaking the circuit lap record.
Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport's Technical Manager:
"Whilst much of the credit for yesterday's record breaking time by Michael should rightly go to Ferrari, it was also an exciting culmination of the huge amounts of hard work put in by all the Bridgestone teams and our tyre engineers. What's more, Michael's time came at the end of a simulated race run which shows the competitiveness of the Bridgestone tyres from start to finish. Obviously we don't know just how competitive we will be until the first race in Melbourne next Sunday but recent results suggest our rivals will have a battle on their hands. What's more, there will be further developments to come throughout the season."
Alongside Ferrari, the Sauber Petronas, Jordan Ford and Minardi Cosworth teams have each played a significant role in the Bridgestone test programme this winter, completing no fewer than 17,000kms between them in tyre tests alone. With an average of 2,000 tyres and 20 different specifications at each test, the teams have spent the last four months working their way through Bridgestone's pre-planned programme enabling the tyre supplier to undertake a complete evaluation of its F1 tyres from shapes and constructions through to the latest compounds and, in the case of its wet weather tyres, its tread designs.
Bridgestone Motorsport and its four teams are now ready to go head-to-head with their rivals as they travel to the warmer and sunnier climate of Melbourne, Australia for the first round of the 2004 FIA Formula One World Championship on March 7.