French GP: Bridgestone race notes

Japanese tyres help Italian team romp to victory on French soil Michael Schumacher's Italian Ferrari romped away on French soil this afternoon to claim a dominant lights- to-flag French Grand Prix victory on his Bridgestone Potenza Formula One...

Japanese tyres help Italian team romp to victory on French soil

Michael Schumacher's Italian Ferrari romped away on French soil this afternoon to claim a dominant lights- to-flag French Grand Prix victory on his Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres. For the seven time world champion it was his 88th victory and for Bridgestone, the company's 99th since entering Formula One in 1997.

Schumacher's teammate, Felipe Massa, had a very strong race too today, claiming the third place podium position. Schumacher and Ferrari deservedly took a large points haul this afternoon but with championship leader, Fernando Alonso, taking eight points for second place there is still everything to fight for in the remaining seven races of the season.

Meanwhile it was another bittersweet day for the Panasonic Toyota Racing team who have finished fourth two grands prix in a row. This time it was Ralf Schumacher who benefited after Jarno Trulli was unluckily sidelined by car issues when running in fourth place. Like Indianapolis two weeks ago, Toyota again chose to capitalize on the consistency and durability of their Bridgestone tyres with Ralf Schumacher stopping twice on a day which saw track temperatures of up to 50°Celsius.

Ralf Schumacher's five points have boosted his team up a place to fifth in the Constructors' championship. It was a disappointing day for the WilliamsF1 team - Mark Webber retired while Nico Rosberg finished fourteenth. Christijan Albers and Franck Montagny will be pleased to have finished for their respective MF1 Racing and Super Aguri F1 teams.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"It was a very tough race out there today! Track temperaturesh reached 50° Celsius but our tyres performed consistently throughout the race giving Bridgestone our 99t win and Michael [Schumacher] his 88th. We had three Bridgestone shod cars finish in the top four which was another good result following on from our strong performance in Indianapolis recently."

"However, I am disappointed for Jarno [Trulli] as he was looking good today. Had he finished the race he would have been a podium contender. Nevertheless, his teammate, Ralf [Schumacher], finished well so it was another good weekend for Toyota. Williams however had a tough day and we shall work closely with them to find the cause of their problems."

"Overall though, this weekend the Bridgestone tyres performed very strongly in both qualifying and the race. We have worked for this for a long time and it is nice to start seeing the results of our efforts. We shall do our best to keep up the momentum for the rest of the season."

Bridgestone Team News

Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"We made quite an aggressive tyre choice this weekend to get the benefit in qualifying and then had to know how to manage the Bridgestones in the race. Actually they were very good and in Michael's case - excellent. Felipe lost a bit of performance during the race but certainly his pace early on was very strong. The cars and strategy were very good so we're happy!"

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis Panasonic Toyota Racing:

"This weekend was the first time we have used these Bridgestone tyres and we're very happy with our choice. As expected they were very consistent today and that is what allowed us to choose a two-stop strategy. We had the pace to battle for the podium with both cars today."

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Mark Webber , Franck Montagny , Fernando Alonso , Ross Brawn , Christijan Albers , Felipe Massa , Nico Rosberg
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Toyota Racing , Super Aguri F1