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New tyres make all the difference, says Schumacher

[30 July 2005]

Michael Schumacher credited tyre partner Bridgestone for the dramatic improvement in Ferrari's pace at the Hungarian Grand Prix on Saturday.

The seven times champion secured his and Ferrari's first pole position of the season at the Hungaroring with a qualifying lap considerably faster than anyone else.

While rivals suggested the Ferrari was low on fuel, Schumacher patted the Japanese tyre supplier on the back.

"It is a little bit of a surprise to us, honestly, (to be on pole) as it has been a big surprise to be as slow as we have been recently," he declared.

"We have obviously changed the tyres substantially and it seems to pay off.

"We might have to find out if it is just a combination of many things, where this circuit suits the car and the tyres and everything, or if that is a general trend," he added.

"We have a new tyre here and that is the main factor. The car is the same as last weekend."

Ferrari technical director Ross Brawn also said the tyres had made the difference.

"We could see from the beginning of the weekend that we had a very strong tyre and we're seeing the result of it today," he said.

"It just shows we didn't give up and we'll do our best to repeat this performance tomorrow in the race.

"It has come about through a combination of factors as we have had new updates, a new aero package in the last couple of races and I think we're seeing the benefit of it here."

Schumacher won last year's Hungarian Grand Prix to hand Ferrari their sixth successive constructors' title but he has won just once this season -- a hollow victory in the six-car U.S. Grand Prix.

The German is 40 points behind Renault's championship leader Fernando Alonso of Spain, with six races left after Hungary, and has conceded that his hopes of a sixth successive drivers' crown are over.


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