Many people predicted Ferrari's Bridgestone tyres would suffer in the heat of Malaysia but Michael Schumacher certainly didn't have any problems. But the German's win was only five seconds ahead of the Michelin shod Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya,...
Many people predicted Ferrari's Bridgestone tyres would suffer in the heat of Malaysia but Michael Schumacher certainly didn't have any problems. But the German's win was only five seconds ahead of the Michelin shod Williams of Juan Pablo Montoya, a big difference to the half a minute advantage he enjoyed in Melbourne.
Whether Bridgestone had the upper hand, or it's simply that the Ferrari is a superior car, Michelin motorsport director Pierre Dupasquier can only hope for some mistakes from the Scuderia. Rubens Barrichello opted for a harder compound than his teammate in Malaysia, which turned out to be not the wisest of choices, as he finished fourth after fighting with Renault and BAR.
"Ferrari and Bridgestone, like last year, have to make mistakes to help us a little bit," Dupasquier admitted. "All our partners are competent, they have resources available and they are experienced. The problem is to really put everything together. They are just missing a few little things."
"Last year Ferrari made so many mistakes that they gave us a nice opportunity. We spoiled the opportunity but we had it last year, definitely. It is the same this year, we are in the same situation."
However, Dupasquier believes that there is no leader in the tyre war: "Bridgestone will never be ahead of us," he added. "Do not confuse Ferrari and Bridgestone. If they had Michelin tyres on their car there would be no championship any more."
"We are not at fault, but everyone has to push. It is a total. We have McLaren, BAR, Williams, Renault, we have lots of good people, but if you have one weak point somewhere it doesn't work in Formula One."
Sauber's Felipe Massa was the next best Bridgestone finisher in Malaysia, although his eighth place was somewhat facilitated by Takuma Sato's Honda engine blowing just three laps from the finish.