San Marino GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Michael powers to pole on Bridgestones Michael Schumacher continued his top form at the first European round of the season by claiming pole position with an impressive 1m22.327s. The current world champion had plenty in hand over his rivals...

Michael powers to pole on Bridgestones

Michael Schumacher continued his top form at the first European round of the season by claiming pole position with an impressive 1m22.327s. The current world champion had plenty in hand over his rivals having been three tenths of a second up by the second intermediate. Teammate Rubens Barrichello will line up behind him on the grid tomorrow after posting third fastest time - this was despite a last minute rush in the Ferrari garage to prepare his F2002 Ferrari after the Brazilian went off into the gravel in the pre-qualifying session warm-up.

Although race strategies which may influence fuel loads for tomorrow's race are obviously in place throughout the paddock, the strong performance from both Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda drivers was noticeable. Jacques Villeneuve will start his race tomorrow from seventh place whilst Briton Jenson Button will line up in ninth. Minardi's Jos Verstappen had an unfortunate session when the experienced Dutch driver spun off on his flying lap, bringing out the red flag.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:

"I'm extremely pleased to see Michael on pole today and Rubens in third - a job well done. However the B.A.R Honda cars also put in an impressive performance giving us confidence for Sunday's race. I think our tyres this weekend are well suited to the conditions and will be able to play an effective role in putting the Bridgestone equipped cars in points scoring positions tomorrow."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"That was a great boost for the team. We were delighted with the performance of the Bridgestones and I think we've got a sensible race strategy for tomorrow. It would be great to send this car off with a victory."

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

"A trouble-free day with no problems for either driver. The Bridgestones held up well through the lap and we're in a part of the grid we wanted to be in."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jenson Button , Jos Verstappen , Michael Schumacher , Jacques Villeneuve , Ross Brawn , Geoff Willis
Teams Ferrari , Minardi