Team Ferrari Visit Bridgestone HQ
Bridgestone has called in some of its celebrity connections to help motivate workers in advance of next weekend’s Japanese Grand Prix.
Michael Schumacher, Rubens Barichello, and Ferrari F1 team managing director Jean Todt recently visited Bridgestone’s worldwide headquarters in Tokyo at the invitation of Bridgestone Corporation president, CEO and chairman, Shigeo Watanabe.
Michael Schumacher gave a rousing speech that was reportedly well received. Reflecting on what has been a “difficult” year for Ferrari, Michael Schumacher commented: “Can we fight or not? Are we motivated or not? With a lot of effort together and with your support I look forward to winning many more races in the future. There is a saying: `When the going gets tough, the tough get going’.”
For Rubens Barrichello the visit was also significant one. Since Bridgestone entered Formula One in 1997, the Brazilian is the only driver to have raced for the past nine years on Bridgestone tyres.
“This will be my last Japanese Grand Prix with Bridgestone and Ferrari. I have always had your support and I must thank you and Ferrari for all the races and Championship titles we have won together. All of my victories have been on Bridgestone tyres and I shall miss what we have done together over the past nine years,” said Barichello. Mr Watanabe presented the driver with a commemorative silver plate engraved with a message of thanks from Bridgestone.
Bridgestone senior vice president, Shoshi Arakawa; vice president and senior officer responsible for technology, Akira Inoue; vice president and senior officer responsible for corporate administration, Tomoyuki Izumisawa; director of Bridgestone Motorsport Tyre Development, Hirohide Hamashima and director of Bridgestone Motorsport, Hiroshi Yasukawa were also present.