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Bridgestone seek Schumacher answers 09 May 2005

Michael Schumacher (GER) Ferrari F2005 with a flat front tyre. 
Formula One World Championship, Rd5, Spanish Grand Prix, Race Day, Barcelona, Spain, 8 May 2005

Bridgestone have launched an enquiry into what caused two of Michael Schumacher’s tyres to deflate during Sunday’s Spanish Grand Prix, preventing him from securing a probable podium finish.

On lap 44, while running third, Schumacher suffered a loss of pressure to his left-rear tyre and had to pit to change it. A similar problem them occurred with the left front on his Ferrari just two laps later, at which point he retired from the race.

“Safety is of course our first priority and we have already started a thorough investigation into the cause of this loss of air,” confirmed Hisao Suganuma, Bridgestone Motorsport’s technical manager. “What we can say, however, is that the wear on Michael's rear tyres was within acceptable boundaries."

That investigation should confirm whether Ross Brawn’s hypothesis on the cause of Schumacher’s woes was correct. “I know (Giancarlo) Fisichella had to pit because of debris, so maybe Michael also picked up some of that,” said the Ferrari technical director.

Schumacher’s team mate Rubens Barrichello completed the race, albeit out of the points in ninth place, though he too was not without tyre issues. “I had a really difficult race,” reported the Brazilian. “The tyres were getting better as the race progressed, but then they developed blisters and I could not do any more.”

In contrast, Bridgestone enjoyed a trouble-free event with their other two teams. “Neither Minardi nor Jordan experienced tyre problems this weekend and we were hopeful that both Ferrari drivers could finish well today,” added Suganuma.

Both Jordans finished the race, with Tiago Monteiro and Narain Karthikeyan in 12th and 13th places respectively, while both Minardi’s spun out.