DE LA ROSA TOPS BOTH SESSIONS FOR MICHELIN AND McLAREN McLaren-Mercedes test driver Pedro de la Rosa was fastest in both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix meeting at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal. On...
DE LA ROSA TOPS BOTH SESSIONS FOR MICHELIN AND McLAREN
McLaren-Mercedes test driver Pedro de la Rosa was fastest in both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix meeting at the Circuit Gilles Villeneuve, Montreal. On Michelin tyres, the Spaniard lapped in 1m 14.662s this afternoon just 0.196s faster than Toyota/Michelin counterpart Ricardo Zonta.
World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) was third and quickest of the regular race drivers on 1m 15.376s. Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren-Mercedes, fourth), Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes, fifth), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, sixth), Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda, seventh), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, eighth) and Ralf Schumacher (Toyota, ninth) completed the Michelin armada at the head of the timesheets as the company prepares to challenge for its ninth consecutive F1 grand prix victory and its 83rd in total.
Scott Speed has become the first American driver to take part in a Formula One grand prix meeting since 1993, when Michael Andretti raced for McLaren. The 22-year-old conducted Friday test duties for the Michelin-equipped Red Bull Racing team. He was 15th and quickest Red Bull driver this morning, but spun off after 27 minutes in the afternoon.
Jordan Grand Prix sporting director Trevor Carlin has left the team with immediate effect. His place will be taken, on an acting basis, initially, by Adrian Burgess. Carlin, who runs teams in several junior categories, will concentrate on his other motorsport activities. Only 23 cars took part in todays free practice sessions. Jordan was barred from running a third chassis after infringing the tyre allocation regulations during the recent Grand Prix of Europe, at the Nürburgring.
Ralf Schumacher (Toyota/Michelin), Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes/Michelin), Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin), Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber-Petronas/Michelin), Felipe Massa (Sauber-Petronas/Michelin) and Christijan Albers (Minardi) are all running with fresh engines this weekend. Local hero Villeneuve was 13th quickest today.
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
It is difficult to assess the complete picture after Fridays free practice sessions, because the test and race drivers have different routines and objectives. What is clear, however, is that Michelins three tyre compounds worked well in challenging, humid conditions and several of our partner teams look set for a very competitive weekend.
The organisers in Montreal deserve credit for the excellent job they have done with their new track surface. The circuit has evolved significantly, which was to be expected, but it has done so in a consistent fashion and conditions have been remarkably stable. The pre-race preparatory work has been absolutely first-class.