French GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

2nd row start for Bridgestone & Ferrari in Magny-Cours Conditions may well have been damp and overcast at the French Magny-Cours circuit today after overnight rain but this did nothing to dampen the optimism for tomorrow's race as Ferrari's ...

2nd row start for Bridgestone & Ferrari in Magny-Cours

Conditions may well have been damp and overcast at the French Magny-Cours circuit today after overnight rain but this did nothing to dampen the optimism for tomorrow's race as Ferrari's Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello qualified in fourth and sixth places.

They will in fact start from third and fifth places on the grid after Kimi Raikkonen drops ten places for an engine change. Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro and Minardi's Patrick Friesacher and Christijan Albers, meanwhile, will occupy the final two rows of the grid.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Unfortunately Ferrari didn't quite make pole today but we were certainly pleased to see both drivers in touch with the front runners and I'm looking forward to seeing the performance of the car-tyre package in the race tomorrow. The first of this morning's practice sessions was still damp from the overnight and early morning rain, resulting in very little running."

"Of the Bridgestone runners, only Minardi set a few timed runs because conditions were too dry for the wet tyres and too wet for the dry tyres. The teams were able to get some dry tyre running in the next session and we got a glimpse of the potential of our tyre performance in that session. Magny-Cours can be tough because of rear tyre degradation but I think we look in good, competitive shape at the moment. We have good consistency which will benefit all three Bridgestone teams."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"It's rewarding to be reasonably competitive on the first lap, which is something we've been looking to improve all season. We were fighting for pole today, which didn't quite come off, but we were in a position to get pole, which is encouraging. I don't think either driver managed to get a good lap, either because of the car or themselves, but neither put in a perfect lap which is a shame because we had the package today."

"Nevertheless I think we can be competitive tomorrow, the Bridgestone tyres look nice and consistent and we should have a good race. The balance is better today but we didn't quite catch it in qualifying so we'll need to have a look at that. We didn't get a lot of running this morning so maybe we haven't quite got everything dialed in properly but we'll have a good race."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Rubens Barrichello , Kimi Raikkonen , Ross Brawn , Christijan Albers , Tiago Monteiro , Patrick Friesacher
Teams Ferrari , Minardi , Jordan