Tough weekend beckons in France Lap times on the first day of the French Grand Prix hinted at a close weekend ahead at Magny-Cours. In the kind of high temperatures expected for the French summer, Michael Schumacher drove the quickest lap on ...
Tough weekend beckons in France
Lap times on the first day of the French Grand Prix hinted at a close weekend ahead at Magny-Cours. In the kind of high temperatures expected for the French summer, Michael Schumacher drove the quickest lap on Bridgestone tyres, finishing the day 3rd on 1:14.240. His Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro team-mate Rubens Barrichello was half a second behind with a 1:14.750.
The pair completed a total of 90 laps across the morning and afternoon hour-long sessions, with the track becoming progressively lower in grip as the day developed. Giancarlo Fisichella was next fastest for Bridgestone in 12th place for DHL Jordan Honda. Felipe Massa was 13th for Sauber Petronas in his first time at Magny-Cours.
The morning session was led by Barrichello with a lap time of 1:15.056. Neither of the OrangeArrows cars, for which Bridgestone supplies tyres, took part in free practice.
Hisao Suganuma, technical manager of Bridgestone Motorsport:
"Overall, the results today were quite positive for Bridgestone knowing what fuel levels were being run. In addition, we expect the conditions on Sunday to be similar to today and since we encountered no problems with heat durability and wear I am quite encouraged. Of course, tomorrow's qualifying session will give us a more realistic picture, but the signs are that it is going to be a tough weekend for everyone."
The Tyre Choice
Bridgestone's teams have two new dry weather tyres to choose from for the French Grand Prix. Hisao Suganuma said: "All our teams tried both specifications and at the moment it is very difficult to conclude which will be the more suitable for the race. That said, we expected the option specification to show better consistency and that was confirmed today. The track was slippery this afternoon and our other tyre seems to have more grip. Tonight we will work on analysing which will have the overall advantage in qualifying and in the race."
Ross Brawn, technical director of Scuderia Ferrari Marlboro:
"We concentrated on assessing the two Bridgestone tyres today. The track was very slippery, especially as the asphalt temperature went up this afternoon, so it was important to get a proper assessment of how each tyre behaved. We will be looking at ways to improve the grip and consistency for tomorrow."