Round two of the FIA Formula One World Championship got under way today at the scorching hot 5.543km Sepang circuit with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team drivers, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, producing their second qualifying...
Round two of the FIA Formula One World Championship got under way today at the scorching hot 5.543km Sepang circuit with the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team drivers, Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello, producing their second qualifying one-two of the season in this afternoon's session. Running fourth according to his championship points standings, Schumacher blitzed his rivals with a 1m34.980 - a full 7/10ths of a second clear of Brazilian teammate Barrichello.
Sauber Petronas drivers Nick Heidfeld and Heinz-Harald Frentzen were next up for Bridgestone, producing a solid performance to finish the day in seventh and eight places. Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda driver Jenson Button out- qualified his stablemate Jacques Villeneuve, to clinch ninth spot overall. With air and track temperatures reaching 37C and 53C respectively and no fewer than five Bridgestone equipped drivers finishing in the top ten, Bridgestone's Potenza tyres have borne up well to their first challenge of the weekend.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"So far we are very satisfied with our results. Five Bridgestone cars in the top ten in qualifying is a good start and we're happy that our tyres have coped well with the combined challenge of extreme temperatures and one-lap qualifying. Our priority now, however, is to make sure we give our teams the best advice regarding their tyre choice for tomorrow's qualifying and the race on Sunday. We tried most of our eight specifications in this morning's free practice session and were confident our tyres would hold up. We were not too worried about comparing the lap times of our teams as we didn't know the fuel loads for everyone."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"Both drivers were on the same tyre specification and the key was to get a good tyre and car set-up here. Michael was happy with his car, Rubens is not so sure but one was running at the start of the session and the other at the end and conditions change. The track here is very hard on the tyres so we'll be concentrating on that tomorrow morning. Track conditions change a lot here and it's a bit of a moving target."
Willy Rampf, Technical Director of Sauber Petronas:
"We are really quite pleased with this afternoon's performance as it was better than expected after this morning's practice session. The trick today was getting the maximum performance out of the tyres for a single lap, which we managed quite well on both our cars. We worked on our set-up for this session and hope now that we can use tomorrow's practices to obtain a good race set- up."