Canadian GP: Michelin Saturday qualifying notes

BUTTON SECURES LANDMARK 90TH F1 POLE FOR MICHELIN Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda) obtained his first pole position of the season & ...

BUTTON SECURES LANDMARK 90TH F1 POLE FOR MICHELIN

Jenson Button (B*A*R-Honda) obtained his first pole position of the season – and the second of his Formula One career – during qualifying for tomorrow’s Canadian Grand Prix. The Englishman’s 1m 15.217s lap put him 0.258s clear of the field and maintained Michelin’s unbroken run of F1 poles this season.

It was also the 90th in Bibendum’s F1 world championship history. Points leader Fernando Alonso (Renault) is poised for another strong race after securing third place on the grid – and the Spaniard headed a clutch of Michelin runners.

Giancarlo Fisichella (Renault) will start fourth, in front of Juan Pablo Montoya (Team McLaren Mercedes, fifth), Takuma Sato (B*A*R-Honda, sixth), Kimi Räikkönen (Team McLaren Mercedes, seventh), Jacques Villeneuve (Sauber-Petronas, eighth), Jarno Trulli (Toyota, ninth), Ralf Schumacher (Toyota, 10th), Felipe Massa (Sauber-Petronas, 11th), David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing, 12th), Nick Heidfeld (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, 13th), Mark Webber (BMW WilliamsF1 Team, 14th) and Christian Klien (Red Bull Racing, 15th).

The Montreal track authorities have made several overnight repairs to their recently- resurfaced track. Fresh asphalt patches have been laid at six corners. McLaren star Kimi Räikkönen has been fined $5000 (about ^À4125) by motor racing’s governing body the FIA. The Finn has not been found guilty of any on-track misdemeanour. Rather, he turned up 14 minutes late for a scheduled media conference on Thursday.

Räikkönen set fastest time during this morning’s final free practice sessions. His 1m 14.232s lap was four tenths quicker than his team-mate Pedro de la Rosa’s pace- setting effort on Friday. Michelin drivers occupied the top seven positions.

Several drivers slithered off the track this morning. Those affected included David Coulthard (Red Bull Racing), who ran wide at the first turn on three separate occasions, world champion Michael Schumacher (Ferrari), who spun at Turn Seven, Kimi Räikkönen (McLaren-Mercedes), who misjudged the final chicane, Narain Karthikeyan (Jordan-Toyota), who ran off the track at Turns Seven and Nine, and Christijan Albers (Minardi), who spun twice. Ferrari driver Rubens Barrichello did not complete a qualifying run today. He abandoned his lap because of a suspected engine problem.

Pierre Dupasquier, Michelin motorsport director:

“Am I satisfied with the way tomorrow’s grid will line up? Absolutely. It is clear that there will be a real fight here in Montreal and we thrive on that. Several of our partner teams will be involved, too."

“The track appeared to be about one second slower in qualifying than it was during this morning’s free practice, but generally it has evolved as we expected. The fresh patches that were put in place overnight have not made any significant difference – the transversal loads F1 cars put through the circuit cause a sort of viscous effect, whereby a recently-laid track surface shifts gently, but the chemicals laid down should stabilise things for the balance of the weekend."

"I saw exactly the same thing happen at Dallas in 1984, when the organisers knew how to deal with it.” Nick Shorrock, director of Michelin F1 activities “All three of Michelin’s available tyre compounds will be used in tomorrow’s grand prix – and the three fastest Michelin cars are using two of them. Despite the fierce heat and the high loads this track can place on tyres, we have not experienced any technical problems."

"Our tyres have been extremely consistent over long runs and our partners should be in good shape tomorrow.” Nick Fry, CEO, B*A*R-Honda “That was a great lap by Jenson. We did a lot of solid preparation work with a number of long runs in this morning’s free practice. Our Michelin tyres have been very good and I feel very optimistic for the race.”

-michelin-

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