US GP: Michelin Saturday qualifying notes

FISICHELLA HEADS MICHELIN'S INDY CHALLENGE Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) was the pick of the Michelin drivers during qualifying for tomorrow's United States Grand Prix. The Italian lapped in 1m 11.920s during the decisive part of the session to...

FISICHELLA HEADS MICHELIN'S INDY CHALLENGE

Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) was the pick of the Michelin drivers during qualifying for tomorrow's United States Grand Prix. The Italian lapped in 1m 11.920s during the decisive part of the session to annexe third place on the grid.

It is only the third time this season that Michelin has not taken pole position for a Formula One race, but seven drivers from four partner teams have secured a place in the top 10. Rubens Barrichello (Honda) was fourth ahead of world championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault, fifth), Jacques Villeneuve (BMW Sauber F1 Team, sixth), Jenson Button (Honda, eighth), Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes, ninth) and Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber F1 Team, 10th).

There were some high-profile casualties during the first stage of today's qualifying knockout: David Coulthard (Red Bull/Michelin), Nico Rosberg (Williams Cosworth) and Jarno Trulli (Toyota) all failed to make the cut, as did Takuma Sato (Super Aguri), Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso/Michelin) and Franck Montagny (Super Aguri).

Juan Pablo Montoya (McLaren Mercedes/Michelin), Mark Webber (Williams Cosworth), Scott Speed (Toro Rosso/Michelin), Christijan Albers (MF1), Tiago Monteiro (MF1) and Christian Klien (Red Bull/Michelin) were eliminated during the second stage of qualifying.

Michael Schumacher (Ferrari) has qualified on pole position for the 67th time in his F1 career.

Michelin's day
Nick Shorrock, Michelin Formula One director:

"That was a fairly intense qualifying session, with a kind of race within a race at the start of the decisive final run. Between them, our partner teams have chosen three different productsfor tomorrow's race - one 'prime' and two 'options' - and all have performed very well in terms of long-run consistency."

"Some partners picked up a degree of understeer today and we have yet to generate the kind of ultimate performance we saw during testing, but we are expecting even hotter weather for tomorrow's race and that might well provide an optimum operating platform for our tyres."

Team perspective on tyres
Pat Symonds, executive engineering director, Renault F1 Team:

"Obviously our main concern this weekend was to have good durability from the tyres at this circuit and the professional engineering approach that Michelin has taken following the problems encountered last year has given us just that. We are looking forward to a good and safe race tomorrow."

-michelin-

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About this article
Series Formula 1
Drivers Juan Pablo Montoya
Teams Ferrari , Mercedes , Sauber , McLaren , Toro Rosso , Williams , Renault F1 Team