British GP: Michelin Saturday qualifying notes

RÄIKKÖNEN CAPTURES STUNNING SILVERSTONE POLE FOR MICHELIN Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) captured pole position for the British Grand Prix with a dramatic 1m 18.233s lap at Silverstone today. It gave the Finn the third pole...

RÄIKKÖNEN CAPTURES STUNNING SILVERSTONE POLE FOR MICHELIN

Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes/Michelin) captured pole position for the British Grand Prix with a dramatic 1m 18.233s lap at Silverstone today. It gave the Finn the third pole position of his F1 career and Michelin its second in as many weekends.

All six of Michelin's partner teams - and nine of its drivers - will line up in the top 12 tomorrow. Jenson Button (B*A*R- Honda, third) was second of the Michelin runners, ahead of Jarno Trulli (Renault, fifth), Fernando Alonso (Renault, sixth), David Coulthard (Team McLaren Mercedes, seventh), Juan Pablo Montoya (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, eighth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, ninth), Mark Webber (Jaguar Racing, 10th) and Olivier Panis (Panasonic \Toyota Racing, 12th).

Alonso will be docked 10 places on the grid following an engine change this morning and will start from the eighth row of the grid. Marc Gené (BMW WilliamsF1 Team/Michelin) moves up to 12th as a result.

Alonso is not the only driver to have been handed a 10-place grid penalty in the wake of an engine change. Three of his rivals have been similarly afflicted this weekend: Giancarlo Fisichella (Sauber-Petronas) and Minardi team-mates Gianmaria Bruni and Zsolt Baumgartner.

A number of drivers deliberately backed off during pre-qualifying, in order to obtain an early starting slot in the decisive second session. They were reacting to local weather reports that forecasted the imminent possibility of rain, but despite threatening clouds the circuit remained dry until the end of the session.

Prior to qualifying fourth, world champion Michael Schumacher spun three times during the day. He went off at the Priory/Brooklands complex during both free practice sessions and again during pre-qualifying.

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:

"Our tyres have performed strongly throughout the weekend and I am delighted with today's result. There were one or two other Michelin drivers capable of taking pole, too, but circumstances were not quite in their favour. Overall I am very pleased to have such a strong Michelin presence at the front of the grid - but given the form of our six teams this weekend our position of strength is no surprise. Some partners have chosen our 'prime' tyre and others have plumped for the 'option' - both are delivering an excellent blend of speed and consistency."

"I would also like to compliment Kimi Räikkönen on giving McLaren its first pole position of the season. The team has done a fantastic job since introducing its updated car at Magny-Cours last weekend and its upturn in form has increased Michelin's strength in depth, which has delighted Edouard Michelin who has visited our partner teams this afternoon."

-michelin-

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