RAIKKONEN ON FRONT ROW FOR MICHELIN ALONSO WELL PLACED FOR TITLE DEFENCE Kimi Raikk& ...
RAIKKONEN ON FRONT ROW FOR MICHELIN
ALONSO WELL PLACED FOR TITLE DEFENCE
Kimi Raikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes) was the fastest Miche lin runner during qualifying for tomorrow's season-closing Brazilian Grand Prix. The Finn will start from the front row of the grid after lapping the high-speed, 4.309-kilometre (2.677-mile) Interlagos circuit in 1m 11.299s.
World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) will line up fourth as he pursues a second straight F1 world title. No matter what else happens tomorrow, a top-eight finish will be enough for the Spaniard. His championship rival Michael Schumacher starts 10th after suffering a technical problem.
Six Michelin drivers have qualified in the top 10. Raikkönen and Alonso will be joined by Rubens Barrichello (Honda, fifth), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, sixth), Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber, eighth) and Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber, ninth).
Nick Shorrock, Michelin F1 director
"From a race perspective we feel very confident about our pace and consistency" "That wasn't one of the easiest sessions we've had this year. Our main rival is clearly very quick over a single lap but from a race perspective we feel very confident about our pace and consistency. Our tyres were not in their ideal operating window in this afternoon's warmer weather, but Kimi Raikkönen did a terrific job and Renault is in a very good situation as it chases another Formula One world title double."
"Between them, our partner teams will be using five Michelin products tomorrow a blend of five different casings and three different compounds. It has been a long, hard season but I'm sure our tyres will be as effective during the final 71 laps as they have been throughout the campaign."
Martin Whitmarsh, CEO Formula One, Team McLaren Mercedes:
"Kimi Raikkönen did an excellent job for the team today and I believe we are set for a very exciting race tomorrow. We worked hard with Michelin to choose appropriate tyres for this race and we're very pleased with the results. We were able to develop strong first-lap pace and the tyres also proved to be very fast and consistent over longer runs. I expect both our cars to be competitive in the race."