MICHELIN AND McLAREN ON TOP AT SILVERSTONE Kimi RÃ¤ikkÃ¶nen (McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) set the fastest time on the opening day of the British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone. He lapped the fledgling MP4-19B chassis in 1m 18.655s - 2.5s...
MICHELIN AND McLAREN ON TOP AT SILVERSTONE
Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) set the fastest time on the opening day of the British Grand Prix meeting at Silverstone. He lapped the fledgling MP4-19B chassis in 1m 18.655s - 2.5s quicker than last season's pole position time - to pip Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber-Petronas) by 0.005s. As is customary, Michelin drivers packed the top half of the timesheets.
After two free practice sessions, Räikkönen's team-mate David Coulthard was fourth on aggregate ahead of Jenson Button (B*A*R- Honda/Michelin, fifth), Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin, sixth), Marc Gené (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin, seventh), Jarno Trulli (Renault/Michelin, ninth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin, 10th) and Anthony Davidson (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin, 12th).
Renault star Fernando Alonso missed part of this morning's opening free practice session after technical trouble forced him to pull off the track. He was 12th fastest in the afternoon.
Sauber driver Giancarlo Fisichella will be given a 10-place penalty on the grid for Sunday's race. The Italian had a replacement engine fitted in the wake of a failure during the first free practice.
Test driver Anthony Davidson (B*A*R-Honda/Michelin) was fifth fastest this morning but only managed 20 minutes in the afternoon before stopping on the track with a technical problem.
Jordan reserve Timo Glock had a scare when his car lost a wheel at the 270km/h (167mph) Bridge Corner during the second session. The German's out- of-control car almost overturned as it careered through the gravel, but he suffered no serious injury
Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:
"Track conditions were very difficult this morning - the surface had been cleaned up thoroughly by yesterday's storms and was very abrasive. Things stabilised during the day, however. We have gathered plenty of valuable data and I was pleased to see McLaren returning to its customary position of eminence.
"Friday sessions sometimes have limited relevance, but it was clear that our tyres were both fast and consistent. It is likely that both our 'prime' compound and our 'option' will be used in the race because both are well suited to the conditions - always assuming it remains dry, of course."