CHARGING ALONSO SECOND FOR MICHELIN IN IMOLA THRILLER Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) maintained his comfortable Formula One world championship lead with a stirring drive to second place in today's fourth race of the year, the San Marino...
CHARGING ALONSO SECOND FOR MICHELIN IN IMOLA THRILLER
Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) maintained his comfortable Formula One world championship lead with a stirring drive to second place in today's fourth race of the year, the San Marino Grand Prix at Imola.
Starting fifth, the Spaniard worked his way through the field to challenge leader Michael Schumacher. In a thrilling repeat of their 2005 duel, Alonso was this time hunter rather than quarry and eventually had to settle for a close second place. He set the race's fastest lap during his energetic pursuit.
Five Michelin drivers from three partner teams scored points today. Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren) finished third, ahead of Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren, fifth), Jenson Button (Honda, seventh) and Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, eighth).
Nick Shorrock, Michelin Formula One director:
"This was a very tight race - as we predicted it would be - and the outcome was always going to be settled by the manner in which the strategies played out. Fernando Alonso put on a tremendous charge during the second stint and was catching Michael Schumacher at about 1.5 seconds per lap. He gave his tyres a really hard time, but they stood up incredibly well in terms of both pace and consistency."
"It is disappointing not to have won a race for the first time this year, but from technical perspective Michelin can take a great deal of satisfaction from this result. I believe we had the pace to win, but Imola is not a circuit that favours overtaking."
Team perspective on tyres
Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team:
"This was a difficult circuit for Michelin last year, even though we won the race, but the company is very honest about recognising its problems and solves them very quickly - such are the pleasures of working with Michelin."
"Even if we did not repeat our 2005 victory this season, our tyre performance was much closer to the kind of level we hope to achieve. Two weeks from now, we fully expect the balance to swing back in our favour at the Nürburgring."