Rubens converts pole to win as Ferrari & Bridgestone take 8th 1-2 finish of 2004! Giancarlo Fisichella finishes 8th to take another point for Sauber Petronas Bridgestone runner Rubens Barrichello clinched a memorable first win of the season this...
Rubens converts pole to win as Ferrari & Bridgestone take 8th 1-2 finish
Giancarlo Fisichella finishes 8th to take another point for Sauber Petronas
Bridgestone runner Rubens Barrichello clinched a memorable first win of the season this afternoon at the Italian Grand Prix in front of thousands of jubilant Tifosi, giving the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team its 13th win in 15 races. After setting the fastest time of the race on lap 41, the Brazilian was followed across the line by teammate Michael Schumacher, giving the Ferrari team its seventh 1-2 finish of the season.
Also making it into the points for Bridgestone was Sauber Petronas' Giancarlo Fisichella who once again drove a solid race in difficult conditions. All the runners today had to overcome the trials of a wet but drying track at the start of the race and it was a close call for tyre choice. Of the Bridgestone runners only Barrichello and Felipe Massa chose to start on wet tyres and although this gave them an initial advantage it meant they had to stop early in the race for a change to dry tyres.
Schumacher, who had started on dry tyres had to bide his time dropping to 15th before being able to really make the most of his tyres. However, in a perfect demonstration of the quality of a World Champion, he stormed through the field to clinch the second place podium spot.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"It was great to see another 1-2 finish for Ferrari and I'm delighted for Rubens. This was his first win of the season. We experienced quite complicated conditions at the start of the race but once our runners were on dry tyres our performance was clear for all to see. In Ferrari's case, both drivers were lapping in 1 minute 21 seconds and our tyre performance combined with their great strategies to enable them to fight their way up through the field into first and second."
"In Sauber's case, it enabled Giancarlo to drive very competitively against his rivals to take another point. From that point of view, I believe the tyres we brought here worked very well. We were unfortunate at the start of the race with the damp but drying conditions as these are not the best for our runners but they drove well and many of them were able to improve on their grid positions and that was very satisfying to see. Overall, we are very proud of the Bridgestone tyre performance today."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"We know that if we have a weakness it is when the track is damp but I'm not sure who made the right decision: Michael or Rubens! After five laps it looked as though we were fighting for points and perhaps a podium but then I could see the pace coming and it showed more on Michael's car because we had a lot of fuel in Rubens'."
"Michael started to show what the car could do and Rubens was within striking distance so we swapped his strategy around and we won the race. Michael did a fantastic job as well. The Bridgestone tyres were great -- really, really good today. I'm almost lost for words. It looked like a disaster after five laps and then we finished first and second -- fantastic!"