MICHELIN MAKES BRIGHT START IN BAHRAIN Michelin drivers set the pace in both free practice sessions as the 57th Formula One world championship season began at the Bahrain International Circuit. Honda test driver Anthony Davidson posted the...
MICHELIN MAKES BRIGHT START IN BAHRAIN
Michelin drivers set the pace in both free practice sessions as the 57th Formula One world championship season began at the Bahrain International Circuit. Honda test driver Anthony Davidson posted the fastest lap of the day, a 1m 31.353s this afternoon, while Polish newcomer Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber) was fastest out of the blocks this morning.
Defending world champion Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) did not spend much time on the track - he completed only 15 laps all day - but was still fifth fastest on aggregate. In his first race for Scuderia Toro Rosso/Michelin - the renamed Minardi team - Vitantonio Liuzzi was sixth fastest overall.
BMW Sauber/Michelin test driver Robert Kubica has become the first Polish driver ever to have participated in an F1 world championship grand prix meeting. The 21- year-old won last season's Formula Renault 3.5 World Series title.
Red Bull/Michelin reserve Robert Doornbos incurred the first fine of the F1 campaign. The Dutchman was fined $6,250 for exceeding the pit lane speed limit during the opening free practice session.
Of the seven teams entitled to run third cars on the opening day of grand prix meetings, F1 newcomer Super Aguri is the only one not to have taken up the option. The Anglo-Japanese team has signed Frenchman Franck Montagny as reserve driver but does not have a chassis available for him to use.
Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) and Jarno Trulli (Toyota) both failed to complete the second free practice session after stopping on the circuit with technical problems.
Nick Shorrock, Michelin Formula One director:
"At this stage, teams are still finding their way with the new regulations and some of our partners have yet to show their true hand, so I don't believe we'll get a clear picture of how things stand until we have worked our way through a complete race weekend."
"What I can say with certainty, however, is that we are very pleased with the way our tyres performed today. Anthony Davidson set some very good times for Honda and we were all impressed with the consistent, progressive performance of BMW Sauber test driver Robert Kubica in his first grand prix meeting - particularly as the track was very dirty, so conditions weren't easy."
"As we anticipated, it looks as though there will be intense competition this season, but our tyres have reacted exactly as we expected and so far we are very satisfied with our tyres' speed and durability."