Bad day for Bridgestone in France

Japanese tyre manufacturer Bridgestone suffered one of its worst qualifying sessions for a long time in the French Grand Prix at Magny-Cours today (Saturday) as eight out of the bottom nine grid positions were filled by its representatives

Bad day for Bridgestone in France

Michael Schumacher is the highest placed Bridgestone runner in third, but eighth placed Ferrari team-mate Rubens Barrichello is the only other in the top 11 places.

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn hinted at the tyre deficit to rivals Michelin when he commented: "It is clear that we have to improve the performance level of our package. We know what we have to do and we will be working flat out, along with our technical partners, to do just that in the coming weeks."

BAR's Jacques Villeneuve was the next best place Bridgestone runner in 12th position. He said: "We got as much grip as we could from the tyres and 12th is where we are today."

Team boss Peter Sauber, whose drivers were 15th and 16th, was even more outspoken when he said: "The clear difference to the first half of the table is a matter of tyres, rather than the performance of the car itself."

Bridgestone's technical manager Hisao Suganuma commented: "We may have missed the cut on pole today but we're confident that we have the tyres to challenge strongly in the race. We have won here for the past two years and we're expecting a good race again tomorrow."

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