Bridgestone & Ferrari return to the podium! Michael Schumacher drove a superb race today in his Bridgestone equipped Ferrari F2005 to clinch second place - his first podium of the season. He now lies equal third in the drivers' championship...
Bridgestone & Ferrari return to the podium!
Michael Schumacher drove a superb race today in his Bridgestone equipped Ferrari F2005 to clinch second place - his first podium of the season. He now lies equal third in the drivers' championship behind Fernando Alonso and Jarno Trulli.
The reigning World Champion had a rocky start to his day, however, after running wide in the final sector of his qualifying lap this morning, pushing him down to fourteenth in the combined qualifying standings. But the Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro driver made short work of the rest of the field in the race, hounding down his competitors one by one as he consistently ran two seconds a lap quicker than his rivals.
Being held up by Button, he pulled off one of the best overtaking manoeuvres of the race taking the Englishman for second place at the chicane. After that, it was game on as he chased and diced with race leader, Alonso, all the way to the chequered flag, setting the fastest lap of the race in the process.
Teammate Rubens Barrichello unfortunately had another dose of bad luck with the Brazilian retiring after 18 laps with a suspected electrical problem. Jordan's Narain Karthikeyan and Tiago Monteiro, meanwhile, both finished the San Marino Grand, giving them more valuable race experience. Sadly for Minardi, neither car finished but the team will be pleased to have finally debuted their new challenger.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"I was very impressed with Michael's race today. We had rain this morning but it didn't change the track conditions considerably for the race and he was clearly the quickest driver out there today. His second stint was particularly impressive when he was lapping two seconds a lap quicker than his rivals."
"I am only sorry that Rubens wasn't able to finish the race. However, our tyre performance here this weekend is undoubtedly an improvement on the previous races. It was a shame that Michael wasn't quite able to snatch the lead but from a tyre point of view I think it fair to say that the Bridgestone was the better tyre today. Having checked the tyres after the race I was also pleased with their appearance."
"Having said that, we are not getting carried away. We know we still have to keep pushing and working on improvements. It was good to see both Jordans finish the race today but I am sorry to see that the Minardis didn't complete the race. But, we are sure that as they develop their new car, race finishes will come."
Ross Brawn, Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"That was a magnificent race: magnificent for Ferrari and for Formula One. It was frustrating being held up for half the race but once we had some space we could see what the car, Michael and Bridgestone's tyres could do. Coming from 13th on the grid was fantastic and showed what the whole package could do. It was fantastic even though a win would have been a bigger boost for the team!"
"It was a great shame for Rubens as we never got to see his potential as he was looking good. We think he had some sort of electrical problem which we'll have to sort out. This is a great car and we are going to have different challenges at different circuits but the Bridgestone tyres today were fantastic and we just have to make sure they work properly at all the circuits. But we've done enough to give the team and all our partners a boost."