British GP: Michelin Friday notes

Wet day at Silverstone -- Montoya finished fourth Bad weather spoiled both free practice sessions on the opening day of the British Grand Prix meeting. Rubens Barrichello set fastest time for Ferrari -- a 1m 31.457s, 11.4 seconds slower than ...

Wet day at Silverstone -- Montoya finished fourth

Bad weather spoiled both free practice sessions on the opening day of the British Grand Prix meeting. Rubens Barrichello set fastest time for Ferrari -- a 1m 31.457s, 11.4 seconds slower than last season's pole position pace. Conditions were so bad that his world championship-leading team-mate Michael Schumacher spun and stalled on his first lap of the day. The German was able to take part in the second session, however, when he bounced back to post the day's second quickest lap.Juan pablo Montoya (BMW Williamsf1 Team-Michelin) finished fourth.

On a day littered with spins -- Sauber-Petronas driver Felipe Massa managed four on his own -- Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, fourth) was quickest Michelin driver. "We worked mainly on the wet tyres and the wet set up. We normally seem to struggle in the wet but today was quite encouraging." he said .Kimi Raikkonen (West McLaren-Mercedes) was seventh ahead of Jenson Button (Renault, ninth), Ralf Schumacher (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, 11th) and David Coulthard (McLaren-Mercedes, 12th).

Michelin partner Jaguar is racing its revised R3 chassis for the first time this weekend; Pedro de la Rosa set 13th fastest time and team-mate Eddie Irvine was 15th.Mark Webber (KL Minardi-Asiatech, 17th) was quickest of the remaining Michelin runners, from Alex Yoong (KL Minardi-Asiatech, 18th) and Allan McNish (Toyota, 19th). Yoong missed the final few minutes of practice because his engine stalled following a spin.

McNish's team-mate Mika Salo was troubled by a stomach complaint and, after a single installation lap this morning, he was advised to rest for the remainder of the day.

Michelin's day

Pierre Dupasquier (Motorsport Director)

Your best car was only fourth fastest today, a couple of seconds off the pace, but you look reasonably satisfied--

"I am. The results are by no means as disappointing as people might imagine. We all know the Ferraris are in a league of their own at the moment, but we stack up pretty well against everybody else. The most satisfying thing today is that we were competitive when the track was very wet, although we suffered a bit in the final 20 minutes when the track was drying. We clearly still have work to do in intermediate conditions."

Is it possible to recreate the right kind of track conditions when it comes to developing intermediates?

"Not really. Whenever you use an artificially wet track surface the results don't really reflect reality. You need to gain this kind of experience in the field."

The weather forecast for the weekend is not great. Do you mind if it continues to rain?

"Not at all. I was happy that it rained today, because for the first time this year we have been able to evaluate our tyres in constantly wet conditions, which proved to be very instructive. As I said, when the track was constantly wet we were in good shape and I would be quite happy if conditions were the same tomorrow."

Are the problems in intermediate conditions mainly down to your relative lack of experience?"

It is true that we haven't been able to do much running with this type of tyre -- and it is not easy to produce something that offers grip in the wet then remains consistent on a drying track. I hope we might gain more useful experience in this domain here at Silverstone."

What can you tell us about the tyres you have brought for dry conditions?

"Both compounds are new, although they follow the line of thinking we adopted at some of the higher-speed tracks earlier in the season, albeit with modifications designed to suit Silverstone. We tested them at Barcelona recently and they seemed to be very effective."

-michelin-

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