US GP: Bridgestone Saturday qualifying notes

Bridgestone & Ferrari bank Brickyard front row Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa set the Indianapolis Motor Speedway alight this afternoon on their Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres with a resounding front row...

Bridgestone & Ferrari bank Brickyard front row

Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's Michael Schumacher and Felipe Massa set the Indianapolis Motor Speedway alight this afternoon on their Bridgestone Potenza Formula One tyres with a resounding front row qualifying lock-out for tomorrow's 73-lap United States Grand Prix. The pair also set the fastest times in this morning's final practice session and are clearly on form this weekend.

Panasonic Toyota Racing's Ralf Schumacher seems to be relishing his return to Indianapolis, qualifying eighth fastest today while MF1 Racing's Tiago Monteiro and Christijan Albers had a good qualifying session, both making it through to the second round of qualifying.

Track conditions at the 4.192km Indianapolis track may well have been hot and sticky today with track temperatures of approximately 46 degrees Celsius but the Bridgestone shod teams seem set for a competitive race tomorrow.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport:

"Track conditions in this morning's third free practice were reasonable, enabling all the Bridgestone teams to make their final set-up changes. As we saw, several of them were looking competitive this morning with the Ferrari drivers fastest in that session too, which was a good indication of what was to come later."

"Track temperatures then rose to between 44 and 46 degrees Celsius for qualifying, presenting some pretty tough conditions for the tyres. Even so, the Bridgestone runners were clearly strong on our tyres today with Ferrari claiming both front row places for tomorrow's grid which is an excellent result."

"Ralf Schumacher also made it into the final shoot-out, qualifying a good eighth fastest. Jarno Trulli unfortunately had suspension problems which hindered his qualifying which is a shame as I believe he too would have been a top qualifying contender."

"It didn't really happen for the WilliamsF1 team today but they are a good team and capable of turning things round. I was pleased to see the performance from both MF1 Racing drivers today - they could have a strong race tomorrow."

"I believe Bridgestone had the performance edge today but tomorrow is what really counts so we will be liaising closely with our teams tonight to help them be as competitive as possible for the race."

Bridgestone Team News

Ross Brawn, Technical Director - Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:

"We've been pleased with our showing all weekend. When we saw the performance of the Bridgestone tyres yesterday we felt we could have a good weekend. The appearance and performance of the Bridgestones has been spot on and given us good reason to be optimistic for the race. We need to have a good result tomorrow: the pieces came together today and we're hoping they'll come together again tomorrow."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis - Panasonic Toyota Racing:

"We already knew that the consistency of our Bridgestone tyres was good because we saw that during the practice sessions, so that was never a concern. Now Ralf's pace during today's sessions has shown that the first lap pace is there as well. So all in all it is a very competitive tyre."

-bridgestone-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Jarno Trulli , Ralf Schumacher , Michael Schumacher , Ross Brawn , Christijan Albers , Felipe Massa , Tiago Monteiro
Teams Ferrari , Williams , Toyota Racing