PANIS SETS HONDA PACE IN MONTREAL B.A.R Honda driver goes seventh fastest in Free Practice Oliver Panis (Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda) finished seventh fastest to head the Honda quartet in today's free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix in...
PANIS SETS HONDA PACE IN MONTREAL
B.A.R Honda driver goes seventh fastest in Free Practice
Oliver Panis (Lucky Strike B.A.R Honda) finished seventh fastest to head the Honda quartet in today's free practice session for the Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal. His B.A.R Honda team-mate Jacques Villenueve recorded the ninth fastest time, followed by Giancarlo Fisichella (DHL Jordan Honda) in 12th fastest position. Takuma Sato (Jordan Honda) recorded the 19th fastest time overall.
B.A.R Honda's Olivier Panis and Jacques Villeneuve completed 48 laps each in today's free practice, both drivers ending the second session in the top ten for the first time this season. Panis set a best lap and seventh fastest time of the morning of 1m18.349s. In the afternoon the Frenchman improved on his initial time by just over two seconds, remaining in seventh position overall and setting a best lap of 1m16.333s. Villeneuve recorded the 18th fastest time in the morning but improved on his initial time by almost three seconds in the afternoon, setting the ninth fastest time overall of 1m16.448s.
On his way to setting the third fastest time of the morning Jordan Honda's Giancarlo Fisichella completed 15 laps, going on to run a further 22 laps in the afternoon and set the 12th fastest time overall of 1m16.989s, improving on his original best lap by almost a second. His Jordan Honda team-mate Takuma Sato also completed 15 laps in the morning and set a best time of 1m20.507s. Sato covered a further 19 laps in the second session and set the 19th fastest time overall of 1m18.143s, improving on his initial time by over two seconds.
The weather conditions remained warm and sunny in Montreal (22 degrees) as McLaren's David Coulthard set the pace, followed by Juan Pablo Montoya (Williams) and Ferrari's Michael Schumacher. Kimi Raikkonen (McLaren) and Ralf Schumacher (Williams) recorded the fourth and fifth fastest times while Mika Salo (Toyota) completes the top six positions.
Shuhei Nakamoto - Race and Test Team Manager, Honda Racing Development
"We had a good day today in that both teams have managed to do a lot of laps, which is particularly important here as with the other circuits where we don't have the opportunity to test. As everyone knows, the times on Friday don't mean very much but we're encouraged and we hope that the increased power of tomorrow's engine will help our partner teams to achieve a good result in qualifying tomorrow."
Olivier Panis Position: 7th
"We've had a good first day with the new car and we've been able to put in a lot of laps again. The new aero package certainly helped us to get better grip today and the car feels a lot more stable going into the corners, so we have to feel encouraged by that. We did a lot of work with the tyres as we usually do on a Friday but we were trying lots of other things today to ensure we know as much as possible about the car ready for tomorrow. I have to thank the team for all the hard work that has been done to get the new aero package ready for Canada, especially the people back at the factory."
Jacques Villeneuve Position: 9th
"The car definitely feels better than it did previously and the new aero package gives us more stability. However, we had a different strategy to a typical Friday so our lap times today aren't that representative. Because we have a new package, it was important for us to do a comparison between high and low fuel to find out now if there is any difference in the way the car feels. That way, we don't have any surprises tomorrow. Today has been a good start with a new car but we have to be prepared for the fact that we may not look quite as competitive tomorrow. Qualifying will give us a more accurate picture of where we are compared to everybody else."
Giancarlo Fisichella Position: 12th
"It's been a good day, particularly the first session when we did a good job with the set-up and I was very competitive. When we changed to new tyres, however, it was completely different, and suddenly I experienced a lot of understeer, which means we will need to start again with the set-up tomorrow. Looking at 'brand new' tyre performance it seems the Michelins are better, so we have a lot to do for qualifying."
Takuma Sato Position: 19th
"It was difficult day for me. I had a late start due to trouble with our initial set-up which took nearly 10 minutes to fix. Then we had problems with the electrical systems which spoilt my first session although we were able to carry out back-to-back brake tests for the race, which gave us some positive data. The afternoon was okay until we put on a new set of tyres, which created more set-up work and unfortunately we have not yet got the perfect balance. Finally, ten minutes before the end of the session, my exhaust pipe broke and put a stop to any more timed laps."