Bridgestone Positive Despite Michelin Dominance

Bridgestone's technical manager Hisao Suganuma is confident ahead of tomorrow's French Grand Prix despite rivals Michelin securing a front row lockout today.

Bridgestone Positive Despite Michelin Dominance

Bridgestone's technical manager Hisao Suganuma is confident ahead of tomorrow's French Grand Prix despite rivals Michelin securing a front row lockout today.

"We may have missed out on pole today but we're confident that we have the tyres to challenge strongly in the race tomorrow," said Suganuma after qualifying. "We have won here for the past two years and we're expecting a good race again tomorrow."

Only the Bridgestone-tyred Ferraris of World Champion Michael Schumacher and Rubens Barrichello made it into the top ten for the Japanese manufacturer in today's final qualifying session.

The other eight positions were taken by Michelin runners, included the first two spots, which were occupied by Williams drivers Ralf Schumacher and Juan Pablo Montoya.

After nine races, Bridgestone have scored five wins to Michelins' four. The French manufacturer were also confident of a strong race.

"I am delighted with the way the Michelin cars have performed today," said Michelin boss Pierre Dupasquier. "The result bears out what we have seen in recent grands prix: we are constantly providing our partner teams with extremely competitive tyres.

"As always, though, there is a big difference between being fast in qualifying and being both fast and consistent in a race. Yesterday's adverse weather has hampered some of our pre-race preparations, so we haven't done as many endurance runs as we might have liked, but from what we have seen so far I don't expect there to be any problems with tyre wear tomorrow."

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