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Monaco: Qualifying notes - Bridgestone

NEWS STORY
27/05/2006

Michael Schumacher claimed Bridgestone's first Monaco Grand Prix pole position since 2000 this afternoon in a thrilling, if not without incident, qualifying session. Four Bridgestone runners made it into the top ten shoot-out including WilliamsF1's Mark Webber and Nico Rosberg and Panasonic Toyota Racing's Jarno Trulli but it was Schumacher's time of 1m13.898s which stole the show after the seven time world champion stopped on track in the final moments of the session. Mark Webber, meanwhile had already posted an excellent third fastest time, giving him a realistic chance for tomorrow's 78-lap race. Unfortunately Schumacher's Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro teammate, Felipe Massa, failed to complete a flying lap after crashing out early in the first session.

Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager - Bridgestone Motorsport: "It's very important to be on pole here in Monaco as it's such a difficult circuit to overtake on so I'm delighted to see Michael, in a Bridgestone shod car, in the top spot. Mark Webber also had a great run, giving both drivers an excellent start for tomorrow's race. The track has evolved over the past couple of days and after this morning's free practice session, in which we saw some good competitive times from the Bridgestone runners while they were making their final tyre choices, I was hopeful of a good qualifying. With the right strategies I'm expecting our tyres will give our teams a good chance in the race. We had four Bridgestone runners in the top ten today and although Ralf Schumacher just missed out he should have a strong race. Felipe Massa was unlucky, crashing very early in the first phase of qualifying so he will need a good race strategy to help him tomorrow. All in all, a positive start to the weekend."

Sam Michael, Technical Director – WilliamsF1 Team: "Mark did a fantastic job in qualifying and he will have a really strong race tomorrow. His last lap was almost two tenths faster before he had to back off to avoid Michael's car so he would have been on the front row. Obviously it's disappointing to have Nico in 10th position - he spent too much time in traffic. The car, tyre and engine performance is definitely strong here at Monaco. Our Bridgestone tyres are working well and we had no mechanical problems today."

Pascal Vasselon, Senior General Manager Chassis – Panasonic Toyota Racing: "We spent the morning looking at race set-up and it was part of our plan to finalise our tyre choice. In the end it was quite easy and straightforward and so far we are very happy with the choice we have made."

To check out our Monaco qualifying gallery, click here

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