US GP: Michelin Saturday qualifying notes

B·A·R-Honda star Takuma Sato bounced back from an accident yesterday to head Michelin's qualifying challenge during the build-up to the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The Japanese driver's tidy 1m 10.601s lap puts him third on the...

B·A·R-Honda star Takuma Sato bounced back from an accident yesterday to head Michelin's qualifying challenge during the build-up to the United States Grand Prix at Indianapolis. The Japanese driver's tidy 1m 10.601s lap puts him third on the grid, just ahead of team-mate Jenson Button.

Michelin has once again underlined its ability to provide competitive tyres to its partner teams, all six of whom will start tomorrow's race with at least one car in the top 10. Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, fifth) shadowed the B·A·R-Hondas, ahead of Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, sixth), Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes, seventh), Olivier Panis (Panasonic Toyota Racing, eighth), Fernando Alonso (Renault, ninth) and Mark Webber (Jaguar, 10th).

Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello set the qualifying pace - the Brazilian driver's first pole position of the season.

Jarno Trulli (Renault/Michelin) aborted his final qualifying run. The Italian required a push-start to get going and persistent technical problems forced him to pit at the end of his flying lap. He will start tomorrow's race from the back of the grid.

The second day of the United States Grand Prix has passed largely without major incident, although Jaguar driver Mark Webber slightly damaged his car during the fourth and final free practice session when he slid off the track at Turn 6.

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director
"Things have continued to go well for us today. Our tyres have delivered excellent performance and we have seen absolutely no sign of premature wear or blistering, despite the consistently high track temperatures. Despite different strategies, there is not a great deal to choose between the leading runners and our six partners have all shown a competitive turn of speed.

"After analysing yesterday's free practice data, Michelin's teams have all opted to run the same dry-weather compound in the race. I believe it will be a very open contest and, on the evidence of what I have seen so far, I feel reasonable optimistic about our prospects."

-michelin-

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