European GP: Bridgestone Saturday notes

Close qualifying in Germany Qualifying for the European Grand Prix ended with an exciting and close rush for pole position - but in the end Michael Schumacher's third position was the best by a driver on Bridgestone tyres. The world championship...

Close qualifying in Germany

Qualifying for the European Grand Prix ended with an exciting and close rush for pole position - but in the end Michael Schumacher's third position was the best by a driver on Bridgestone tyres. The world championship leader was forced to abandon his race car and qualify in his spare but was not quite able to knock Juan Pablo Montoya and Ralf Schumacher off the front row with his time of 1:30.035. Michael's team-mate Rubens Barrichello will start alongside him with his 4th position lap time of 1:30.387. Next best on Bridgestone tyres were Sauber Petronas drivers Nick Heidfeld and Felipe Massa who qualified in 9th and 11th positions.

Qualifying and this morning's free practice sessions were held 45 minutes earlier than usual to avoid a clash with the World Cup.

Ross Brawn, technical director, Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro

"I thought we could do it because Michael was ahead in the first two sectors but could not get it quite right at the end. We had a problem with the gearbox in his race car and struggled with the balance of the T-car, which did not have as good an engine as the race car. We made some changes to the car and even though we were not in such a strong a position we were able to have a go. Overall not too bad, we did some good race work yesterday and the tyres are consistent so I think we will be OK in the race."

Hisao Suganuma, technical manager, Bridgestone Motorsport

"Obviously it's disappointing that we don't have a car on the front row, however it was very close and I think it is clear that Michael certainly had the potential to do better. At the risk of repeating myself, I am confident for the race because the choices our teams have made will make a difference in tomorrow's race. There are some strange gaps between team-mates in the time sheets today so I hope we will see a number of them pushing up through field. From the practice sessions, we know that our tyres are consistent and have the capability to cope with what ever strategy the teams select."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Sauber