Schumacher Closes in on Alonso
Michael Schumacher increased his title chances by winning the German Grand Prix this weekend, leaving title rival Fernando Alonso struggling in fifth place after lumps reportedly fell from his tyres. The Hockenheim crown was Bridgestone’s 100th win of the 165 Grand Prix races it has participated in. “We improved the car so it’s a package which is the reason why we can perform as we do perform. Although I have to say it was a bit of a surprise being that much in front,” said Bridgestone-equipped race-winner Michael Schumacher. The Ferrari of Felipe Massa took second place on Bridgestone tyres.
Kimi Räikkönen led the Michelin challenge at the Grand Prix, the Finn started from pole position and went on to finish third – his fifth podium finish of the campaign. Jenson Button (Honda, fourth), Fernando Alonso (Renault, fifth), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, sixth) and Christian Klien (Red Bull, eighth) also scored points on Michelintyres. Alonso and Renault continue to lead the world championships for drivers and constructors, by 11 points and 10 points respectively.
Hisao Suganuma, Technical Manager of Bridgestone Motorsport congratulated Ferrari teammates Schumacher and Mass on their performance: “Congratulations to Michael [Schumacher] and Felipe [Massa] on another great 1-2 finish which has really put them in contention for the championship titles. Today’s win was also special for us as it was the 100th win taken on Bridgestone tyres since we entered in 1997 – something we are very proud of! It is the result of a big team effort, from everyone trackside to all those personnel back in the UK and in our technical centre and factory in Japan. Thanks must also go, not only to those teams who have won on our tyres, but to all the Bridgestone teams who have raced with our tyres over the past ten years. However, as satisfying as statistics such as these may be, we have every intention of adding more victories to the tally and we remain focused on the remainder of the season.
Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director: “We will capitalise on the lessons learned today. Despite the intense hard work that went into preparing for the German Grand Prix, we were caught today by a number of problems that simply weren’t apparent during our pre-race test. We obviously need to look at all the data in detail, but initial analysis indicates that many of our cars suffered tyre-blistering problems at the rear. We obviously expected high temperatures, but the products we brought to Hockenheim were perhaps too aggressive.”