French GP: McLaren Saturday qualifying notes

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen will be starting tomorrow's French Grand Prix from sixth on the grid having set a time of 1:16.281 in the final qualifying session. Pedro de la Rosa's time of 1:16.632 means that he will be starting from...

Team McLaren Mercedes driver Kimi Raikkonen will be starting tomorrow's French Grand Prix from sixth on the grid having set a time of 1:16.281 in the final qualifying session. Pedro de la Rosa's time of 1:16.632 means that he will be starting from eighth place.

Today's qualifying saw a slightly revised format with the third session lasting only 15 minutes, whilst laps started before the chequered flag in the first two sessions now count towards the result.

Kimi Raikkonen:

"I am pretty happy with the performance of the car, we could be a little faster and there are a few things that could improve. However, with our Michelin tyre choice I expect a stable race performance, and a podium result is what I am aiming for. Otherwise I had an uneventful qualifying."

Pedro de la Rosa:

"That was quite interesting from my point of view, especially towards the end when it gets very busy on track. I could have been a bit quicker, but I had a lot of traffic coming out of the pit-lane as I started my last lap on fresh tyres, and I lost nearly four tenths on the high speed turn three. With this qualifying system, which is new to me, you can not afford to have the slightest problem to qualify at the top."

"We made some changes to the car and as a result it is handling a lot better than yesterday, so I am looking forward to the race and hopefully scoring some points for the team."

Ron Dennis:

"Not a bad qualifying for us and, as is often the case for everyone we encountered a lot of traffic. The grid positions reflect the tyre competition. This will be an important factor in the race, and we expect that our selected Michelins will enable us to be strong tomorrow."

Norbert Haug:

"Our grid positions on the third and fourth row are not ideal, but let's see the strategies tomorrow. Pedro on his debut did a good job for the team. Our speed should be good enough for a podium place."

Chassis allocation
Kimi Raikkonen: MP4-21 02
Pedro de la Rosa: MP4-21 07
T-car (Kimi): MP4-21 06

-mclaren-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Pedro de la Rosa , Kimi Raikkonen , Norbert Haug
Teams Mercedes , McLaren