Japanese GP Bridgestone Friday interviews

Bridgestone Friday press conference Japanese Grand Prix Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro Michael Schumacher Rubens Barrichello Jean Todt Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda Jarno Trulli Jean Alesi Eddie Jordan To Michael Schumacher: We have a very...

Bridgestone Friday press conference
Japanese Grand Prix

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro
Michael Schumacher
Rubens Barrichello
Jean Todt

Benson & Hedges Jordan Honda
Jarno Trulli
Jean Alesi
Eddie Jordan

To Michael Schumacher: We have a very difficult international situation at the moment but in spite of that you have travelled to Japan. Are you in a good mental and physical condition?

Right now the situation is slowly getting back to normal after what happened. None of us will ever get over it completely but we have to face reality and life goes on. That is what we do, we did it in the United States. It was very satisfying to see the faces of the American people, for us to be there and to give them some enjoyment and happiness. Now we look forward to having a great race in Japan at Suzuka in order to satisfy the fans here and to do a good job for them as well. To Michael Schumacher: What was so special about the Ferrari package compared to other teams? It depends which team you compare us with. If it is Michelin teams, then simply Bridgestone made us go faster to win the championship so early. Our partnership is going really well and has produced a championship very early. From the team side we are in a very strong position because we have simply pulled out all the stops in every way. F1 is a very quick business, we have to push all the time because we are aiming to stay at the top for a long time.

To Rubens Barrichello: You are competing against David Coulthard with seven points difference between you. Are you going to change that at Suzuka? I hope so. As Michael said, we both have the best cars and we have been doing very well during the season. The last two races have been very, very good for me; if it was not for minor problems I think I could have won both actually. I will be trying my best to win the race; whatever the other competitors do is another story. I have to be the best and win the race, that is the aim at Suzuka. To Rubens Barrichello: Which corner is the most challenging at Suzuka? The first corner before the chicane is very demanding but Suzuka involves a lot of good cornering. The esses, Dunlop, Spoon -- you have to be very aggressive and on the limit the whole time. It demands a lot of the braking, of the tyres, but it is very enjoyable. It is very difficult to be on the limit for the whole lap.

To Jarno Trulli: At Indianapolis you wore the Stars and Stripes on your helmet. What was your message? We all know what happened in the USA, in Washington and New York. I must say that I wanted to do something for them, for the people. I had a great time in America and got a very warm welcome last season. That is why, after the race, I sent my helmet to Rudolph Giuliani [mayor of New York city] for him to put in an auction for the people. It was something to show that we all know what is going on, the suffering, the tragedy, and that we are all close to them. To Jarno Trulli: This is your last race for Jordan Honda, what are your best memories? I have many, many good memories, even if I cannot say the same about the results. I had a very strong performance last year -- two front row positions in qualifying -- and this year I performed very well at Canada and Silverstone.

To Jean Alesi: You have the longest experience of Suzuka -- you have been here 12 times since 1989. Compared to other F1 circuits around the world, what are the characteristics of Suzuka? It is a very demanding circuit for the driver, it is very tough to set up the car and get the best from the car in each corner. This is quite unusual -- it is much easier at some other circuits. It is a circuit I have really loved since the first time I came, even if the regulations of the cars I have driven since 1989 to now have changed quite a lot. It is a very good feeling to race at Suzuka. To Jean Alesi: What are your plans for 2002? I will retire. I will not race next year but for the moment it is not completely clear what I am going to do. I will not drive in F1 any more. To Jean Alesi: Suzuka will be your last race? Yes.

To Jean Todt: This is the golden age of the Ferrari team. What is the secret of your success? I don't think there is any secret, it is just the result of hard working groups, between chassis, engine, tyre company, drivers, technical. It's just a demonstration that Ferrari has had a very strong package. To Jean Todt: Has development already started for 2002? Yes, of course. We have been working for many months on the 2002 car and 2002 engine. Even though the regulations will remain mostly the same as this year we will have a new car and hopefully more performance. It was very important to decide early to stay with Bridgestone. We have developed our relationship since 1999 and we had no hesitation to stay with Bridgestone for many years.

To Eddie Jordan: Can you summarise this season and your ambitions for next season? I would need a very long time to explain everything in summary. I would like to say that what Jean [Alesi] has just said is news to me. I think all three drivers on my right have driven Jordan cars and one of the real pleasures this year was to have Jean driving for Jordan. The courage that he has shown and the commitment to move forward, if he had not made that I don't think I would be here. I think we should all give him a round of applause. The final part of the question is Ferrari is too strong at the moment and Jarno is going to another team, so the main thing is that Jordan has to restructure.

Question from Shigeo Watanabe, president of Bridgestone Corporation, to Michael Schumacher: Throughout this season what was important to you about Bridgestone tyres and Bridgestone staff? Any special requests? As Jean [Todt} mentioned the biggest point is the partnership. We were pretty happy to join with your company. The relationship built since then is, I think, something special. One of the key parts of why we have been so successful is working so closely with your company and trying to beat the rest. As we now have big competition from another tyre company we need to keep this particular part so close together in order to improve and look to the future. Formula 1 is improving all the time. I heard Bridgestone produced 120 specifications this year so maybe the request is to go beyond that. We need to find out how many specifications we need to beat our competitors. I think that is what your aim is and what our aim is and I very much look forward to us achieving it together.


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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Jean Alesi , David Coulthard , Eddie Jordan , Jean Todt
Teams Ferrari , Jordan