DOUBLE TOP & ...
DOUBLE TOP DE LA ROSA SETS THE PACE FOR MICHELIN
Pedro de la Rosa emerged fastest as the British Grand Prix swung into action at the historic, 5.141-kilometre (3.194-mile) Silverstone circuit setting for the inaugural world championship Formula One race 55 years ago.
The McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin test driver lapped in 1m 18.530s during todays second session, 0.434s quicker than Toyota/Michelin counterpart Ricardo Zonta. Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin) was third on aggregate and fastest of the regular race drivers with a 1m 20.211s lap this morning.
Several Michelin partners look set for a competitive weekend: Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren- Mercedes) was fourth overall, ahead of fellow Michelin drivers Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren- Mercedes, fifth), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota, sixth), Jarno Trulli (Toyota, seventh), world championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault, eighth), Vitantonio Liuzzi (Red Bull Racing, ninth) and David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing, 10th).
Following its spectacular success in last weekends French GP, Michelin is gunning for its 85th F1 world championship victory and its 10th of the season this weekend.
Following a recent survey, the FIA has revealed that 94% of Formula One fans want to see more overtaking, 74% would like to see more emphasis placed on driver skill, 69% would prefer to see more teams on the grid and 84% favour having more than 18 races per season.
Sundays British Grand Prix will be preceded by a one-minute silence as a mark of respect to those killed in this weeks terrorist attacks in London.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
The track was quick this morning but it was also very abrasive, partly as a result of being green in the wake of yesterdays rain. Conditions improved as more rubber was laid down, however, and the circuit became much more stable by this afternoon. It is quite similar to Magny-Cours in some respects, because there tends not to be major evolutionary changes once things settle down."
We have two primes and two options available for our partner teams this weekend and we have been able to accumulate plenty of valuable data. Im not sure that todays times will be an exact reflection of tomorrows grid, but irrespective of fuel loads it is a fact that a quick time at Silverstone requires a finely-honed aerodynamic balance, to cope with the high-speed directional changes, and good tyres.