Monaco GP: Bridgestone Thursday qualifying notes

Bridgestone dominates first qualifying Bridgestone Motorsport claimed an encouraging 1-2-3 this afternoon with Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button heading the leader board in first qualifying. There was no stopping the ...

Bridgestone dominates first qualifying

Bridgestone Motorsport claimed an encouraging 1-2-3 this afternoon with Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Jenson Button heading the leader board in first qualifying. There was no stopping the three Bridgestone runners as they mastered the demands of Monaco's notoriously low grip circuit.

But it was Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Schumacher who stamped his authority on today's session setting a time of 1:16.305, six tenths of a second quicker than Bridgestone's competitors. Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda's Button, meanwhile, was one of only four drivers to set a time under 1 minute 17 seconds, a confident performance at a circuit that requires skill and nerve.

Also making it into the top ten for Bridgestone was Jordan Ford's Giancarlo Fisichella in seventh and Sauber Petronas' Nick Heidfeld in tenth. Heidfeld's teammate Heinz Harald Frentzen unfortunately brought the red flag out, leaving the remainder of the Bridgestone runners with a long wait and altered track conditions.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"We're very pleased to see three Bridgestone cars in the top three. And we also had two other cars in the top ten. We actually have seven specifications here this weekend and between our teams we saw both soft and hard specifications being used. Both performed well and today has encouraged us for Saturday's qualifying - we're quite optimistic."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"Track conditions changed quite a lot this afternoon but our car worked well for us - as did the Bridgestones. We have been able to choose our tyres for the weekend relatively quickly and both drivers are happy with it. I think we'll be competitive."

Geoff Willis, Technical Director of Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda:

"I'm pleased with the way the car and tyres worked together today. We thought it would be a bit of a challenge here but the Bridgestones performed well. Did the high temperatures help? We look to be in a good position as we'll be going out towards the end of Saturday's final qualifying session. Today has been a bit of a boost for us and we expect to be competitive this weekend."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Giancarlo Fisichella , Jenson Button , Michael Schumacher , Rubens Barrichello , Nick Heidfeld , Ross Brawn , Geoff Willis
Teams Ferrari , Sauber , Jordan