Thursday May 10th, 2001
Japanese manufacturer Bridgestone claimed on Thursday their tyres were not to blame for Michael Schumacher's problems during the Spanish Grand Prix, despite the German saying they were probably delaminating.
Schumacher, who eventually won the race after McLaren's Mika Hakkinen retired on the final lap while leading, was forced to slow down following his second pit stop, losing more than 40 seconds to his rival due to a strange vibration in his F2001.
Though Ferrari's technical director Ross Brawn admitted they had asked the German to slow down due to concerns about the car's suspension, Schumacher believed there was some problem with the tyres.
However, after a careful analysis of the tyres at their technical centre in Japan, Bridgestone announced there was nothing wrong with them.
"As we always do when there has been a problem, we send the tyres back to Japan," a Bridgestone spokesman was quoted as saying on Autosport.com. "There was nothing wrong with the tyres and there certainly wasn't any delamination.
"We have checked our data, concerning the wheel and the balancing before the race, and everything was correct. But after the race, they were off balance. Something happened in-between, but we don't know exactly what."