Monaco GP: Michelin Thursday practice notes

DAVIDSON PROVES HIS QUALITY ON THE STREETS B*A*R-Honda test driver Anthony Davidson might have less Monaco experience than most of his rivals, but that didn't stop him posting the second- fastest time on the opening day of the season's most ...

DAVIDSON PROVES HIS QUALITY ON THE STREETS

B*A*R-Honda test driver Anthony Davidson might have less Monaco experience than most of his rivals, but that didn't stop him posting the second- fastest time on the opening day of the season's most prestigious grand prix. The young Englishman was the fastest Michelin runner in free practice, on 1m 15.141s, and several of Bibendum's partner teams were also well placed.

Jarno Trulli (Renault) was fourth ahead of Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes, fifth), Jenson Button (B*A*R Honda, sixth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, seventh), Ricardo Zonta (Toyota, eighth), Fernando Alonso (Renault, ninth) and Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, 10th).

BMW WilliamsF1 Team star Ralf Schumacher needed an engine change after this morning's first free practice. In line with the 2004 regulations, he will be handed a 10-position grid penalty after saturday's final qualifying session. The German was 12th quickest this afternoon.

Mark Webber (Jaguar/Michelin) has also had technical trouble. He managed only a handful of laps during the day because his engine caught fire and the rear end of his R5 chassis sustained considerable damage. It was a difficult day for Jaguar all round: test driver Björn Wirdheim and rookie Christian Klien crashed during the second free practice session, at Tabac and Massenet respectively.

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:

"This is a particularly difficult event to call in terms of tyre choice. The three dry-weather options we have brought to Monte Carlo are all well suited to the conditions we have seen so far, but the track is likely to evolve considerably before the race. Infrequently-used circuits are always dusty, but this one is covered in all sorts of other things that everyday cars leave behind."

"The surface doesn't cause a particular problem for tyre manufacturers because it isn't particularly abrasive, but chassis tend to slide around quite a lot and we have to keep an eye on that. Our engineers will be doing some incredibly fine detail analysis with our partner teams this afternoon, but we anticipate that at least two of our available compounds will be used on Sunday."

-michelin-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Mercedes , McLaren , Williams