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Malaysia Saturday notes - Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
19/03/2005

Day two of the Malaysian Grand Prix saw no let up in the intense heat and competition of this year's FIA Formula One World Championship. With their tyre specifications decided overnight, Bridgestone Motorsport's teams were back on track for the two morning practice sessions concentrating on car set-ups ahead of qualifying and tomorrow's race. World Champion Michael Schumacher posted the second fastest time of the first session with a 1m34.883s but it was his teammate Brazilian Rubens Barrichello who set the fastest time of the Bridgestone runners this morning with a 1m33.943s. Bridgestone's three teams made sure their car set-ups were honed and although Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro's drivers set only the 12th and 14th fastest times in the first of the two qualifying sessions, the team and Bridgestone are confident that once race fuel strategies and the consistency of Bridgestone tyres come into effect tomorrow, the race is on.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport: "Although we are naturally a little disappointed by the qualifying times of our drivers in today's first session, we are, however, pleased with the consistency of our tyres in race trim. This was evident from the previous practice sessions, where we observed excellent degradation rates. We would like to see our teams in better shape in qualifying in the future but we are not downbeat about this weekend as tomorrow could well be a different story and we are confident of being in good shape for the race. It will undoubtedly be a tough race for everyone but a consistent performance from the tyres will be key."

Ross Brawn, Technical Director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro: "A little disappointing but tomorrow we have the second qualifying session on the same set of tyres and we are hopeful we can recover some of the ground we lost today. Of course we have to run with race fuel tomorrow and race strategies will come into play. The track this afternoon was obviously getting hotter but the drivers were happy with their car balance and we shall just have to make up for qualifying in the race."

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