French GP: Ferrari Saturday qualifying notes

Fourth pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, after those obtained in Sakhir, Imola and Indianapolis all of them with Michael Schumacher and the third all-red front row this year. A Ferrari thus starts the French Grand Prix...

Fourth pole position of the season for Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, after those obtained in Sakhir, Imola and Indianapolis all of them with Michael Schumacher and the third all-red front row this year. A Ferrari thus starts the French Grand Prix from the top slot for the fifteenth time, bringing the total of Formula 1 poles to one hundred and eighty three. Michael has obtained the sixty eighth pole of his career, the fourth at this circuit.

Jean Todt:

"A fantastic qualifying! Tomorrow on the grid, it will be nice to see two Ferraris on the front row for the third time this season. A big vote of thanks to Bridgestone, who have provided us with exceptional tyres for qualifying. The team did a really excellent job, repairing the cars after the problems we had in the final free practice session. But we are well aware that the only thing that matters for the championships is the race result."

"Yes, having both cars on the front row means we are in the best possible situation to bring home a good result tomorrow, but we also know what key factors will make the difference: reliability (remember that we will run 70 laps in very high temperatures,) consistent tyre performance, strategy and the way the team handles the pit-stops."

Michael Schumacher:

"I am very happy! Pole position with Felipe starting alongside me - we cannot ask for more! I have to admit I am a bit surprised at the result, especially in light of the fact we started qualifying without much of a reference point after the problems we had this morning in practice. I want to thank all the mechanics, who did a fantastic job to fix the car."

"The Bridgestones are performing very well. It's great to have repeated the Indianapolis qualifying result, but now I also want to repeat the race result from there, as it is important to pick up as many points as possible. Our aim for tomorrow is obvious: to win."

Felipe Massa:

"This morning I had a clutch problem, which the team was able to fix, but only just before the start of qualifying. A big thank you to the mechanics for doing a fantastic job in getting the car ready in time. The car seems to be working well, it is competitive, as are the Bridgestone tyres. I am very happy to be on the front row for the second time in a row, my third this season."

"For tomorrow, having new tyres in the race will make a big difference so it will be interesting to see who will have that advantage. In practice we were competitive on used tyres and I hope we can maintain a good pace in tomorrow's high temperatures over the long runs so that we can stay in front."

Ross Brawn:

"That was a very exciting qualifying session and it served as an indication of the progress Bridgestone have made on the tyre front. We saw in Indianapolis that we were in a very strong situation which was down to the tyres and that trend has continued here, which is very encouraging. The key tomorrow will be the consistency of the tyres as it will be very hot during the race and it will be vital for the tyres to perform well over the full length of a stint."

"As for the fire on Michael's car this morning, we think there was a bit of excess fuel in the exhausts and it caught fire. Then we had a problem with the fire extinguisher which meant we did not put out the fire quite as quickly as we should have done. But everything is fine with the car. At the moment, it is hard to judge what strategies our rivals are on in terms of length of stint. Now we will do our calculations based on what we saw in qualifying so that we can try and predict what they might do."

Michael Schumacher: 1st
1:15.493, 12 laps
Chassis: 254

Felipe Massa: 2nd
1:15.510, 12 laps
Chassis: 252

-ferrari-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Michael Schumacher , Ross Brawn , Felipe Massa , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari