Round nine of the FIA Formula One World Championship was the scene of one of the most unusual Formula One races today with only the six Bridgestone equipped runners actually taking the start lights, the remainder of the field having retired after...
Round nine of the FIA Formula One World Championship was the scene of one of the most unusual Formula One races today with only the six Bridgestone equipped runners actually taking the start lights, the remainder of the field having retired after the formation lap due to safety concerns.
The Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro, Jordan Grand Prix and Minardi F1 teams therefore ran an unhindered race with Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barrichello and Tiago Monteiro taking the three podium places.
The reigning World Champion now lies in third place in the drivers' standings, five points ahead of his teammate Rubens Barrichello. The Scuderia's 18 points have put them in equal second in the constructors' championship. Jordan and Minardi now have 11 and seven points respectively.
Hiroshi Yasukawa, Director Bridgestone Motorsport:
"A disappointing day for race fans and we fully understand their displeasure. That aside, Bridgestone is pleased to have been able to provide our teams with a safe and suitable product for our teams this weekend. Our technical and support staff have worked hard with our teams to prepare for this race and I am pleased to see all our runners cross the finishing line safely."
"My congratulations to Michael, Rubens and Tiago who finished on the podium. Obviously this afternoon's race was not run under normal circumstances but we now look ahead to returning to Europe where we expect to see a fully competitive field."
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager Bridgestone Motorsport:
"I am pleased to see all six Bridgestone runners finish today's race under tough conditions. Our tyre performance was strong and consistent on the Ferrari, Jordan and Minardi cars. It would have been easy for our teams to have held back today, preserving their engines, but I am pleased to see them pushing themselves."
"Congratulations to Michael and Rubens but especially to Tiago on his first F1 podium. It was not an easy situation for all our drivers today and they were very composed. Naturally we are disappointed not to have been able to demonstrate our tyres within a fully competitive environment but I am pleased that Bridgestone has been able to meet the FIA's requirements."
Ross Brawn Technical Director Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"Both our cars performed well today, we had no problems during the race and the tyres were competitive. However, we are not too sure of our overall car performance. The drivers were pushing each other quite hard and it got quite exciting after the second pitstop so we tried to put on the best race we could under the circumstances. We had no problems with the car and the tyres. We were being cautious [checking the tyres] but there was no need really just the circumstances."