KUBICA SETS THE PACE FOR MICHELIN Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team/Michelin) was fastest in both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix meeting at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The 21-year-old Polish test...
KUBICA SETS THE PACE FOR MICHELIN
Robert Kubica (BMW Sauber F1 Team/Michelin) was fastest in both free practice sessions on the opening day of the Canadian Grand Prix meeting at Montreal's Circuit Gilles Villeneuve. The 21-year-old Polish test driver posted a 1m 16.390s lap this morning and was the only driver to dip below the 1m 17s barrier all day. World championship leader Fernando Alonso (Renault/Michelin) was second on aggregate and fastest of the race drivers, on 1m 17.095s.
There were eight Michelin drivers from five partner teams in today's top 10, with Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren Mercedes) setting fourth fastest time ahead of Anthony Davidson (Honda, fifth), Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault, sixth), Vitantonio Liuzzi (Toro Rosso, eighth), Nick Heidfeld (BMW Sauber F1 Team, ninth) and local favourite Jacques Villeneuve (BMW Sauber F1 Team, 10th).
If Michelin can secure its seventh win of the season this weekend, it will complete a landmark century of Formula One victories.
Renault has extended current driver Giancarlo Fisichella's contract by another year. He will now stay with the team until at least the end of 2007.
This morning's first free practice proved to be difficult for Midland. Test driver Giorgio Mondini pulled off with a technical problem before he'd completed a timed lap, Christijan Albers sailed down the Turn Three escape road on his first lap out of the pits and Tiago Monteiro crashed heavily at the final chicane during the session's final moments.
Nick Shorrock, Michelin Formula One director:
"This has been a very, very positive day for us. There have been very few incidents and all our partners were able to complete full tyre comparison runs, so we have a comprehensive bank of data to analyse this evening."
"Between them, our six partner teams are using 10 different types of tyre in Montreal and so far all of them seem to be working very well. We have generated good first-lap performance and have witnessed only a few signs of graining with our softer compounds. It augurs well for the rest of the weekend - especially as the weather forecast suggests the temperature will rise by several degrees, a factor that should put our tyres into their peak operating window."