Italian GP: Bridgestone press conference

Bridgestone press conference 2002-09-13 Rubens Barrichello - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Giancarlo Fisichella - DHL Jordan Honda Hirohide Hamashima - Head of Development - Bridgestone Motorsport To GF: Tell us about your relationship with ...

Bridgestone press conference 2002-09-13

Rubens Barrichello - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Giancarlo Fisichella - DHL Jordan Honda
Hirohide Hamashima - Head of Development - Bridgestone Motorsport

To GF: Tell us about your relationship with Bridgestone?

In Formula 3, I won the Monaco Grand Prix with Bridgestone tyres, it was one of my best records to remember. Last year and two years ago I raced on different tyres with Benetton, but now I am back with Bridgestone and I am very pleased about that.

To GF: You were saying you did not think you would be in the top ten at this circuit....

It is difficult to be in the top ten; today I was 11th and it will be a very tough qualifying session - we are still struggling a little bit with the set-up. But I think tomorrow should be better with less fuel, hotter conditions and more rubber on the circuit - we need just one lap as usual.

To HH: Has it been a surprise about how cool it has been today?

Yes, we were expecting 25C so today has been maybe five degrees lower than we expected.

To HH: The tyres you have brought here, were they worked out at the test last week?

Yes, we tested a lot of specifications last week and found we needed some more heat-resistant tyres so we made them last weekend and brought them here yesterday lunchtime.

To GF: Have you been happy generally with what Bridgestone has brought to the circuits this year?

Last week I did just one day testing and I told them the compound looked too stiff and at the moment we are struggling for the qualifying session. But it looks very, very consistent for the race distance so maybe for the race it will be the best choice.

To GF: Consistency has been one of the great things with Bridgestone this year...

Yes, exactly. Usually in the race we are much more consistent, there is no graining at all and even the behaviour of the tyres is very consistent from the beginning to the end so that is very important. I remember last year on the other tyres that at the beginning usually there was under-steer and then at the end of the first stint or at the end of the race there was massive over-steering, but this year it is much more consistent.

To HH: How does the fact that it is a low downforce circuit affect the tyres that you bring here?

It increases the wheelspin which increases the tyre temperature, that is the main effect.

To HH: What about the kerbs, do the tyres have to have a stronger carcass?

It is not such a big problem for us but it may damage the car. The construction is new.

To RB: What was the problem in this morning's practice?

I had a brake problem. The pedal went down to the floor on my first run. I was lucky not to collect Michael, I felt the pedal was no good as he went by. The second session went quite well, we tried the tyres and a little bit of the set-up. Normally when you have a week of testing like we had last week the track can change in terms of grip level when all the cars are running, so we fine-tuned a little bit and obviously I was playing catch-up to find out things but quite happy.

To RB: Presumably all the grip was washed away with the heavy rain last night if there was any left from last week?

It was just different, but the rain did wash off a little. In the test it was raining a lot as well, so it was quite similar but at the end of the day the grip level came to what we had in the test.

To RB: Luciano has done a lot of tyre testing here, has that helped you as well?

I guess so, although when you test in Monza with just one car the track is very dirty. I think there were periods of time when they couldn't do the first chicane because it was being re-surfaced, so it does help but sometimes with one car running on a dirty track you have different information.

To RB: You're the only driver who has raced all the time on Bridgestone tyres...

Back in 1997, I was already a Bridgestone fan. I finished second in Monte Carlo with that beautiful tyre, we almost won the race. Michael went off and if he was not able to spin the car and come back it would have been a fantastic win.

To RB: It's been a long relationship with Bridgestone and you've said quite a few times it has been hugely helpful to Ferrari's performance this year...

Absolutely, it is not just now with Ferrari, I had very good Bridgestone engineers when I was working for Stewart. I have a great relationship with them and they try to help. Now the relationship between Ferrari and Bridgestone is so good that we can make the car go forward the whole time. They are able to produce a tyre within a week which is helpful, very helpful.

To HH: Is it the case that you produced this tyre or was it already in Europe, the tyre that you chose last week?

We made the second spec last weekend, Saturday and Sunday, in Japan and it arrived in Europe yesterday lunchtime (Wednesday) at Frankfurt and then came here in the trucks.

To RB: How did it work with Luca Baldisserri today?

Luca did a fantastic job just to cope with a bit more pressure. But to be honest when Ross [Brawn] was needed he was there because the radio was there, I could talk to him and then in the meetings he was there, we could talk to him. On the track when we were running he let us go a little bit freer in terms of set-up, in terms of decisions, tyres and so on. He is so good at collecting the data, analysing, organising and things like that so it was no different today. He was not there physically but by the time we came to meetings and so on it was exactly the same just using video-conferencing.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Rubens Barrichello , Luca Baldisserri
Teams Ferrari , Benetton , Jordan